When positioning for a strategic opportunity, any advantage should be considered to improve the opportunity’s Probability of Win (Pwin). While not all companies can take advantage of all possible factors, there are specific actions that can significantly improve the odds. One of these is a robust capture and proposal development effort led and staffed by experienced professionals, not just convenient staff and technical subject matter experts (SMEs) with little or inconsistent exposure to engagements.
Industry knowledge of solicitation being pursued is important. Insight of terminology, technologies, and key players is essential to creating the compelling story required to ensure customer evaluators are certain of bidders’ capabilities to deliver. To offer our clients the right resources to create the compelling proposal, Shipley has collected management, writing, and SMEs across nearly all industries that support government contracting. Some of the more significant ones are:
- Aerospace and Hardware Development/Manufacturing
- Information Technology
- Social Services (Medicaid/Medicare, Housing, Child Services, etc.)
Industry experts on a proposal effort add more than just insider knowledge. They also can provide knowledge of common hot buttons—those unadvertised needs, desires, and risks—the client may have due to the industry, which can increase a proposal’s customer focus as a whole.
Government and Commercial Experience
Whether a new provider or long-time insider, it’s critical to understand your customer, their biases, buying habits, and procurement plans. While almost all contractors have some customer knowledge, bidders need to have the most objective perspective of the engagement buyer, user, and manager. By bringing in capture and proposal consultants that have worked with and pursued procurements of specific customers, bidders can gain significant advantage and improved Pwin. Shipley offers our clients access to broad and deep expertise and experienced business development (BD) practitioners. Shipley’s BD practitioners are able to assess opportunities, aid in crafting win strategies execute those strategies into winning proposals, and address the customer’s requirements and hot buttons.
Collectively, our experience includes national agencies like Defense, Homeland Security, Health, Space, and others. We also have consultants with deep state and local government experience, working engagements for Medicaid/Medicare, housing, workforce management, healthcare, and other agencies. Additionally, we offer consultants that have business to business experience and working subcontracting clients that are pursuing commercial opportunities.
Contract Types and Delivery Requirements
Today’s customers require contracting versatility from providers, often instituting hybrid and complex contracting. While traditional Firm Fixed Priced (FFP) and Cost Plus contracts are still predominant, Other Transaction Authority (OTA) and FEDSIM (expedited GSA acquisitions) contracts are becoming much more significant. Bidders should ensure proposal management and SMEs are familiar with all these procurement types, including their subtleties and pitfalls. Our consultants are adept at helping clients’ contracting teams navigate through the issues and details.
Additionally, SMEs can help with the more rigorous requirements such as Earned Value Management and Integrated Master Plans/Integrated Master Schedules. These management tools are required more often and increasingly adopted by other agencies as procurements become more transparent and complex.
As companies pursue new business, it’s becoming more important to get the best value for their bid investment. That means developing and using a clear business development process, where opportunity management, capture strategy, and proposal development elements are all focused on objective leadership and execution support throughout. Consultants and SMEs are not simply available to supplement your missing skills, but to help position you to win this bid, and the next.