Indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts have been used by the United States Armed Forces as a standard form of construction procurement for nearly a half century. IDIQ contracts deliver both flexibility and cost by allowing owners to complete an unlimited number of construction projects under a single, longstanding contract rather than needing to take each individual project to bid. There are several types of IDIQ contracts, but one particularly effective method is Job Order Contracting (JOC), also referred to as a SATOC (Single Award Task Order Contract).
Originally created by the Army Corps of Engineers, JOC is now utilized by all levels of government. JOC’s popularity and success is due to its process design, which emphasizes collaboration, continuous improvement and LEAN principles. Every JOC program is based on a Unit Price Book, which provides preset prices to any tasks needed to complete projects detailed in the Scope of Work. Owners can order any job or task listed in the Unit Price Book from the awarded contractor without having to take an individual project through a bid process, since tasks are priced in advance.
Ken Davis helped implement the JOC program at Fort Stewart during his 38 years of service to the U.S. Army. Davis emphasized time saving as one of the advantages of Job Order Contracting
“We were bidding on everything one at a time with individual, standalone contracts. We had to come up with specifications for every single contract or task order. JOC allowed us to begin projects in about half the time it took to do a standalone contract.”
Davis also served on the Job Order Contracting Steering Committee to set the original Army-wide standards and best practices for JOC programming, which addressed the unique challenges of military construction procurement. Those standards have continued to evolve under the leadership of industry experts and DoD practitioners, supported by emerging data and technology capabilities. Effective Army JOC programs should ensure that data in the Unit Price Book aligns with the program’s Scope of Work, utilize technology to track projects and partner with industry experts to train staff and contractors.
Gordian, a provider of construction cost analytics, estimating information, pricing data and procurement solutions, has partnered with the military extensively over its 30-year history. In Gordian’s Job Order Contracting Advanced solution, Gordian works alongside in-house staff to develop a JOC program, draft standard documents, develop execution procedures and help recruit potential contractors to bid on JOC contracts. Once the contract is awarded, Gordian will train government staff and the awarded contractor(s) on JOC best practices.
Gordian’s JOC program is housed on a cloud-based software system that meets federal requirements. Davis said that transitioning projects to Gordian’s cloud-based software was easy and time effective.
“When we transitioned from the standalone server in our office to the cloud-based system, the program really took off,” Davis said. “We could pull work we had already finished to a new project and 90 percent of our line items were already there. We went from working up projects in two or three weeks to a matter of days.”
In addition to time savings and ease of use, JOC can yield cost savings as well. U.S. Army Garrison Fort Riley used Gordian’s Job Order Contracting to reroute storm sewers around a historic post cemetery. The original estimate for the project was $5 million and would include taking the project out to bid. Using their JOC program, the total project cost was less than $700,000, providing Fort Riley with the exact results they needed at a $4 million savings.
Neil Tuck, who has served federal JOC programs for over 20 years with Gordian, reflected on his experience working with Fort Riley and other military contracts.
“Gordian is honored to serve the War Fighter at Army and Air Force bases through our JOC programs that enable nimble mission support,” Tuck said. “We are seeing some of the largest and most respected JOC programs in the DOD, including Redstone Arsenal and Ft. Riley, embrace enhanced JOC execution to provide more accurate pricing, processes, expertise and people resources around program implementation.”
Job Order Contracting has proven to be an asset to the U.S. Army with best practices, standardization, and a higher level of support in the procurement process. JOC programs will continue to evolve to further the Army’s vision of modernizing brigades to support the war fighter.