Winning a MAC presents a terrific opportunity to grow your company and should not be squandered. Government contractors won’t win a sizeable share of MAC tasks orders just waiting around for them to drop—it takes careful planning and preparation right from the start. Statistics across MACs indicate the top 10 contractors receive most or all contract awards, approximately 20% of contractors will win less than $10M, and a few will win zero task orders, as indicated by Alliant’s results.
Alliant Large Business: Awarded $17.7B to 52 contractors from FY12–May 2018
- Top 10 contractors won 80% of all contract dollars
- Top 25 contractors won 96.6% of all contract dollars (inclusive of the Top 10 contractors)
- 17 contractors in the mid-tier range earned 3.3% of all contract dollars
- 10 contractors won fewer than $10M or .01% of all contract dollars with one company that won zero dollars.
So, if you’ve been lucky enough to win a MAC recently, consider implementing these 10 tips to jump start your competitive advantage.
1. Develop a complete understanding of the MAC’s organization and processes
Understand the MAC’s process for working with customers, how it assists customers to develop Requests for Proposal (RFPs) or Requests for Information (RFIs), how to submit questions and proposals, how to process awards and payments, and who to contact with questions about MAC policies and procedures. If the MAC has a portal, website, or a mobile app, learn how to use it.
2. Develop a strategic plan to become a star player
Determine the company’s strategic objectives, success measures, and expected outcomes. Identify your company’s bid and proposal (B&P) budget for the next several years and find ways to maximize your return on investments. Identify your company’s strengths and value proposition.
3. Conduct research on current and potential GWAC customers
Do your homework. Understand the customer’s background, objectives, and scope of work in detail. Obtain meetings with the customers, stakeholders, and contracting officers.
4. Identify your competitors and how you place in the pack
Investigate the capabilities, strengths, and potential limitations of fellow competitors on the MAC to determine how you can become more competitive.
5. Create a multi-year business pipeline
Develop a multi-year pipeline based on work you plan to bring to the MAC, task order awards from previous MAC task orders, and forecasts from the MAC Program Management Office (PMO). Build contingencies into the plan so when bids are delayed or cancelled you have additional options.
6. Cultivate partnerships needed to win task orders with large and small companies
Maximize your B&P resources by partnering with other companies. For example, identify companies who can fill requirements gaps and offer resources for reach back, can share B&P costs, and are ineligible to bid on their own work.
7. Develop a marketing plan to build your brand awareness
Identify where and how your customer obtains information about potential contractors and use those outlets to build your brand awareness. Determine what marketing content you need to offer that might interest your customer and spark a conversation.
8. Build an organization that can efficiently capture and respond to RFPs
Build an organization that can efficiently capture and respond to task order RFPs or RFIs. Determine the number of personnel necessary to develop business; capture opportunities; and manage, write, and review proposals. Develop a strategy for using consultants to fill temporary resource gaps and provide subject matter expertise.
9. Build your proposal response infrastructure
Implement a plan to train your staff on how to listen to customers and relay customer requirements that can help expand your business. Determine a plan to keep your past performance and resumes updated and record customer kudos and awards.
10. Develop a plan to support the MAC’s Program Office
Every MAC owner should strive to make their MAC the customer’s contract vehicle of choice. Join with other MAC owners to recommend ways to improve the MAC’s usefulness to customers.
Be sure to check out our next important article in this Big MACs series!
by Brenda Crist, MPA, CPP APMP Fellow
As the premier capture and proposal services consulting firm focused exclusively on government markets, we provide expert assistance to government contractors in Proposal Management and Writing, Capture Planning and Strategy, Capture and Proposal Process and Infrastructure, Go-to-Market Strategy, and Training. In the last 3 years, we’ve supported over 550 proposals winning more than $135B for our clients—including the Top 10 government contractors. Lohfeld Consulting Group is your “go-to” capture and proposal source! Start winning by contacting us at www.lohfeldconsulting.com and join us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.