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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

SEWP V's double-edged sword?

With the total number of contract awards reaching 202, SEWP V is a significantly larger contract than SEWP IV.

But does bigger mean better?

There are pros and cons to the significantly larger pool of contractors competing under NASA’s $20 billion contract for IT products and related services.

Under SEWP IV, there were 37 large and small businesses vying for task orders. But the success of the contract made it more attractive to bidders. More companies wanted to be part of the contract because they saw the large volume of task orders that flowed through SEWP IV.

But the downside could be that with so many competitors in the pool, companies may try to steer customers to other vehicles with fewer competitors to increase their chances of retaining their incumbent work.

Another downside is that SEWP has been one of the most successful contracts in the government market, but now that it has become so large with so many primes, it has a bigger target on its back as far as the General Services Administration is concerned. GSA might be tempted to try to bring SEWP under its purview. GSA has taken similar actions in the past.

The plus side for the large number of contractors is that the bigger pool of competitors might make the contract more attractive to other government buyers who could be drawn to a larger vehicle. With more companies competing, the conventional wisdom is that users of the contract will get better products and better prices. This could bring new customers to SEWP and new opportunities for the primes on the contract.

I expect these two competing forces to balance out. SEWP has been too well run for too long for it not to continue to be an important vehicle in the market.

It will be interesting to see how many of these companies actually do business under SEWP. As we’ve seen with many of these large IDIQs there always seems to be a compelling number of companies who do little to no business.

But only time will tell.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Portions of this blog post were adapted from an earlier blog that is no longer on our site.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Apr 07, 2015 at 9:34 AM

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