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Hello,

I am relative new to the contracting world (right at 2 years) and have mostly dwelled in the FFP Commercial world.

I have a new requirement for maintenance of emergency vehciles. Essentially, GSA provides the vehicles and then we would outfit them with lights. sirens, computer system, etc as well as replace any broken or outdated components. The problem is that GSA never notifies the end user of the brand of vehicle they are going to provide. They just provide 5 suvs or 3 cars, etc. My KO believes that we need to come up with "packages" that would be FFP. So we would have an SUV package, car package, etc and give historical data on the types/brands that GSA has provided in the past. Additionally, we would have a T&M clin that would allow for misc replacement parts that would not be a part of the "packages." In addition, this would be a single award IDIQ. Im concerned because for every SUV or car package we would have 3 subpackages as well as the T&M clin. So we are looking at up to 13 clins on top of writing task orders. Is there any other way you can think of that would be more streamlined and not as confusing. If I were a contractor I wouldnt even know how to quote. Also, if we do the T&M clin, how do we evaluate that?

Any help that you could give me would be much appreciated.

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FAR part 10 covers the subject of market research. It part, it says one of the purposes of market reserach is to determine "...Customary practices, including warranty, buyer financing, discounts, contract type considering the nature and risk associated with the requirement, etc."

If I were in your position, I would call a few companies that are in this business and ask them how they normally price tha kind of work. Explain your requirements and get their feedback and suggestions on an acquisition strtagey and approach. Unless a CO or contract specialist knows the marketplace and what they are buying, conducting informal market research is invaluable.

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Ashley - Have you talked to your local GSA Fleet rep to see if there's anyway you can get notified each time they make a new buy? Might not tell you exactly what cars/SUVs you will actually get but would give you a list of the possible makes/models?

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I have spoken to a few companies. It is cheaper to have them do the work in packages. So each SUV would have a specific package put on. Where it gets tricky is that different parts are priced differently based on the brand (ford, chevy, etc). We are assuming that they will quote based on historical data. As in, if we normally get a lot of explorers and only one or two escapes, they would quote based on some sort of average. Now, if we get a ton of escapes (which im assuming would be cheaper to do bc they are smaller), then Govt who lose out a little.

If discussed having a lengthy price list for parts based on brand, but it would be much more expensive to go item by item then it would be to do the packages.

It's just very frustrating bc I feel as if we have thrown out several different ideas and not one of them is ideal.

FAR part 10 covers the subject of market research. It part, it says one of the purposes of market reserach is to determine "...Customary practices, including warranty, buyer financing, discounts, contract type considering the nature and risk associated with the requirement, etc."

If I were in your position, I would call a few companies that are in this business and ask them how they normally price tha kind of work. Explain your requirements and get their feedback and suggestions on an acquisition strtagey and approach. Unless a CO or contract specialist knows the marketplace and what they are buying, conducting informal market research is invaluable.

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We have a list of the possible makes/models. It's just that there is a vast price diffence between a tahoe and an explorer price wise for parts. So having the list isnt as helpful as knowing exactly what brands we are getting.

Oh, and I forgot that this will have 4 options years as well.

Ashley - Have you talked to your local GSA Fleet rep to see if there's anyway you can get notified each time they make a new buy? Might not tell you exactly what cars/SUVs you will actually get but would give you a list of the possible makes/models?
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ashleyh,

A couple of questions:

1. Have you thought about structuring the line items so that they account for each possible type of vehicle? For example, one line item would be to outfit a Tahoe, another line item would be to outfit an Explorer, etc.

2. If your contract is going to be IDIQ, why are you including options? If you want the ordering period to be longer than a year, you don't have to include an option to achieve that. Just make the ordering period as long as you need it to be.

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I see two possibilites. One is establish a line item for each vehicle type. The problem with that is offerors likely will include some price "cushioning" so they don't get killed by you ordering differently from what the historical data shows. The other is establishing line items for each vehicle model.

As far as evaluating the T&M clin, the easist way is to construct a model of labor (for example 1,000 hours of technician) and parts/materials for each offeror to ropose against.

