You may review the following video or read the Step by Step Instructions.  After watching this video, you will be able to successfully add Business Factors in Symphony for the ASTRO solicitationThe required URL for ASTRO offerors is: https://astro.app.cloud.gov/.


Click here to watch on YouTube.


Review this article to successfully complete Business Factors for your proposal submission in Symphony. 


Business Factors 

Summary

Business Factors are not necessarily minimum or mandatory requirements. These factors are considered more favorably. Below you will find a list of the possible business factors relevant to this solicitation. Not all your data is verified through Beta.SAM or another organization. To claim a Business Factor answer additional questions, provide expiration details if applicable, and provide supporting documentation. The steps are:

  1. Select the Business Factor you wish to claim
  2. Answer the Questions (as applicable)
  3. Upload your supporting documentation (as applicable)
  4. Certify your claim
  5. Save and Claim

Symphony will provide a space to upload all documents that are needed to support your claims. This may include any, all or none of the documents specifically listed in Symphony. You can upload more documents at any time and having these files included allows you to reference documents directly in Symphony as needed. 


Tip! All proposal documents should be in Adobe (.pdf) format.


Use descriptive file names that explain what information is contained in the documents. They will be used as a reference to support your claims. Confirm your uploads in the table below the File DropBox in alphabetical order. 


If you need to remove a business factor, go to your assets in My Company to "unclaim" the business factor. Delete the documentation from your profile in the table below the File DropBox if needed. This will only "unclaim" the business factor from unsubmitted proposals. Submitted proposals will still include the information. Please see How to Build a Proposal for more information.


Please note MRCL's do not have the ability to claim business factors. They are considered part of the Prime. A team member includes a Joint Venture and/or a Contractor Team Agreement (JV/CTA).


Business Factors will display circles next to the items on the Overview screens. Below is the definition of the shading of those circles.


Full Shading - The Organization submitting the proposal is claiming the factor.

Half Shading - One of the Organizations team members is claiming the factor. 

No Shading - The factor has not been claimed. 


Note that the half-shading will only be seen in a submission on the Proposal Overview screen if an added Team Member claims a business factor that the Prime organization does not claim.


Step 1: Systems

The following is a list of Systems that you can claim.


1. Approved Purchasing System

An approved purchasing system provides for efficiency and effectiveness with which you spend Government funds and comply with Government policy when subcontracting. Provide supporting documents and certify your claims.


2. Current FRPA, FPRR, and/or Approved Billing Rates

Provide current verification from the DCAA, or DCMA, or any CFA that have been audited and determined acceptable for generating estimates of costs and other data included in your proposals submitted to customers. Provide supporting documents and certify your claims.

  • FPRA is an agreement between a contractor and a Government agency in which certain indirect rates are established for a specified period.
  • FPRR means rates set unilaterally by the DCMA ACO or other CFA for use by the Government in negotiations or other contract actions when FPRA negotiations have not been completed or when the contractor will not agree to an FPRA.
  • PBRs are indirect cost rates established temporarily for interim reimbursement of incurred indirect costs and adjusted, as necessary, pending the establishment of final indirect cost rates.


3. Earned Value Management System

EVMS means a project management tool that effectively integrates the project scope of work with cost, schedule, and performance elements for optimum project planning and control. Provide supporting documents and certify your claims.


4. Property Management System

An approved property management system provides for internal controls to manage, control, use, preserve, protect, repair, and maintain Government property in its possession. Provide supporting documents and certify your claims.


5.  Material Management and Accounting System

An MMAS provides for planning, controlling, and accounting for the acquisition, use, issuing, and disposition of material. An MMAS may be manual or automated; it may be a stand-alone system or integrated with planning, engineering, estimating, purchasing, inventory, accounting, or other systems. MMAS does not apply to task orders for the acquisition of commercial items. Provide supporting documents and certify your claims.


6. Cost Estimating System

Provide verification from the DCAA, or DCMA, or CFA of an estimating system that has been audited and determined acceptable for budgeting and planning controls, and generating estimates of costs and other data included in proposals submitted to customers in the expectation of receiving contract awards. Provide supporting documents and certify your claims. An approved cost estimating system is:

  • Maintained, reliable, and consistently applied.
  • Verifiable, supportable, documented, and timely in providing cost estimates that are an acceptable basis for negotiation of fair and reasonable prices.
  • Consistent with and integrated with the contractor’s related management systems.
  • Subject to applicable financial control systems


Step 2: Industry Certifications

The following is a list of certifications that you can add to your business factors.


