21 Experts’ predictions for capture/proposal industry changes – Part 2

The old adage says, “Nothing’s constant except change.” (We can add death and taxes, but even the taxes part seems in constant flux these days!)

Stay in the government capture and proposal game long enough, and you’ll start recognizing patterns in the changes. Over the years, you’ll add strategies to your bag of tricks that you’ll be able to whip out to deal with round x of a particular procurement “flavor of the year.”

Throughout all of these fluctuations and transformations, though, one thing does remains constant. Business development (BD), capture, and proposal professionals have strong opinions about and desires for changes that would add sanity and structure to the entire procurement process and cut down on the “guess work.”

I recently asked a number of my colleagues, “What changes do you anticipate in the next 5 years for the capture/proposal industry, e.g., technology and tools, types of proposals, customers, training, lead time to prepare responses, pricing, etc.?” Here’s the second set of their prognostications. How can you and your company begin positioning to address these projected changes?

  • The trend toward performance-based contracting will continue to mature as agencies and the companies supporting them gain more experience in this type of contracting. It has been and will continue to be a slow process, because developing, gathering, and evaluating relevant metrics is not a trivial process. Better training in the area of how to identify, track, and evaluate metrics that actually provide insight into the status and quality of a project that explains not only what should be done, but also how to do it, would be enormously helpful. –Margie Regis, Proposal Manager, Management Resources Group
  • I expect to see industry pushback that will lead to clearer guidelines on awarding so-called best value procurements. –Marty Williamson, Proposal Manager
  • Here are a few industry trends I have observed and expect to continue:
    • Increased level of proposal sophistication (both format and content)
    • More distributed/remote/virtual proposal teams
    • Focus on more sophisticated capture, bid/no-bid, and other pre-RFP processes
    • Heavier use of graphics and increased multimedia for larger, more complex bids
    • Benefit/feature orientation for pricing volumes that includes more proposal themes with supporting narrative and graphics
    • Increased reliance on external proposal consultants  –Chris Simmons, Principal, Rainmakerz Consulting, LLC
  • Very tight DoD budgets, which will mean more competition for small opportunities. Because of this, I think that you will see every eligible vendor under the large IDIQ vehicles bidding as many task orders as possible. Firms that are used to being verbose will have to learn how to compete in the tight (20-page) task order arena. –Kristin Pennypacker, Principal Consultant, Lohfeld Consulting Group
  • I’m already seeing fixed price contract types for development and sustainment efforts. The top-tier system integrators are accustomed to cost plus contract types for these types of efforts. Evaluation criteria are leaning more toward lowest price technically acceptable, rather than best value to the customer. The government is becoming much more risk averse, transferring more of the cost and schedule risk to the contractors. This means that the contractors must strategize, plan, and estimate differently from what they’re used to. –Pat Cosimano, Owner of Pat Cosimano Wins LLC
  • I see less tolerance for any kind of risk and more bundling of contracts into large vehicles.Wendy Frieman, APMP Fellow and Principal Consultant, Lohfeld Consulting Group
  • In the next 5 years I expect the following:
    • More formal RFPs from large and small organizations. Expect a greater awareness of the proposal profession as a result.
    • Process and tools will be more critical and more robust due to limited resources.
    • More proposal professionals will be certified. Certification will be expected.
    • Visual communication will play a greater role as competition increases and decision makers’ time becomes more fractured.
    • Capture, sales, and marketing will become more important because they plant the seeds of success. –Mike Parkinson, Principal, 24 Hour Company

What changes do you anticipate in the next 5 years for the capture/proposal industry? Send an email to me at BWingate@LohfeldConsulting.com with your thoughts, and I’ll share your insights in upcoming posts!


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Lohfeld Consulting