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Question: Would the packages for different vehicles be different based not only on the Make and Model, but also on the Year? For example, would a package be different for a 2009 Ford Explorer vs. a 2010 Ford Explorer? This may make it especially tough to price if you want to get future pricing on packages for vehicles that aren't in production yet, i.e. the 2015 Ford Explorer.

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My KO believes that we need to come up with "packages" that would be FFP. So we would have an SUV package, car package, etc and give historical data on the types/brands that GSA has provided in the past.

What would be in a "package"?

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Well each new car that the MP and rescue repsonders get have to have the same thing. So a patrol SUV (regardless of brand and model) would all get lights, siren, computer system, etc. The admin car (regardless of brand and model) would have small scale sirens/lights and a more in depth computer system. And then all fire trucks would have the same type of equipment.

What would be in a "package"?
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Well we did consider your first point. However, we already have several brands in exsistence. So for our T&M clin, would we have to have a price list for a replacement siren for the explorer, escape, tahoe? Which im not opposed to, that just means my end user would have to come up with that list which could run in the hundreds. And we all know how end users love to provide the needed and necessary information :rolleyes:

On your second point, our office has always done option years for services (which we are a very young office experience wise so that's not saying much). So we could do a multi year ordering period with just maxes? If so, and I understand that correctly, where could I find additional information to bring to my KO?

ashleyh,

A couple of questions:

1. Have you thought about structuring the line items so that they account for each possible type of vehicle? For example, one line item would be to outfit a Tahoe, another line item would be to outfit an Explorer, etc.

2. If your contract is going to be IDIQ, why are you including options? If you want the ordering period to be longer than a year, you don't have to include an option to achieve that. Just make the ordering period as long as you need it to be.

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Guest carl r culham

How about?.

Okay so if it were me with my POV I would stop by a couple of shops get estimates, gauge shop credentials and then go with the one that meets the my idea of the right price and other factors considered.

So now I have your situation and you are talking IDIQ so I am guessing here that you are talking multiple award. If not, not a big problem as I believe my idea still might work.

Multiple BPA?s or single BPA. Suggesting as looks like individual calls for individual vehicles is probably less than $100K. Possibly, even multiple vehicles on one call would still be below this amount.

You get your vehicles from GSA, you throw out to BPA holder(s) what you have and what it needs, they give you FFP quote and you say Yes or No. Remember you could even negotiate the amount after you see initial quote.

For your IDIQ you are obligating minimum and then subsequent task orders so issue of financial handling of the calls is almost the same.

Idea mirrors market place? Your determination here but seems the way it works to me.

Effort of figuring costs is for each call rather than putting all the effort up front in large, burdensome, CLIN laden IDIQ. Administrative effort in getting quotes but administrative effort at tail end is almost none.

Possibly could fashion as a BPA effort even if Calls expected to be over $100K but you would have to do your homework to make it right. Suggest a read of threads related to BPA?s found on WIFCON along with protests found on WIFCON in legal section as they relate to BPA?s to help give full picture of the pitfalls.

Here is another option if stuck on IDIQ approach, along with some sort of CLINs. I have not seen any discussion about parts at cost plus XX% markup along with labor at set rate in CLIN with actual hours based on Flat Rate Manual. Did no t research to make sure your type of work is in manuals but you would think that there is coverage in at least one of the three manuals used by the industry ? Chilton, Mitchell and AllData.

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Since you have "talked to a few companies" there should be competition available, I assume. Why would you limit it to a single award ID/IQ (requirements type?)?

If you get only 3-5 vehicles at a time, it appears that Carl's idea of a BPA arrangement with competition each time might have merit, I'm guessing that it doesn't cost over 100k each time to outfit a small number of vehicles for instance, 20k per vehicle times 5 equals 100k.

Then you could write a FFP purchase order for the work. Am I way off on the top price for outfitting a vehicle with a light bar, siren and computer set up or repairing same?

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The problem with BPAs with larger dollar value calls is the FedBizOpps requirement for posting.

Sorry - not in office. How much is "larger"?

