GWAC Buyers' Guide | Intro

If you are a federal program manager, you are likely to be running the equivalent of a small company, at the very least. As chief plate-spinner, you are responsible for product development, administration and finance. In the current climate, you may be asked to deliver more with less or your program may be self-funding.

Under these conditions, finding the best-value sources of parts and services can make a big difference to your organization’s performance. Consequently, a number of new contracts are constantly emerging or are being tweaked to follow the shifting federal market.

A key source is governmentwide acquisition contracts (GWACs), which, as our lead story in this special supplement reveals, are being fine-tuned for federal buyers with special needs. Some are intended for buyers’ building homeland security systems, while others deliver a wider range of products. Some promise a faster purchasing cycle, and still others offer more options for fee structures or focus on high-end systems.

Like the average business consumer, today’s government buyer is facing more and more choices. In this guide, we aim to provide you with some help in sorting through the expanding thicket of contract choices.

By identifying trends in the marketplace, we provide the background for making more knowledgeable choices. Do you want to know the difference between a multiple agency contract (MAC) and a GWAC, and why one tends to be more expensive than the other? The answer is simple, and it may help you justify one contract vehicle over another.

We also supply charts and tables that are designed from your perspective as a buyer. When purchasing information technology, the first step is to identify the type of product needed, regardless of the store where it is sold. Therefore, we sorted vendors and contracts by the category of product sold. Contractors that did not supply data are not included in the chart, but their contact information is available in the back of the report.

Our ultimate goal is to provide more views into the data, complete with estimated turnaround times and simple fee structures.

In addition to information on contract sources, the guide also provides buying tips to make shopping more effective and contact information for specific companies, contracts and special interest groups. Not every contract that appears in this chart is a true GWAC. Rather than limit the guide to those few contracts, many programs that may be of interest to a wide audience are included.

The GWAC Buyers’ Guide is designed to aid in efforts to deliver results in this pressurized climate. Please contact John Monroe at jsmonroe@fcw.com if you have ideas for improving this series. Your suggestions are valuable in our efforts to make this guide as useful as possible.

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