1. CMMI Maturity 

Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) is a process level improvement training and appraisal program. CMMI defines the following maturity levels for processes: Initial, Managed, Defined, Quantitatively Managed, and Optimizing. Certification can be for any model (Development, Acquisition, or Services). Verification requirements include a copy of your official certification from a CMMI Instituted Certified Lead Appraiser. If only part of your organization is CMMI certified, make the distinction between which business units or sites and geographic locations have been certified. Levels accepted are 3, 4, and 5. Provide the expiration date, supporting documents, and certify your claims.


2. Quality Management: ISO-9001:2015 Certification

ISO 9001:2015 specifies requirements for a quality management system when an organization:

  • needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, and
  • aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

Verification requirements include a copy of your official certification from an approved ISO 9001:2015 certification body. If only part of your organization is ISO 9001:2015 certified, make the distinction between which business units or sites and geographic locations have been certified. Provide supporting documents and certify your claims.


3. Information Security: ISO 27001:2013 Certification

ISO/IEC 27001:2013 specifies the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving an information security management system within the context of your organization. ISO 27001 is the international standard recognized globally for managing risks to the security of information you hold. Certification to ISO 27001 allows you to prove to your clients and other stakeholders that you are managing the security of your information. ISO 27001:2013 provides a set of standardized requirements for an Information Security Management System (ISMS). The standard adopts a process-based approach for establishing, implementing, operating, monitoring, maintaining, and improving your ISMS. Verification requirements include a copy of your official certification from an approved ISO 27001:2013 certification body. If only part of your organization is ISO 27001:2013 certified, make the distinction between which business units or sites and geographic locations have been certified. Provide supporting documents and certify your claims.


4. Business Continuity: ISO 22301 Certification

ISO 22301 specifies requirements to implement, maintain, and improve a management system to protect against, reduce the likelihood of the occurrence of, prepare for, respond to, and recover from disruptions when they arise. In summary, it specifies security and resiliency requirements for disaster recovery preparedness and business continuity management systems (BCMS). Verification requirements include a copy of your official certification from an approved ISO 22301 certification body. If only part of your organization is ISO 22301 certified, make the distinction between which business units or sites and geographic locations have been certified. Provide supporting documents and certify your claims.


5. EVM: ISO 21508 Certification

ISO 21508:2018 guides practices of earned value management in project and program management. Verification requirements include a copy of your official certification from an approved ISO 21508 Certification body. If only part of your organization is ISO 21508 certified make the distinction between which business units or sites and geographic locations have been certified. Provide supporting documents and certify your claims.


6. Environmental: ISO 14001:2015 Certification

ISO 14001:2015 specifies the requirements for an environmental management system that your organization can use to enhance its environmental performance. ISO 14001:2015 helps your organization achieve the intended outcomes of its environmental management system, which provides value for the environment, the organization itself, and interested parties. Consistent with your organization's environmental policy, the intended outcomes of an environmental management system include:

  • enhancement of environmental performance;
  • fulfillment of compliance obligations;
  • achievement of environmental objectives.


ISO 14001:2015 is intended for use by an organization seeking to manage its environmental responsibilities in a systematic manner that contributes to the environmental pillar of sustainability. Verification requirements include a copy of your official certification from an approved ISO 14001:2015 certification body. If only part of your organization is ISO 14001 certified, make the distinction between which business units or sites and geographic locations have been certified. Provide supporting documents and certify your claims.


7. Supply Chain: ISO 28001:2207 Certification

ISO 28001:2007 specifies the requirements and guidance for organizations in international supply chains to develop and implement supply chain security processes; establish and document a minimum level of security within a supply chain(s) or segment of a supply chain, and assist in meeting the applicable authorized economic operator (AEO) criteria outlined in the World Customs Organization Framework of Standards and conforming national supply chain security programs. 


Users of ISO 28001:2007 will define the portion of an international supply chain within which they have established security; conduct security assessments on that portion of the supply chain and develop adequate countermeasures; develop and implement a supply chain security plan; and train security personnel in their security-related duties.


8. CREST Accreditation

CREST provides internationally recognized accreditation for organizations and individuals providing penetration testing, cyber incident response, and threat intelligence services. All CREST Member Companies undergo regular and stringent assessment; while CREST qualified individuals have to pass rigorous examinations to demonstrate knowledge, skill, and competence. Provide supporting documents and certify your claims.


