GSA new cov era

This week I read an article by the famed consulting firm McKinsey & Company titled “Reinventing the Organization for Speed in the Post-COVID-19 Era.” My takeaway from the article was that in today’s business environment all resistance to change is being overwhelmed by a much greater force, survival. Therefore COVID-19 in many cases is a trend accelerator that cannot be ignored as adapting to these trends will be the most critical success factor for businesses moving forward.

The article cited some remarkable Super Business Feats:

  • A large telecom company converted over 1,000 retail employees to inside sales personnel in a matter of weeks.
  • A large retail firm implemented curbside customer pickup in a period of two-days.
  • A factory reduced headcount by 40% while running at 90% productivity.

None of these Super Business Feats would have been accomplished in a Pre-Covid World because resistance to change would have thwarted these initiatives.

Applying the “Speed is Everything” Trend to Federal Contracting

From talking with my clients I am hearing that the federal government is opening back up and is facing many of the same challenges businesses are facing, which is caused by three months of shutdown. The federal contracting officers are now trying to get back on track with their mission objectives while implementing a new work paradigms such as working from home.

Federal employees that want to move up the ladder will adapt to these changes, whereby “getting things done” becomes more important, overwhelming the past thought process of, “making a very safe decision” is best for my career.

The recently revamped GSA Schedule System will allow federal procurement officers the luxury of being able to meet mission requirements quickly while making better overall purchasing decisions. Below is a table I have constructed that demonstrates what I believe are the three critical Speed success factors for federal procurement officers.

Speed Factor GSA Schedule Past RFP System
Speed of Execution GSA Schedule Contracts reduces the time
required for competing for goods and/or services. Orders can be awarded in days or weeks, rather
than months.
The average time from proposal receipt to award using traditional contract procedures is about
115-220 days.
Speed of Market Awareness GSA elibrary and GSA Advantage have all pertinent information about the vendor’s offerings
and pricing. This can be quickly cross referenced with the vendors past performance.
Trade shows and office visits will likely be slow to recover if they are not eliminated from the way
American’s do business moving forward. Some CEOs claim meeting with clients online is more effective
and efficient than face-to-face meetings.
Speed of Solution Development GSA Hallways allows for a federal archive of cross-agency solutions that procurement officer can tap
to quickly find world class solutions to their problems.
Traditional networking between agency personnel will be limited moving forward.

Moving forward who succeeds and who does not is about Speed. And Speed is what the revamped GSA Schedule System is setup to deliver.