The only way to make money on IDIQ contracts

Changes abound in the Government contracting world. The way we have to go about acquiring a business is shifting as we speak. Several of our clients had procurements canceled mid-proposal in the last month. We all need to adapt to survive in a shrinking and morphing market. The ongoing financial crunch and long budget approval cycles in the Government are already causing more awards to move to IDIQs and schedules. This is because the government needs to procure faster in the little window of time that they have the budget approval date and the end of the fiscal year.

IDIQs are tricky, however. As you well know, when it comes to IDIQ vehicles, being the winner does not guarantee to get the prize. Winning an IDIQ competition is like making the playoffs: you still have to compete to win the trophy – task or delivery orders – in order to make actual money. Yet, many companies “collect” IDIQs that bring them very small or no reward at all. Every IDIQ has companies that got “zero” in awards. Others make so little, it is hardly worthwhile to have fought to get the vehicle in the first place. The top four most common reasons for this are:

  • A lack of proper set up prior to the vehicle award – failing to implement eight critical steps that would set up the company for success;
  • The reactive nature of responses to task order RFPs, where companies throw something over the proverbial wall to barely make the deadline;
  • Poor task order response processes and tools, and an absence of proper organizational mechanisms; and
  • Failure to leverage the IDIQ vehicle creatively.

At the same time, there are companies for whom jumping on an IDIQ vehicle is like riding an elevator of growth, winning upwards of 50% of all work. There is no reason you couldn’t become one of those companies. You just have to know the industry best practices in becoming the number one task order winner.

3 thoughts on “The only way to make money on IDIQ contracts

  1. Ron Pechacek says:

    I have been doing some online search for ways to improve IDIQ Task Order capture and just came across this class ‘Winning Multiple Award and Task Order Proposals course will take place on September 22-23, 2011 (Bethesda, MD)’ which I unfortunately missed. Is there any chance that something similar will be conducted in thenear future. Thanks.

    Ron Pechacek

  2. Florence,

    I’m very glad you’ve found this information useful. If you’d like to have our articles emailed to you, just contact us at to be added to our mailing list. We also offer free and paid training, webinars, tools, and other resources here: If you need proposal assistance, we’d love the opportunity to work with you. Helping clients win spots on IDIQ vehicles is one of our specialties, so please reach out if we can be of service.

    Kindest Regards,
    Laura Hill
    P: 301-384-3350

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