Agency procurement officers reach out to industry well in advance of drafting a solicitation – via Sources Sought or Request for Information notices; from Industry Days or Expos; via databases such as the SBA’s Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS); GSA Advantage and eBuy; as well commercial online searching (think Google!) to find businesses capable of supplying the products or services they need.
Their findings help them to determine the most appropriate purchasing vehicle to use – whether they can use a pre-existing multi-award vehicle; if procurement can or should be set-aside for a small business, or a woman/veteran/8a small business, and so on.
Agency Planning or Acquisition Forecasts are a great way for you to find out about planned upcoming procurements, and to reach out to the agency well before the RFQ is posted to FedBizOpps.
For example, the Dept. of Homeland Security’s Acquisition Planning Forecast allows you to view anticipated contract actions above $150,000, and to sign up to be notified of upcoming opportunities via email.
The DHS forecast includes several agencies such as Customs & Border Protection, FEMA, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center ,Customs & Immigration, TSA, the Coast Guard and the Secret Service.