A DS job planned the Air Force way

January 7, 2009 by Dave Haynes

I love dealing with military guys because they are by nature, and training, pretty disciplined and thorough. Some former military guy has probably spit his coffee all over his keyboard after reading that, but I think it’s a fair assessment.

Anyway, I mention this because a Google Alert popped up a little procurement item for the US Air Force for a teeny job at a base in New Mexico. It’s not the sort of thing my guys do, but for a regional AV integrator, it could be a good little gig. I mention all this because of the detail provided for what is, in effect, one PC and five screens.

This is a combined synopsis/solicitation for commercial items prepared in accordance with the format in FAR Subpart 12.6, as supplemented with additional information included in this notice. This announcement constitutes the only solicitation; proposals are being requested and a written solicitation will not be issued. This requirement is set-aside for small business only. The NAICS Code for this synopsis/solicitation is 334310-Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing, Size Standard 750 employees. Solicitation/Purchase Request number F2KBAA8261A002 is issued as a Request for Quote (RFQ). This document incorporates provisions and clauses that are in effect through Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-26, effective 12 June 2008. The Government intends to award one contract line item number (CLIN 0001) for one (1) each Digital Signage System in accordance with the following specifications: 

This is followed by detailed specs, an FAQ and a facility layout, as well as primary and secondary contacts.

It’s just plain glorious for people who sell technology or services into this space and who, every week, start working with people who may have the venues in place and the financing ready for medium to large networks, but only the fuzziest notion of what they actually need. They know they plan to put screens in ____ but then start asking for advice on what to use, where the screens should go, and so on.

While I don’t advise people who are planning networks need to get their jobs teed up as if they were buying a few thousand helicopters or helmets, the sort of detail this thing provides would be wonderful to see more often and might serve as a good template of what to cover off.

It may seem like more work for the network operator, but answering almost all the questions right away will typically save a bunch of nuisance time dealing with vendors who have questions, and them more questions. And this sort of thing will weed out a lot of companies who will look the docs over and decide that’s not what they do, or what they want to do.

The other fascinating bit in this is that all the vendors who are chasing the job are listed, in considerable detail.

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