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How to Find the Right Contracts & the Right People to Fill Them: Part One - Assessing the Playing Field
How to Findthe Right Contracts & the Right People to Fill ThemPart One: Assess the Playing Field As Presented by Ginger Groeber President, Exfederal.com For Next Generation Contractors Meetup
Assess the Playing Field Developing a winning contract proposaltakes a lot of time and resources. A winning strategy starts with an assessment of your chances of winning.We recommend that you begin by assessing the playing the ﬁeld in 6 key areas.
Assess the Playing Field• Determine Customer Intimacy• Review Customer History with Other Contractors• Study Customer Mission and Values• Evaluate Competitors• Keep Attuned to the Political Climate• Look at Contract History if Recompete
Assess the Playing FieldDetermine Customer IntimacyLook at how you might have a relationship with the customer.You need to provide a convincing argument that you understandthe Agency, its mission, direction and challenges.• Do you already have contracts in that Agency?• Do you have members on the team who have worked in that Agency and still have good relationships with the Agency?
Assess the Playing FieldReview Customer History with OtherContractorsAssess how other contractors are performing in the sameorganization and Agency.• Learn if there are existing relationships (their go-to people) between contractors and a government agency.• Agencies appear to be comfortable with contractors they know who have performed well for them.• That comfort zone gives contractors who already have contracts in an Agency a positive edge, while new contractors can benefit knowing what their desired Government customers like in a contractor.
Assess the Playing FieldStudy Customer Mission and ValuesKnowing the customer’s mission and values and understandinghow you can support them in performance of a contract iscritically important. Assess the basic work of your company andhow that fits into the work the Agency performs.For example, if your company is a known Technology companyand the contract is for Instructional Course Development andSupport, unless there is a significant technologic element thatthey are requiring, you probably won’t fit into the support oftheir mission. There are ways to overcome this by partnering withother companies, but this evaluation is necessary to determineyour chance of success.
Assess the Playing FieldEvaluate Competitors• Determine who might bid on the work and what their chances of success might be over yours. What do they have that you don’t to offer the customer?• Assess the possibility of working with competitors for a portion of the business if together you have a stronger chance of winning.
Assess the Playing FieldKeep Attuned to the Political ClimateThere are typically significant changes in the approach anAgency takes as the political leadership changes. If a contractis going to be awarded after an election, will that Agency stillwant to fund the work proposed in the contract?For example, when President Obama won his first presidentialelection, his administration directed the conversion of a largenumber of contractor positions to government employees.The Department of Homeland Security brought a significantnumber of contractor staff augmentation positions into thegovernment and those contracts were terminated.
Assess the Playing FieldLook at Contract History if Recompete• If the contract is a recompete, then look at what contractor won it before and it they have succeeded in winning it more than once.• If they are performing well and have won the contract numerous times, the chance is that they will have an edge on the recompete.
Tomorrow’s Topic: Part TwoAssess Partner Relationships