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Market research—it’s everyone’s business

  • Published
  • By Ted Bealer
  • 375th Contracting Squadron, Business Operations director

As the third quarter of FY17 approaches, all mission partners, or requirement owners, should be forecasting, planning, defining, and posturing for FY17 year-end closeout.

Critical to year-end execution is conducting and documenting market research for goods or services needed to perform the mission. Knowing the industry, what’s available, industry standards and capabilities, is vital in shaping the execution strategy and enabling agile contracting support.

Without good research and close coordination with the 375th Contracting Squadron, unfunded requirements have a very slim chance of competing with year-end priorities.

Is the requirement available through General Services Administration sources? Does it meet parameters for a Government Purchase Card transaction? Is the item available through other agency or mandatory enterprise contracts?

Requirement owners are key mission partners on the acquisition team and play a huge role in up-front market research, analysis, requirement definition, and acquisition planning. Whatever you can bring to the table will reduce acquisition lead time, help shape a successful buy, and ensure timely delivery of mission-enabling goods or services.

Market research and analysis should be commensurate with the value and complexity of the requirement. Some things to keep in mind when conducting market research:

Contact the 375th CONS early on for assistance and tips on how to conduct and document market research efforts.

·         Do not commit or give the impression to any source(s) you contact that they will receive a contract;

·         Plan for competition; this is a big ticket item in DoD’s Better Buying Power initiative. We’re called to compete as many actions as possible. Don’t limit research to a single source;

·         Document sources contacted, names, phone numbers, addresses, etc.; and

·         Consider alternatives ... help us understand needed features or capabilities of your requirement and why it’s critical. We want to buy and deliver the best solution for your mission needs.

The 375th CONS is here to help people get the best return on investment with mission-enabling contract support. Active participation on the acquisition team with market intelligence and research will help them help individuals achieve that goal and “enable rapid global mobility.”