- Proactive Preparation and Strategic Planning Beats the Competition Every Time.
- Many federal government contractors find themselves losing OASIS opportunities every time but somehow cannot pinpoint why they lose OASIS awards.
The GSA Oasis Advantage is the procurement development that many companies, small and large are not familiar with. Even those government contractors that are ‘preparing’ to bid and compete, still find themselves falling short of the getting meaningful proposal evaluation and consideration for contract award.
Although there is no textbook way to prepare to win an Oasis GSA contract, the reality is that you cannot afford to sit and do nothing.
- Your competition is always working to beat you
- Many large businesses and small federal contractors somehow believe that all of the skills and experience they need is already in-house. The results may indicate differently
After giving the basics of GSA Oasis Advantage contracts, there will be some indicators of the problems that many companies fail to address when competing for the GSA One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS)
GSA One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS)
OASIS GSA contracting program is comprised of an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) government contract. The development focuses in creating a procurement vehicle that focuses on complex professional services. The services include:
- Engineering services;
- Logistics services;
- Financial services;
- Scientific services, ;
- Consulting services;
- Program management
The GSA Oasis contracting vehicle includes one five-year base year contract with one, five-year option.
Small businesses and large business contractors have the opportunity to bid on the OASIS GSA contracts that in essence a designed to span many areas of expertise and mission space; span multiple professional service areas of expertise; provide for flexibility for all contract types, including hybrids and cost-reimbursement contracts, at the task order level.
GSA OASIS Advantage Contract Features
GSA Oasis contracts have a wide range of requirements needed from by the federal government. When submitting bids and responding to requests for quotes, companies responding to OASIS solicitations must be able to show flexibility in meeting the following criteria
- Commercial and non-commercial services;
- CONUS and OCONUS requirements;
- Classified and unclassified services;
The fatal mistake that many companies bidding on GSA Oasis pools tend to make it to incorrectly analyze their capabilities solely on location, commercial versus non-commercial or whether there are specific types of classified requirements.
Having a GSA Oasis consultant that understand the government contracting evaluation process benefits a company because you will now have a high-level view of the ‘playing field’ and how then how to properly develop a tailored ‘playbook’ for your company.
OASIS GSA Contract What is Best In Class?
Best-in-Class (BIC) means that the government has designated, through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), a preferred a government-wide solution that allows federal acquisition professional to get the best value from pre-vetted, governmentwide contract solutions; to take advantage of contracting solutions that are market-proven.
- The whole key to the bidding on GSA contracts is to become part of the elite contracts that can provide the federal government with fast and proven solutions.
- You have to show that although your company is pre-designated as one of the groups of contractors to utilized the GSA Oasis pools, that you can still be the final choice for an award (many companies cannot overcome this hurdle.)
GSA OASIS Advantage Contracts for Large Businesses and Small Businesses
OASIS GSA contracts can be Unrestricted. This better known in the federal procurement world as Full and Open. GSA OASIS Pools can also be designated for 100 percent Small Business Set-Aside contract (FAR 19.502). The government contracting agency can now use the various approaches allowed under FAR part 19.
According to the GSA’s website, “ both OASIS Unrestricted and OASIS Small Business are a family of 7 separate Governmentwide Multiple Award, Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (MA-IDIQ) task order contracts that span 28 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes and 6 NAICS Code Exceptions under the economic subsector 541 – Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services.
- Each of the seven separate MA-IDIQ task order contracts (MATOCS) are individually referred to as “Pools” within the OASIS Unrestricted and OASIS Small Business Contracts. Each Pool is a separate MATOC.
- When issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) under OASIS, only one contract vehicle (OASIS Unrestricted or OASIS Small Business) and only one Pool can be solicited. Pool selection is based on the predominate NAICS Code assigned to the task order solicitation (See Section H.4. of each MATOC for NAICS Code Pool selection).