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Thanks for all the suggestions. I will do some further research on the ideas presented as well as additional market research (I just got this requirement not too long ago so I have only done very basic market research). I am going to post a sources sought and see what companies are interested and can meet the requirements. Part of the problem is that the work site for the installation must be within 60 miles and that the installation person must have a certain type of certification in order to install some of the equipment (otherwise it voids the warranties). As of right now I know of only one company that has the certification that is small business, so I may have to widen the pool to large business. Again thanks so much for your suggestions. If the certification wasnt required, it would greatly increase the amount of small business capable of performing.

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Ashley, approximately how much does a typical fit-out cost per vehicle?

Roughly how much is expected per year?

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Guest Vern Edwards
Hello,

I am relative new to the contracting world (right at 2 years) and have mostly dwelled in the FFP Commercial world.

I have a new requirement for maintenance of emergency vehciles. Essentially, GSA provides the vehicles and then we would outfit them with lights. sirens, computer system, etc as well as replace any broken or outdated components. The problem is that GSA never notifies the end user of the brand of vehicle they are going to provide. They just provide 5 suvs or 3 cars, etc. My KO believes that we need to come up with "packages" that would be FFP. So we would have an SUV package, car package, etc and give historical data on the types/brands that GSA has provided in the past. Additionally, we would have a T&M clin that would allow for misc replacement parts that would not be a part of the "packages." In addition, this would be a single award IDIQ. Im concerned because for every SUV or car package we would have 3 subpackages as well as the T&M clin. So we are looking at up to 13 clins on top of writing task orders. Is there any other way you can think of that would be more streamlined and not as confusing. If I were a contractor I wouldnt even know how to quote. Also, if we do the T&M clin, how do we evaluate that?

Any help that you could give me would be much appreciated.

This strikes me as a straightforward matter of awarding either a requirements contract or an IDIQ contract for labor and parts. Assuming that the refits for each type of vehicle are standard, there would be a line item for each type of vehicle and a "refit package" price that includes both labor and parts. There could be a cost-reimbursement, no fee, line item for any additional parts that may be needed. The government would have to estimate the number of vehicles of each kind that must be refit and state a maximum number of each type or a maximum number overall. This approach might result in a number of line items, but so what. I don't think the packages would be hard to price, assuming, again, that they are standard.

This is Procurement 101. I'm astonished that this thread is into its second day.

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Well we did consider your first point. However, we already have several brands in exsistence. So for our T&M clin, would we have to have a price list for a replacement siren for the explorer, escape, tahoe? Which im not opposed to, that just means my end user would have to come up with that list which could run in the hundreds. And we all know how end users love to provide the needed and necessary information :rolleyes:

On your second point, our office has always done option years for services (which we are a very young office experience wise so that's not saying much). So we could do a multi year ordering period with just maxes? If so, and I understand that correctly, where could I find additional information to bring to my KO?

1. No, you would not have to have a price list for each conceivable replacement part for the T&M CLIN. The deal would be that the contractor would get reimbursed for the cost of the required material when performing work under that CLIN.

2. Yes, you could have a multiple-year ordering period in an IDIQ contract (multi-year means something different). You would not have to have "maxes", as an IDIQ contract only requires one maximum. If you're interested in learning more about such a contract, I suggest you begin by reading this thread:

http://www.wifcon.com/discussion/index.php...pic=321&hl=

There's also a good discussion of this topic in the September 2002 issue of The Nash & Cibinic Report. The article is titled "IDIQ CONTRACTS AND OPTIONS: VARIED GUARANTEED MINIMUMS" (16 NO. 9 Nash & Cibinic Rep. P 43). Someone in your legal office should be able to obtain the article for you.

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There could be a cost-reimbursement, no fee, line item for any additional parts that may be needed.

If this is a commercial service, which it sounds like, then one could not use a combination FFP/cost-reimbursement arrangement. I think that installation of the additional parts would have to be on a T&M basis.

