How and where newcomers are entering the market

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Calendar year 2022’s first quarter saw 578 companies win their first federal prime contracts, according to our analysis of the market powered by GovTribe’s New Entrant Report.

This is our second quarterly Market Disruptor report we generated by using that GovTribe tool. You can use that same tool to identify companies that win their first prime contracts. The tool can tap into any NAICS code or product and service code.

For the Market Disruptor report, we applied the same product and service codes that feed into our our annual Top 100 rankings. That is how we identify the winners prime contracts that involve IT, systems integration, telecommunications, professional services and other high-end technology work.

We are looking for companies that have the potential to be market disruptors. These are companies bringing new solutions and services to federal customers that are potential partners, competitors, and candidates to eventually be acquired.

Our first report looked at the final quarter of 2021 and there were 497 new entrants, so we saw a significant jump at the start of this year.

The 578 new entrants we identified won a total of $421 million in prime contract obligations to average around $725,000 for each award — very close to the $718,000 average we saw in the last quarter of 2021.

Compu-Link Corp. won the first quarter’s largest award in a five-year contract worth $169 million with the Housing and Urban Development Department to process mortgage transactions. HUD awarded that as a fixed-price, full-and-open contract.

The smallest first contracts went to four individuals, who won language service awards worth $100 for several hours of work to support the Education Department. Those individual jobs have been completed.

But in between those two extremes are a plethora of companies providing a wide range of services.

Some companies on the list are technically newcomers. LGS Innovations won a $70 million contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for R&D services. LGS was acquired by CACI International and has a long history in the federal market.

But the fact that LGS popped up on our list indicates that as a part of CACI, that team is winning work in new areas.

In aggregating the results of our analysis, we spot several trends that match up nicely with what we found in the first Market Disruptors report.

Of the 578 new entrants in the first quarter, 189 won contracts without competition for a share of 32.7 percent. That is slightly higher than the 29.2 percent in the last quarter of 2021 that were awarded without competition. The vast majority contract awards in our report were competed, a healthy sign for the market.

Contract type also is another area of interest, with purchase orders continuing to be the procurement tool of choice.

Of the 578 contract awards, 389 were made using a purchase order. In our last report, we found 355 purchase orders out of the 491 awards were tracked.

For companies trying to crack the market, the purchase order is the dominant procurement tool because they are quick and easy. These are relatively small contract actions, but they are the perfect mechanism for gaining reentry into a new customer.

One of the biggest changes we saw in from the last quarter of 2021 to 2022 is the range of agencies making awards to newcomers.

In the last quarter of 2021, the Air Force used 134 new companies, far outdistancing No. 2, the Army, which only had 23 transactions with new companies.

But in the first quarter of 2022, we saw a much wider range of agencies making use of newcomers:

  • Interior Department — 95 transactions with new entrants
  • Army — 47
  • Education — 45
  • Health and Human Services — 44
  • Justice — 44
  • U.S. Agency for International Development — 42
  • NASA — 27
  • Navy — 28
  • Air Force — 24

Popping up on our radar with six transactions was the U.S. aid agency Millennium Challenge Corporation.

That agency partners closely with countries and evaluates them on 20 independent policy indicators. Millennium’s investments focus on job creation and expanding markets, growth through infrastructure, policy and institutional reform, and empowering girls and women.

Millennium was founded 2004. The smallest of the six awards was worth $335,000 and the largest was $1 million, data points that show hidden pockets of opportunity in the market.

We also analyzed the kind of goods and services agencies are buying from these newcomers by looking at the families of PSC codes. Not surprisingly the group of codes around professional services had the most with 152 transactions.

IT and telecommunications-related codes also were high on the list with 79. Other groups of codes included research and development (57), special studies and analysis (53), and training (47).

While the Market Disruptor report looks at slice of the market – just newcomers – it still reflects the breadth of services agencies are buying as indicated by the range of codes we see being used.

One value we draw from the report are the newcomers.

Explore the entire list here and dig into GovTribe to learn more about these companies and perhaps discover a new partner with a valuable solution, or perhaps a competitor on the horizon.