GSA OASIS Contracts for Large Businesses
Large business government contractors participating in GSA OASIS contracts have a few situations where they can substantially improve their positioning to be able to compete.
There is no question that the size of these OASIS contract awards are large is size and complexity. Just as small businesses have competition disadvantages, so do large businesses when competing for unrestricted/full and open GSA OASIS contracts. The following are the categories for GSA OASIS pools for large businesses.
- Pool 1 OASIS Unrestricted Contract [PDF – 836 KB]
- Pool 2 OASIS Unrestricted Contract [PDF – 833 KB]
- Pool 3 OASIS Unrestricted Contract [PDF – 833 KB]
- Pool 4 OASIS Unrestricted Contract [PDF – 832 KB]
- Pool 5A OASIS Unrestricted Contract [PDF – 832 KB]
- Pool 5B OASIS Unrestricted Contract [PDF – 831 KB]
- Pool 6 OASIS Unrestricted Contract [PDF – 831 KB]
- Section J.1. OASIS Labor Categories and Definitions
GSA OASIS Contracts for Small Businesses
Similar to large businesses, small business government contractors also have the ability to compete for GSA OASIS Advantage contracts. How they prepare themselves to respond to solicitations continues to be a problem.
Small businesses that are SBA 8(a) certified can use their unique advantages to compete. However, selecting the appropriate tools and business development strategies continue to be a serious problem.
As a result, many small businesses lose out on lucrative federal OASIS Contracts. The following are examples of the various GSA OASIS pools for small businesses.
- Pool 1 OASIS Small Business Contract
- Pool 2 OASIS Small Business Contract
- Pool 3 OASIS Small Business Contract
- Pool 4 OASIS Small Business Contract
- Pool 5A OASIS Small Business Contract
- Pool 5B OASIS Small Business Contract
- Pool 6 OASIS Small Business Contract
- Section J.1. OASIS SB Labor Categories and Definitions
What are GSA OASIS Pools?
To facilitate the OASIS Program, the GSA established seven separate multiple-award, Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) task order contracts (MATOCS), that are referred to as “Pools.”
- OASIS SB program has seven pools of awardees, and CSA is an awardee in Pool 3 for Engineering Services (NAICS code 541330), for Exception A, B and C. CSA is able to compete for 8(a) and service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) set asides, and direct awards. See information about OASIS Pools Where this information is taken from.
Pool 1 ($14 Million Small Business Size Standard)
- 541330 Engineering Services
- 541360 Geophysical Surveying and Mapping Services
- 541370 Surveying and Mapping (Except Geophysical) Services
- 541380 Testing Laboratories
- 541611 Administrative Management and General Management Consulting Services
- 541612 Human Resources Consulting Services (2007), Human Resources, and Executive Search Consulting Services (2002)
- 541613 Marketing Consulting Services
- 541614 Process, Physical Distribution, and Logistics Consulting Services
- 541618 Other Management Consulting Services
- 541620 Environmental Consulting Services
- 541690 Other Scientific and Technical Consulting Services
- 541810 Advertising Agencies
- 541820 Public Relations Agencies
- 541830 Media Buying Agencies
- 541840 Media Representatives
- 541850 Outdoor Advertising
- 541860 Direct Mail Advertising
- 541870 Advertising Material Distribution Services
- 541890 Other Services Related to Advertising
- 541910 Marketing Research and Public Opinion Polling
- 541990 All Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Pool 2 ($19 Million Small Business Size Standard)
- 541211 Offices of Certified Public Accountants
- 541213 Tax Preparation Services
- 541214 Payroll Services
- 541219 Other Accounting Services
- 541720 Research and Development in the Social Sciences and Humanities
PooL 3 ($35.5 Million Small Business Size Standard)
- 541330 Exception A Engineering for Military and Aerospace Equipment and Military Weapons
- 541330 Exception B Engineering for Contracts and Subcontracts for Engineering Services Awarded Under the National Energy Policy Act of 1992
- 541330 Exception C Engineering for Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture
Pool 4 (500 Employees Small Business Size Standard)
- 541711 Research and Development in Biotechnology
- 541712 Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Biotechnology)
POOL 5A (1,000 Employees Small Business Size Standard)
- 541712 Exception B Research and Development in Aircraft Parts, and Auxiliary Equipment, and Aircraft Engine Parts
POOL 5B (1,000 Employees Small Business Size Standard)
- 541712 Exception C Research and Development in Space Vehicles and Guided Missiles, Their Propulsion Units, Their Propulsion Units Parts, and Their Auxiliary Equipment and Parts
POOL 6 (1,500 Employees Small Business Size Standard)
- 541712 Exception A Research and Development in Aircraft
How to Get on GSA OASIS Contracting
Getting on GSA’s OASIS program is not like getting on a GSA Schedule. Contrary to popular belief, GSA OASIS contracts are not GSA Schedule contracts. Instead, participants have to await the open schedule period to compete and bid for these contracts.
