End of federal fiscal year signals selling opportunities
On Sept. 30, the 2012 federal fiscal year will draw to a close. Knowledgeable sellers to federal agencies know that the days before Sept. 30 is an opportune time to obtain federal contracts to provide agencies with goods and services.
“The last quarter of the federal fiscal year means ‘spend it or lose it,’ said Tom Johnson, publisher of Set-Aside Alert, in a recent issue of his newsletter. “Contracting offices will be spending it, and there’s a lot of money left to spend.” Set-Aside Alert is a Bethesda Md.–based business intelligence newsletter for small business federal contractors.
Johnson said the fiscal year-end buying surge has started and will continue to build up right through the final hours of Sept. 30, even though that date falls on a Sunday this year. Contracting officers and procurement specialists will be at their desks right through the weekend, so vendors should stick around their offices to field last-minute opportunities, Johnson said.
“I think the impact will be just as much, or more, as in previous years,” Johnson said. “Typically, about 30 to 40 percent of the spending occurs in the fourth quarter. There is still time for vendors to participate in the buying spree. This is especially true for products, where procurements are often made on the basis of price. Service purchases frequently require a longer lead time for submission and evaluation of proposals, and thus bid due dates are already past, although contract awards may not be made until late in September.”
Vendors should continue to do outreach to program offices throughout August and September, Johnson advised. Certified 8(a) companies also should promote the fact that their products and services may be bought on a sole-sourced basis, he added. Johnson’s conclusion: “It will go right down to the wire.”
In its recent issue, Set-Aside Alert advised federal contractors to move quickly to identify and respond to end-of-fiscal-year opportunities. Contractors should check for new solicitations, review agency budgets to determine what work is unfinished and ask agency officials about upcoming solicitations.
Set-Aside Alert also advised companies to make it easy for contracting officers to take action. Those contracting officers, noted the newsletter, may want to do micro purchases, sole-source acquisitions and other immediate procurement vehicles.