3 Tips for Speeding Up Single Award IDIQs

A First-Person Approach from Lorna Tedder

3 tips to faster IDIQs

Take advantage of similarities in IDIQ orders to reduce lead time for each order.

Single Award Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts and the orders under them can be awarded faster using these three best practices:


Get as much as possible pre-priced. 

If it’s something you’re not going to buy a lot of or it will take too long to get backup for, you can put on contract only the most likely supplies/services and add the others later, making sure they’re in-scope at the beginning.  This works fine when you’re in a time crunch to get on contract and the lesser needed supplies/services aren’t going to be ordered immediately.

Quantity Discounts

Consider adding a special provision for quantity discounts.  

I used to do this as a rebate – “Order 500 units in this time frame and get 3 more free!”  This kept us within our J&A requirements because we weren’t buying additional units, but we also had no idea if fall-out funds would show up to buy all projected units within that time period.  We just did a reconciliation mod at the end of the year or whenever made sense for that particular contract.

Blanket Documentation

Get an agreement (in writing) from the contractor that you can award unilaterally if awarded within certain parameters, like no change in T&Cs, certain format to delivery order, etc. 

This might seem like a small thing but getting contractor signature can add enough days that funding disappears, whether it expires or is snatched away and given to another project that can obligate funds in time.

Example: I used this best practice for a demanding customer when expiring funds would arrive the last week of September and I could turn the order in a max of 36 hours, depending on what time of day funds arrived and other workload.  This meant that while most Contracting shops couldn’t turn that quickly, I had a really flexible vehicle that could.  The Contractor knew via phone call or email that this order was coming, so no surprises, but it saved a lot of time and I could take funds right up to COB 28 September and still obligate funds. This best practice also worked for urgently needed awards.


This practice of getting advance agreements also works for any other file documentation that can be agreed to in advance, such as any determinations from legal counsel, small business liaison offices, or the contractor. Be sure to get the agreements in writing and place either one copy in the basic IDIQ file to rule all orders or in each order’s file. The latter may be better since any reviewer may not have access to the basic file and wish to see complete documentation with each order rather than looking at the basic file that governs the rest.


Actions You Can Take
  • Review the services or items to be ordered to see which are most likely to be needed early in the IDIQ and which are most likely to be ordered most often. If your timeline does not allow everything to be pre-priced in a timely manner, price the most needed and soonest needed services or items first.

  • Examine the benefits of using rebates if funding receipt is too nebulous to get a better price up front.

  • Review the file documentation to see what approvals and coordinations can be agreed to up front and identical for all or most of the orders.

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