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It seems to me that if this were Procurement 101, we'd have a rough idea of how many vehicles we expect to outfit and roughly how much it costs per vehicle before locking in on a solution that would establish a 5 year (didn't find that out til later posts) requirements type contract

A requirement contract would eliminate competition and lock in some pricing that we expect a shop to be able to competitively estimate for up to 5 years. Seems like we'd want to ensure that this is the most practical/economical/smart approach before selecting a contract type.

We also don't know what type of vehicles, brand, number, etc. of vehicles will even be produced, let alone purchased by GSA over the next 5 years. The only thing we know is that lights, sirens and computers (which constantly change) are included in an outfitted vehicle plus there will be a need to upgrade and repair such items.

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It seems to me that if this were Procurement 101, we'd have a rough idea of how many vehicles we expect to outfit and roughly how much it costs per vehicle before locking in on a solution that would establish a 5 year (didn't find that out til later posts) requirements type contract

A requirement contract would eliminate competition and lock in some pricing that we expect a shop to be able to competitively estimate for up to 5 years. Seems like we'd want to ensure that this is the most practical/economical/smart approach and consider the market before selecting a contract type.

We also don't know what type of vehicles, brand, number, etc. of vehicles will even be produced, let alone purchased by GSA over the next 5 years. The only thing we know is that lights, sirens and computers (which constantly change) are included in an outfitted vehicle plus there will be a need to upgrade and repair such items.

Please also note that information dribbled in regarding the nature of the requirement and how much is known about industry capability as late as day 2 of this thread.

As part of acquisition planning, one should consider market research.

Information concerning admittedly limited knowledge of local capabilities came in shortly before a post claiming astonishment at why the thread was still active on day 2.

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Guest Vern Edwards
It seems to me that if this were Procurement 101, we'd have a rough idea of how many vehicles we expect to outfit and roughly how much it costs per vehicle before locking in on a solution that would establish a 5 year (didn't find that out til later posts) requirements type contract

A requirement contract would eliminate competition and lock in some pricing that we expect a shop to be able to competitively estimate for up to 5 years. Seems like we'd want to ensure that this is the most economical approach before selecting a contract type.

We also don't know what type of vehicles, brand, number, etc. of vehicles will even be produced, let alone purchased by GSA over the next 5 years. The only thing we know is that lights, sirens and computers (which constantly change) are included in an outfitted vehicle plus there will be a need to upgrade and repair such items.

She didn't ask you to write the contract for her. She appears to have an indefinite requirement to refit various kinds of vehicles from time to time. An indefinite delivery contract-- requirements or IDIQ--is best-suited to her purpose. She apparently knows the types of vehicles and the refit tasks and kits appear to be standard. What she does not know is quantities and timing. The obvious solution is to establish CLINS with prices based on type of vehicle/refit, with a CLIN for every likely vehicle requirement. The cost of labor and parts per refit should be easy to determine, unless we're talking about potentially large quantities of parts for which big discounts might be available as quantities increase. In the absence of a production line setup, which does not appear to be the case, labor should not change much if at all from one refit to another of the same type.

What seemed to be bothering Ashleyh was the potentially large number of line items. I don't know why that bothered her. Thirteen CLINs does not strike me as a large number. Her questions/issues seem to reflect her inexperience rather than any inherent complexity of the requirement. She should have been given a straightforward answer right away. If she had more questions she could have asked them. We old timers should try to bring clarity to these problems.

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Yes, but -

We do know that there is a recurring requirement.

The cost of both labor and parts will vary by vehicle type, which is unknown until there is a delivery from GSA.

It will apparently vary each time there is an order and vehicle brands and models will change year by year.

The equipment and materials will vary over time. Emergency vehicle lighting systems are being updated as lighting and electronics technology changes. Solid state electonic lighting is in an extreme mode of change right now. For instance, pricing of LED chips has rapidly changed in only the last two months and the technology and availability of LED chips and applications is in hyper change per a briefing by a Phillips Lighting representative that I attended yesterday. We all know that computers are constantly being updated.

We don't know the size or magnitude of a typical order or the magnitude of the program.

We don't even know how many dealers there are who can perform the work.

Based on that number of unknowns, I would wonder why we would lock in any price or firm for 5 years...

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