This is the fourth post in a series about the fiscal year end federal buying season. As quick recap, the federal government executes the majority of its procurements within the final quarter of its fiscal year – July through September. Some agencies do just about half of their procurement postings and contract awards during this period.
In my last post I covered Air Force, which is the defense agency with the most pronounced Q4 preference. Here I want to look at the other big defense agencies – Army and Navy – to determine which one conducts more of its procurement activity during the final quarter of the year.
Let’s start with Navy.
The Navy does about 35% of its solicitation postings between July and September, and about 37% of proposals are due during that period. Unlike some of the other agencies we’ve looked at, Navy has much more linear growth on these two metrics throughout the fiscal year rather than an end-of-year deluge. However, they still award the vast majority of their contracts at the end of the year – 42% in Q4 and 25% in September alone.
There are a few reasons for this. First, just like Air Force, Navy definitely awards many of the end of year (lower value, but high quantity) IT equipment and furniture buys, office renovation contracts, and other purchases to use up budgeted funds. However, this trend also indicates that Navy has a higher volume of procurements with longer cycles. That is, the period from solicitation to award is longer on average for Navy than for the other major defense agencies.
For comparison, let’s look at Army.
Though Army and Navy have about the same total number of procurement postings every year (between 13,000 and 14,000), Army gets to that total through a larger end-of-fiscal surge of activity. They do about 40% of solicitation postings between July and September, and about 44% of proposals are due during those three months. And while Army’s total contract award volume is lower than that of Navy (about 90,000 on average vs. Navy’s 100,000-plus awards), they similarly do 42% of them in Q4 – 25% in September.
So bottom line, both Army and Navy have a surge in contract awards at year end, and in September in particular. Navy tends to initiate procurements earlier on average but holds many of those contract awards until Q4. Army initiates and completes a higher percentage of its procurements during the final quarter.
So if your company pursues Navy contracts, you may be in the midst of a procurement process that began months ago but that is highly likely to be completed in September. We recommend you Track your active procurements on GovTribe to make sure you don’t miss any last minute amendments, due date changes, or award notices.
If you do Army work, you can look forward to an August surge in new postings, so get ready. Track the agency here on GovTribe to get a daily digest of new postings and awards. You can also set up Alerts filtered to Department of the Army from the Project Explorer and start adding opportunities to your Pipeline. Take a look at our video tutorials on Alerts and Pipeline to get started.