How risk averse are you when advising mission partners on techniques for market research?
From my perspective, when we help our mission partners understand the best way to accomplish market research, it is important we help them understand applicable ethics and procurement laws/rules, but we also don’t want to make them fear interaction with industry of any kind.
If we don’t encourage our mission partners to get out and engage with industry, we can’t complain when all we get back is a series of Google searches. If they are inexperienced, we may need to lead them through the process the first time.
Here are two resources that may help guide market research efforts:
Engaging with Industry Policy from Deputy SecDef Shanahan: Includes attachment “DoD Myth-Busters - Communications with Industry”
MARKET RESEARCH REPORT GUIDE FOR IMPROVING THE TRADECRAFT IN SERVICES ACQUISITION: Provides a list of market research techniques on page 3, including:
- Engage knowledgeable people (government and industry) in specific markets.
- Identify and engage known sources of services.
- Employ and review market surveys to obtain information from potential sources
- Conduct vendor and customer site visits to assess capabilities, practices, and collect lessons learned
- Attend trade shows, conferences, and symposia.
- Hold interchange meetings, industry days, or pre-solicitation conferences to involve potential offerors early in, and throughout, the acquisition process.
If we are going to find the latest technologies and commercial best practices, we can’t let fear of protest limit us to Google for our market research.
Plus, I think talking with industry to better understand a market can be some of the best experiences we get as contracting professionals.
Thoughts? Any other techniques or guides I haven’t listed?