back to blog

When to Use Which Type of Industry Exchanges

Read Time 6 mins | Written by: Lisa Akers

Are you curious how our new product, Facilitated Intelligent Needs Development (FIND), provides pain-free and intelligent guidance through the maze of acquisition planning?     

One way is that FIND includes short video tutorials such as Best Practices on Industry Exchanges that are important to performing smart market research.  These videos help you to decide which type of exchange to use based on your objectives. 


Type of Industry Exchange 

When to Use 

Industry Days/Pre-solicitation Conferences 

  • Broadcast important information to all interested parties simultaneously 
  • Communicate high level acquisition schedule 
  • Convey changes to scope, acquisition strategy, evaluation method, etc. from previous procurements  
  • Connect potential teaming partners 

Request for Information (RFI) 

  • If new or unique acquisition, seek insights into type of solutions and technological capabilities, geographic reach, costs for different solutions (more than which sources are capable and interested) 
  • Seek insights into potential commercial solutions and relevant price ranges, delivery timeframes and options 
  • Learn relevant marketplace business practices to help the government best articulate its need and determine the most appropriate acquisition approaches 
  • Provide potential suppliers with awareness that can be critically important for their planning efforts 

Sources Sought (specifically focused type of RFI) 

  • With a more maturely defined requirement, can be used to seek information from industry about the availability of capable and interested possible sources 
  • Improve small business access to acquisition information 
  • Enhance competition by identifying contracting and subcontracting opportunities  

Due Diligence 

  • Hold one-on-one conversations with industry, when appropriate, to gain information that may not be shared by industry in a more public setting 
  • Foster business partnerships while capturing industry feedback to improve acquisition planning and requirements definition 
  • Understand Industry’s perspective on what increases risk and/or cost 
  • Learn what would be show-stoppers that would prevent companies from proposing 

Challenges (also called prize competitions, crowdsourcing challenges, or prize challenges) 

  • Conduct prize competitions in order to stimulate innovation, solve tough problems, and advance your agencies’ core mission 
  • Encourages companies, organizations, and individuals to post their solutions so that government users that have needs become aware of solutions 



Check out our video that provides an overview of FIND.  Or better yet, request a demo at or contact me at (301) 392-1895 or   

Make it an enlightened day, 

Lisa Akers 


Would You Like to Know More?

Still have questions or would you like to learn more about our software?
Lisa Akers

Ms. Lisa Akers brings 25 years of proven Federal and Industry leadership experience, as well as extensive functional expertise in acquisition, program management, assisted acquisition shared services and business operations management. As Executive Vice President of Solutions at Seventh Sense Consulting (SSC), Ms. Akers is responsible for developing and delivering innovative solutions to meet client requirements and objectives. Prior to joining Seventh Sense Consulting, Ms. Akers served as President (2013- 2016) for ASI Government’s Products and Solutions Division where she was responsible for managing the Virtual Acquisition Office (VAO) used by 25,000 federal acquisition professionals and as President (2010 – 2013) for ASI’s Consulting Division that had a $35M portfolio focused on acquisition and program management support services to federal government agencies. Prior to joining ASI Government, Ms. Akers spent over 16 years in the General Services Administration, Federal Systems Integration and Management Center (GSA FEDSIM) where she was the FEDSIM Director for her last five years and Deputy Director for the previous four years. FEDSIM is an assisted acquisition organization specializing in large information technology and services acquisitions with $1.4B annual obligations on behalf of 100+ other federal agencies. Ms. Akers received the 2011 FED100 award for her work as Industry Lead for the ACT-IAC 25 Points to IT Acquisition Reform and the 2006 FED100 award for industry outreach and stakeholder management for the ALLIANT and ALLIANT SB GWACs. She received the Meritorious Service Award while at GSA. She holds a bachelor's degree in Microbiology from Pennsylvania State University, and a master's degree in Information Technology Systems from George Washington University.