Anyone that has received any equipment or services procured by the Federal Government in recent years has likely suffered disappointment. A government contractor recently told me, “Contracting Offices have become police organizations instead of support organizations.” What he was referring to is the way quality and past performance have been taken out of the process as the contract award criteria has increasingly shifted towards Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA). Add to that the increased use of Reverse Auction Services and what you get is immediate mediocrity. The abuse of this process actually incentivizes contractors to cheapen their products or services so they can compete.
If you are in a position where you have to replace poor quality equipment, there are some things you can do to keep the process from repeating itself. Contracting Officers have the last word on how a procurement action is conducted, but you are the expert on what you need. Here are some suggestions that will better your odds.
First, do your homework. Document the problems you have had with your current equipment. List its weaknesses and failures. List the problems you have had with supporting service.
Next, carefully investigate what other equipment is available. Speak with other users for insights on what has worked for them. Document this research.
When you settle on what you want, get with your Supply Officer or Resource Manager. Explain to them carefully that you have been burnt by the process in the past and that you would like to discuss options on how to prevent this from happening again. Go into detail about your past experience. Share your current research and your beliefs about what you want. Explain that it is available through several sources. Explain that there is no reason to repeat past mistakes. Then ask the question, “Will our Contracting Office support us or work against us?”
If you need help, your SEM Regional Manager has on average fifteen plus years of experience. Each can carefully go through any of the issues discussed above and provide a specific plan on how to get what you need. Don’t hesitate to call if we can help. Remember, you don’t have to accept junk. You just have to do your homework. Tell them LPTA was not designed to buy critical information security products that impact national security….. It was designed to buy commodities like TOILET PAPER!
For more information about disintegrators and other information security products, visit us at www.semshred.com