For Immediate Release: November 14, 2016
WASHINGTON – Eighteen experts representing large, mid-tier and small government contracting companies participated in a Reverse Industry Day for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) developed by the Homeland Security & Defense Business Council (Council).
Traditionally, government agencies hold Industry Days to communicate government priorities to their industry partners. A reverse industry day flips the presenters and audience. The forum was led by industry and focused on providing TSA program managers and contracting officials with the industry perspective of doing business with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It provided insight into how industry makes decisions and mitigates risk throughout the acquisition process. The session also highlighted how information sharing and engagement earlier and throughout the acquisition process can increase the likelihood of successful outcomes.
“The Council was honored to work with TSA on this event and is excited about their commitment to nourishing substantive industry-government dialogues,” said Marc Pearl, Council President & CEO. “This event complements the DHS Chief Procurement Officer’s Acquisition Innovations in Motion efforts that focus on reciprocal learning between DHS and private industry. We hope this Reverse Industry Day will become a model for similar engagements with other government agencies that want to provide their personnel with a unique opportunity to learn from industry leaders who support their mission.”
With billions of taxpayer dollars spent in federal acquisitions every year, this exchange of critical information can dramatically improve how the federal government plans and executes acquisitions as well as how they conduct market research and communicate with industry throughout the process.
The agenda included four sessions on topics deemed to be most important by TSA and the Council:
- Demystification of Industry: This session explained how different corporate visions, company attributes, and structures affect how they go to market.
- Preparing and Responding to Solicitations: This panel provided insight into what industry does in pursuit of an opportunity and the time, effort, resources and decision-making involved in responding to solicitations. Industry speakers discussed cost drivers, risk mitigation, factors that influence teaming arrangements, how bid price is determined and how industry interprets evaluation criteria.
- Mock Gate Review: How Industry Decides to Bid (or Not): This session allowed the audience to get a snapshot of what really gets discussed during an industry gate review when a company decides whether or not to bid on a services procurement. This mock gate review included a short role play with industry representative acting out the following positions: CEO, business developer, technical solution manager, finance/pricing manager, and a risk/contracts person.
- The Value and Importance of Post Award Debriefings: This session provided insight into the importance and value of debriefs for industry, particularly as it relates to competition and desire to participate in future procurements. Panelists also discussed what makes a quality debrief and how to use debriefs to reduce protests.