9. DoD Commercial Airlift Review Board Approval

Verification requirements include a copy of the approval letter from the CARB. You should be in current good standing with the CARB. Submissions will be validated with the CARB. Provide supporting documents and certify your claims.


10. AS9100D Certification

AS9100 is the most recent standard for organizations that design, develop or provide aviation, space, and defense products and services, including parts, components, and assemblies. The standard prepared by the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) is a widely adopted and standardized quality management system for the aerospace industry. Major aerospace manufacturers and suppliers worldwide require compliance and/or registration to AS9100 as a condition of doing business with them. Provide supporting documents and certify your claims.


11. AS9110C Certification

AS9110 is the standard for repair stations and is based on AS9100 but adds specific requirements that are critical for the maintenance of commercial, private, and military aircrafts. This standard is intended for use by organizations whose primary business is providing maintenance or continuing airworthiness management services for civil or military aviation articles and products and by original equipment manufacturers with maintenance, repair, and overhaul operations that are operated autonomously, or that are substantially different from their production operations. Provide supporting documents and certify your claims.


Step 3: Clearances


This can be Secret or Top Secret Facility Clearance or the operation of Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility Clearance (SCIF). Verification will be done by contacting the Defense Security Service (DSS). You must certify your claims.


Step 4: Human Resources


This may include the following information and more.


1. Employee Development Program

Provide verification of having a formal employee development program in place for longer than one year. Verification requirements include corporate documentation of the program and/or other evidence that verifies the existence of the program. You must certify your claims.


2. Veteran Hiring Program

Verification requirements include a copy of your most recent VETS 4212 report indicating the total number of Protected Veterans (Column A) is in excess of 5.9 percent of Total Employees (Column B). You must certify your claims.


3. Professional Employee Compensation Plan

Submit a Professional Employee Compensation Plan that addresses your methodology for determining salaries and fringe benefits for your professional employees in the preparation of future task order requirements. Provide supporting documents and certify your claims.


4. Uncompensated Overtime Policy

Submit your policy for addressing uncompensated overtime consistent with cost accounting practices used to accumulate and report uncompensated overtime hours in preparation for future task order requirements. Provide supporting documents and certify your claims.


Step 5: Financial Documents


Symphony provides you with the ability to complete form requirements inside the system. Select the applicable Business Factor from the list and follow the instructions as needed to supply all the requested information.


1. SF-1408: Pre-Award Survey of Prospective Contractor. Complete the form, provide explanations, and supporting documents as required. You will answer up to 21 questions and the electronic form should be signed by the individual responsible for the design of the offeror’s accounting system.


2. GSA Form 527: Contractor's Qualifications and Financial Information. Provide supporting documents and certify your claims.


Step 6: Subcontracting


1. Symphony provides you with the ability to prove whether you meet or exceed Corporate Small Business Goals. 

  • Subcontracting Plans

Submit Individual Subcontract Reports (ISR) for each individual subcontracting plan and a Summary Subcontract Report (SSR) for all subcontract activity with GSA using the web-based electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS) at http://www.esrs.gov. The eSRS will serve as the sole secure and confidential information management tool to manage and evaluate subcontracting goal performance for the duration of the master contract. Provide supporting documents and certify your claims.

  • Corporate Small Business Goals Report 

Provide the submission of the most current SSR. The SSR report should be current and should have been approved in the eSRS by the cognizant CO to be considered. Provide supporting documents and certify your claims.


For each project involving an SF 295 in place of the SSR report, the SF 295 report should be current and should have been approved by the cognizant CO to be considered. You should submit a copy of the SF 295 report with your proposal.


Small business Offerors shall automatically be credited for this scoring element. Provide supporting documents and certify your claims.


2. Small Business Percentage Goals 

Provide an individual subcontracting plan that exceeds the minimum requirements for the total percentage of dollars subcontracted to small businesses. According to the solicitation, you will receive additional points based on how much your Small Business subcontracting goals exceed the minimum of 23%. Maximum scoring for this element occurs at 50%. Provide an expiration date, supporting documents, and certify your claims.


Step 7: Other Documents

Supply Chain Risk Management

If applicable, supply the documented strategies, and every six months, re-certify that you are in compliance with FAR clause 52.204-25, Prohibition on Contracting for Certain Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment. You must certify your claims.


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