Goverment Contracting: IT Tips

Nov. 1, 2013
Four considerations for security dealers/integrators

Government entities have a tremendous appetite for IT and the budget to back it up. Before jumping into a government contract, here are four things to consider.

1. Government contracts have an extended DSO cycle: On average, DSO on Government A/R is more than 45 days; but there are several ways to hedge against this, such as securing extended terms from suppliers and making payments for work in phases. Before bidding on any project, do the math to ensure a large government opportunity does not turn into financial hardship.

2. Government entities are cost-conscious: Today’s government entities are focused on doing more with less. Federal and state government procurement staff have tight controls and high visibility of cost of goods, but may not recognize added-value. Resellers need to keep bids competitive yet simple, carefully outlining any extra value and ensuring the entire scope of work is covered, monetizing elements when possible. Always be respectful of government customers — they are spending taxpayer dollars and the contractor’s acknowledgement of this is very important.

3. Have a clearly defined statement of work: The rules of engagement must be crystal clear and both parties should measure progress and success in the same way. Resellers should take time to ask detailed questions, which shows they are trying to avoid mistakes while helping the agency or department accomplish their mission. It’s also important to acknowledge when customer expectations supersede requirements outlined in the statement of work.

4. Stay focused on the outcome: Every project should have clearly defined goals; and it is the contractor’s job to help the agency or department achieve them. Develop firm checkpoints to keep the project on track. When something goes wrong, communicate the problem quickly and professionally, documenting the details and clearly defining an action plan to overcome the obstacle.

A 22-year channel veteran, Eddie Franklin leads SYNNEX Corp.’s public sector initiatives through GOVSolv and PROHEALTHSolv. SYNNEX is a distributor of IT products and services, servicing resellers and original equipment manufacturers around the world. Request more info about the company at