“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.” – Muhammad Ali
A communication and business systems strategy within an organization can take a lot of time and effort to put together. It’s not uncommon for different departments and teams to operate within their own silos. Typically this would involve each department using unique software management systems, holding independent meetings, hiring their own talent, and formulating their own processes. Due to these factors, it can be a challenge to stay on the same page across the organization. But the fact is… businesses that run well on the back end, consistently service customers well on the front end. In this particular case, we’ll take a look at what the Business Development and Project/Program Management teams can do to stay on the same page. The focus will primarily be on two areas: 1.) Communication and Collaboration, 2.) Resources and Software Systems.
- Communication and Collaboration
- Business Development strategy must include a structured planning process that includes evaluating the company’s core capabilities, unique skills, past performance, key competitors, strategic goals, and how it’s positioned for a specific target market. This will include a significant amount of communication and collaboration with the Project Management team who has real world information from being on the front lines during project performance, and the analysis tools to aid in decision making.
- Capture Management Process: Here the teams will need to decide on which opportunities to pursue, analyze current and previous contract performance, identify where/when to include subcontractors (or perhaps be a subcontractor yourself), share information for bid & proposal development, and determine the best method of communication and process workflow. When all of the above have been thoroughly discussed and reviewed, the result will be a quality pipeline and forecast.
- Answer important questions such as: What will my indirect rates look like if I win the large proposal on which we are bidding? How many senior engineers will I need to reduce if we lose the large follow-on bid with DOE? What will the impact on our rates be if we decide to subcontract out the engineering services on DOT contract? If we open up a second office and move to two sets of rates, what impact will that have on existing contracts and future bids? If we overrun our upside budget by 15% on the Navy jobs, how will that affect revenue? If we win all jobs forecasted with 50% or higher probability, what will our hiring profile look like for next year?
- The cost structures of most government contractors include a general and administrative (G&A) expense pool which typically includes bid and proposal (B&P) costs. Keeping costs in line with strategic goals is a necessity.
- Example of a unique scenario: GSA multiple award contracts carry unique compliance risks that must be handled very carefully when preparing, negotiating, and submitting proposals for GSA contracts. Two of the most significant risks are disclosures in the initial proposal, and adherence to the requirements in the Price Reductions Clause.
- Resources and Software Systems
- There are several resources and associations available to government contractors to help aid growth, knowledge, and advancement:
- Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC Website)
- Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA Website)
- National Contract Management Association (NCMA Website)
- Small Business Administration – Office of Government Contracting (SBA Website)
- 8(a) Business Development (8(a) BD Mentor-Protégé Program (Link to Website)
- National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA Website)
- Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR Website)
- There are a number of different software applications BD and PM teams use to automate processes, increase efficiency, encourage collaboration and information sharing, and measure performance.
- Opportunity Identification and Analysis:
- Business Development Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools:
- Project Management teams use tools such as:
- Primavera – In Depth Project Planning, Management, Operations, Performance (Link)
- SharePoint – Document Sharing, Collaboration (Link)
- JAMIS Prime BPS – Forecasting, Planning, Proposal Development (Link)
- ServiceNow – Project Management, Resource Planning (Link)
- MS Project – Planning, Scheduling (Link)
- Excel – Industry Standard Spreadsheets
Often, the challenge with using multiple software systems is aligning department specific data and processes with the overall goals of the company. With an integrated ERP application like JAMIS Prime ERP, organizations can manage the full government contract lifecycle within one unified source of truth. And JAMIS Prime ERP APIs allow for integration with many of the external applications above to sync up real-time information stored within each department’s best-of-breed software systems. For more information, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or alternatively, you can get sneak peak at the application in our next monthly webinar by registering here.