Steve Charles: price squeeze may be coming to vendors

Thursday - 7/1/2010, 7:40pm EDT

Steve Charles

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A possible price crunch coming to the Federal contracting world is raising eyebrows in the vendor community. "Providing value" is the phrase Shay Assad, director of defense procurement and acquisition policy at the Pentagon, used at an event hosted by the Coalition for Government Procurement yesterday.

"The message we are giving to our interagency partners is, 'Where do you provide the value?'" Assad told event attendees. "If you provide the value and expertise in certain areas and we can see it, we are going to come to you."

That sounds like a price squeeze, Steve Charles, Vice President of ImmixGroup told me today on Industry Chatter. "I think we're going to see a lot more competition requirement, and I think the government, in order to conduct those competitions, is going to try to compare apples to apples."

But that goal of competition is potentially at odds with other goals the administration has set, especially in IT buying. "On one hand Xxthe governmentXX says we want innovation, we want the latest and greatest. On the other hand, it says we want to be able to compete you for price. So we have that conundrum of trying to find best value when everybody has a different idea of what best value is."

Steve spent the one o'clock hour in the studio with me today. We talked about best-value contracting; competition in contracting, both before and after the RFP is released; and how to develop the acquisition workforce.