End of the federal fiscal year brings new selling opportunities
immixGroup, a fast-growing company in McLean, Va., helps technology manufacturers and other companies achieve success in doing business with the government. immixGroup helps businesses succeed through its Technology Sales, Government Channels, Contract Management and IT Solutions operations.
GovPro.com chatted with Steve Charles, immixGroup co-founder and executive vice president, about selling strategies as the federal government fiscal year end approaches on September 30.
GovPro.com: Is there a federal buying season before the end of the federal fiscal year (September 30) where there’s increased federal buying activity?
SC: Oh yes, absolutely. The fourth quarter in the federal government’s fiscal year ending September 30 is the highest spend of all four quarters. The next highest is the second quarter, that ends March 31.
GovPro.com: How important is timing and the award process for vendors as we near the end of the federal fiscal year?
SC: Well, by now, vendors should know — if it’s a large procurement — whether it’s being processed in Contracts or not. Many of the agencies have internal deadlines where procurement requests need to be submitted well in advance of the year-end. But if it’s smaller procurements — lower dollars, certainly things under $100K — those kinds of procurements can occur right up until the last day. Of course, many of those large procurements that may have already been submitted to the procurement offices — say, if it’s a multimillion dollar deal — it was required to be back into the buying offices back before June, but many times, those deals, orders or contract awards don’t actually come through until later in September.
GovPro.com: Regarding the ARRA stimulus funding package — is that having any impact this federal fiscal year end?
SC: Oh, absolutely. First I would say that there’s a lot of pressure to spend recovery act funding, and certain agencies have internal deadlines to try to exceed spending quarter over quarter. Note, however, that the availability of that funding continues past the fiscal year end. So, my prediction is that some of these large deals that are hoped to be consummated before the fiscal year end might slip because recovery act dollars are not “use it or lose it,” like fiscal year-end money is.
GovPro.com: How do you see 2010 shaping up for federal government sales and buying activity?
SC: Actually, 2010 is going to be the big year for the recovery act money. The largest amount of those dollars is going to be spent in 2010. It’s taken a while for the government to organize itself around some of the increased transparency requirements of the recovery act and do the acquisition planning and source selection processes associated with all of that. That’s the reason why recovery act money hasn’t been getting spent as rapidly as everyone would like, but that spending is going to really accelerate in 2010.