Acquisition vs. Procurement: How and Where Your Value Proposition Matters Most

Looking for a way to promote a value solution? Knowing the difference between “acquisition” and “procurement” may help. While the terms are used interchangeably by many in industry, anyone who’s ever talked with government professionals knows that the terms are not synonymous to them. “Procurement” is used in a narrow sense to define the technical process of actually getting a needed service or product, while “acquisition” has a much broader, strategic meaning.

Companies seeking to set their expertise and experience apart from potential competitors should focus on this latter category of government officials. Acquisition planning should, and for larger actions does, take place before a procurement action coalesces. It is in this stage that contractors, often working with end users who have a good sense of what they want for their mission, can have the maximum impact on ensuring that some sense of value gets built into the project they want to win. While such an approach will not, in this market, absolve a contractor from the need to be cost competitive, it is far better to work in the acquisition planning process to get the concept of value embedded than wait till the procurement is underway

This article was written by Larry Allen, President of Allen Federal Business Partners