Bundled contracts, unbundled contracts, emphasis on well-trained procurement support staff, training axed in cost-cutting measures, short turnarounds, extended and extended extensions, virtual proposals, everyone in the war room…
The more things change…
Play this government capture and proposal game long enough, and you start recognizing and anticipating the changing patterns. Talk to those who’ve been in the business for years, and you’ll gain insights into how to deal with a particular round of changes based on what the veterans experienced the last go round.
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 is the final set of their responses. How will you and your company start positioning yourselves to address these projected changes?
- I expect more bundled contracts with more task orders with short turn around. The government will have to standardize proposals (maybe no past performance questionnaires and all CPARS) to be able to train contracting officers. –Brooke Crouter, Principal Consultant, Lohfeld Consulting Group
- The world is getting smaller, and businesses are getting leaner. Over the past decade, the proposal industry has been morphed, re-morphed, and morphed again by revolutionary Internet technology (e.g., webinar capabilities, cloud computing, etc.). As a result, companies are learning the value of virtual proposal writing, and it’s taking shape as the norm. I anticipate an even further strengthening of this trend, as businesses continue to reduce overhead by outsourcing proposal needs, using the experts only when needed – and using them virtually to compound savings. –Luanne Smulsky, Principal, ib4e Writing Solutions LLC
- The procurement cycle lengthening due to the lack of experienced contracts personnel and the continued issuance of procurements before they are ready for prime time. –Betsy Blakney, Senior Proposal Development Manager, CACI, Inc.
- The RFP Dilemma. I believe that our government customers, under increasing austerity pressures, will continue to publish RFPs that remain unclear, eliciting hundreds of questions and resulting in proposals that are difficult to evaluate on merit – resulting in a tendency to award on price. –Maury Sweetin, Capture Manager/Proposal Manager/Red Team Captain/Volume Lead, Lohfeld Consulting Group
- The change I anticipate in the next 5 years is that proposals will be paperless, everything will be electronic. –Mary Beth Frazza, Owner, Frazza Formatting
- I look forward to more interactive, customer-focused electronic bids with video and links to reports and web sites with solutions. Bid managers getting involved in capture and solution selling and more customer interaction. More internal focus on bid support from graphics to proposal coordinators and fewer one-man shows! –Deborah Brooks, Sr. Regional Bid Manager, TATA Communications
- There is going to be a lot of change. People will become better trained and will have professional accreditations in these fields. Technology abounds and I am always amazed at how few people actually use the tools that are available. Over the next 5 years, we will see broader adoption of tools in both capture and proposals. We will also see better processes, and process measurement will become commonplace. I think in 5 years we will all look back at 2012 and say how simple things were back then. –Bob Lohfeld, CEO, Lohfeld Consulting Group
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!