Click here to listen to Mark’s interview On January 22, 2018 Amtower Off Center host Mark Amtower talked with Simon Szykman (CTO of Attain and former CIO of Commerce) and Bob Lohfeld (CEO, Lohfeld Consulting) about continuing resolutions and shutdowns. CRs are both a way of life and a standing joke in the govcon arena, but there are consequences. Shutdowns, less frequent, but often threatened, have both significant costs and dire consequences beyond the parks being closed. Topics include: The impact of CRs on agencies and contractors The end-of-FY spending as a result of CRs The mandated preparation by contractors and Feds for impending shutdowns Small business collateral damage as a result of shutdowns Shutdown impact on the overall economy Hosted by nationally-known speaker and consultant Mark Amtower, Amtower Off-Center highlights the good, the bad, the ugly and the just plain silly of doing business in the government market. Every week experts … Continue reading The real cost of CRs and shutdowns | Amtower Off-Center
By now, federal contractors realize that they must own multiple award contracts to compete in the $95 billion federal market. (If we subtract classified spending from this figure, fiscal 2017 IT spending topped $80 billion). Meanwhile, IT modernization and related initiatives such as strategic sourcing, category management, and Better Buying Power are dramatically shrinking the number of prime contracts. Best in Class (BIC) preferred and mandatory vehicles are further decreasing buying options. If you don’t have the MACs, you simply cannot compete. If you don’t believe me, look at the numbers. In 2012, according to Bloomberg Government, the federal government spent $6 billion on IT products and services through IT government wide acquisition contracts (GWACs). Overall, by 2017, that figure topped $13 billion with well over 60 percent of IT spending happening through GWACs and other MACs, including agency-specific IDIQs. In that same period, set-aside spending on MACs grew 137 … Continue reading Behind the curtain: A look at the government’s hidden market
Do proposal managers and contracting officers (COs) have anything in common? Most likely, what we have in common is that we are on each other’s list of pet peeves. Or, one could argue, proposal managers think about the CO much more often than the CO thinks about us! As in, “When will the CO answer the questions? Will the CO extend the due date?” In addition, very rarely, if ever, are proposal managers and COs in the same room. Usually, the capture manager, program manager, and/or business development (BD) professional handles one-on-one meetings with the CO, so proposal managers and COs rarely if ever come face to face. If we ever meet, it is usually in a public setting such as an industry day. Last month, I had the opportunity to participate in a National Contract Management Association (NCMA) Government Contract Management Symposium (GCMS) breakout session—Talking to the Other Side: … Continue reading Can proposal managers and contracting officers find common ground?
How to do more with less is an age-old question. The simple answer is that we must increase productivity to achieve maximum results for time and effort expended. In the proposal world, productivity means more than generating more bid activity; it means generating more wins within resource constraints. Typically, as companies in the government marketplace grow, they spend a greater percentage of money on bid and proposal (B&P) costs. This indicator makes sense, as larger companies pursue larger and more complex opportunities. Pre-RFP, the cost of maintaining an adequate pipeline, training personnel, maintaining teaming partners, researching competitors, investing in tools, pursuing capture and solutioning activities, and maintaining databases and repositories all mount. These investments may or may not pay off with wins, so they are good places to seek cost savings. Often, companies keep pouring money into capture activities and tools without also undertaking adequate gate reviews and making informed … Continue reading Doing more with less is all about strengths