To become successful in didding on GSA One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS Contracts), you must learn how to successfully compete during the called on-ramping bidding process. GSA has full discretion as to when and how it conducts is on-ramps.
What is On-Ramping For OASIS GSA Contracts?
The federal government wants to take advantage of a more refined and vetted pool of participants. On-ramping during the open season period helps the government to get more competition. If you are a small business that may grow over the SBA Size standard during contract performance, you want to assess any repercussions early in the competition and bidding process.
- The government will post notices for OASIS contract opportunities on FBO.gov.
Learn How to Become More Competitive for Oasis GSA Contract Bids
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome when trying to get a contract under the various GSA OASIS pools is to show how well your company stacks up against the competition.
Companies must learn to go above and beyond the traditional best value evaluation criteria when bidding on GSA OASIS contracts. Yes, there are requirements you have to comply with. However, most companies fail because they are somehow locked in to these traditional practices.
- There is an old saying that meeting the minimum requirements of government solicitations do not get contracts.
- You must learn to focus on offering more competitive approaches that focus on reducing the government’s risk of non-performance while proposing creative contract solutions
How is Your Bid Evaluated For GSA OASIS Advantage Contracts?
OASIS contract solicitations are self-scored and then verified by the OASIS PMO. In other words the agency uses the identical evaluation criteria and scoring table of the original solicitation for any on-ramping procurement.
Overcoming Past Performance Hurdles In One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS Contracts)
One of the biggest problems contractors have when bidding on OASIS Contracts is to reach larger contracts. Sometimes, their past performance lacks in size and complexity. Developing a sound approach to resolve this problem is your next step.
- Although you may have relevant past performance, you may lack in similarity in size and complexity
- Many companies, large and small fail to overcome this common problem.
OASIS Teaming and Joint Venture Approaches
Developing teaming agreements and joint venture relationships for GSA OASIS contracts have gained more attention. However, with the new SBA affiliation rules for small businesses, companies are still not accurate in their approaches.
There are still problems with limitations on subcontracting requirements, primary and vital parts of the contract being passed on to the teaming partner etc.
- These are all issues that lead to your award being taken away in a bid protest.
- Joint ventures, despite the new SBA rules, still have very subtle nuances that you must be aware of.
Reduce Mistakes Made by Both Large and Small Businesses
When applying for and competing for One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS Contracts, there are some obvious, and not so obvious mistakes made by large and small businesses. Getting the proper strategies in place can minimize those occurrences.
Whether you are a large business needing help to form alliances while staying in compliance with procurement laws or simply needing to learn how to become more competitive, addressing these mistakes or weaknesses up front is undoubtedly the best way to go.
For immediate help with your planning and preparations for bidding on GSA One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS Contracts), call the government contract consultants and attorneys at Watson & Associates, LLC at 1-866-601-5518. Free Initial Consultation.