Where can I find information on reverse industry days conducted in the DoD? Is there a POC I can talk to about logistics of setting one up? Agendas and publicizing them? How to find out about one that may be scheduled? Etc.?
We are not aware of any specific DoD guidance, policies, or POC that address “Reverse Industry Days”. However, It is widely recognized that DoD acquisition staff should have knowledge of the contractor perspective, challenges, and processes. Course such as ACQ 315, Understanding Industry, were developed to address this need. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) authorizes a broad range of opportunities for industry communication and agencies should take full advantage of these opportunities. Many agencies have conducted Reverse Industry Days including DHS, DISA, Office of Federal Procurement Policy, IRS, U.S. Digital Service, and others.
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A Reverse Industry Day, and others tools, can be valuable to impove communications and understanding so the Government can develop more effective Request for Proposals (RFPs) that lead to good outcomes. As a general rule of thumb, a Reverse Industry Day is not focused on a specific contracting action. Rather, It is intended to provide an opportunity for government employees to listen to senior industry speakers discuss industry’s view of broad topics such as market research, bid process, evaluation criteria, incentives, bid pricing, etc. It is essentially a training event for Government staff to learn about the companies that often do business with their agency and how these companies view Government actions, processes, and requirements. The event could be structured in different ways. For example, an agency could seek industry perspectives on effective use of new technology to address future mission requirements.
One typical mechanism to publicize the event is to publish a notice on FedBizOps (Federal Business Opportunities) https://www.fbo.gov/ . This could take the form of a Request for Information (RFI) that seeks company interest and/or white papers that address their proposed presentation. Based on responses to the RFI and subsequent evaluation, the Government could coordinate a virtual or in-person event. We suggest close coordination with your Contracting Officer as you plan for this event.