Insights Blog

Can proposal managers and contracting officers find common ground?

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?

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Doing more with less is all about strengths

Increase productivity to achieve maximum results for time and effort expended

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

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IT modernization: Another step to contract consolidation

Washington Technology article | Federal IT modernization will drive more contract consolidation. Here are the risks and opportunities you need to know.

The recently released final American Technology Council (ATC) Report to the President on Federal IT Modernization includes 50 recommendations to modernize the U.S. technology infrastructure as well as strengthen cybersecurity, consolidate networks, and accelerate cloud adoption. Download this article To fund these initiatives, the report recommends flexible funding sources and tells agencies to work with the General Services Administration (GSA) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to prioritize systems for modernization and to reallocate resources. Central to success of the plan is not only this flexible, yet undefined funding, but also consolidation of federal contracts and contract vehicles. Industry concerns Industry groups such as the Coalition for Government Procurement and the Professional Services Council have raised concerns about the rapid pace of the major lever for contract consolidation: category management. Specific concerns center on the push towards best in class preferred and best in class mandatory vehicles. In 2016, … Continue reading IT modernization: Another step to contract consolidation

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Recording available | Proposal writing and the eight-second attention span

Learn how to modernize your proposal writing to win in the digital age

Click to watch this free APMP-NCA Chapter/Lohfeld Consulting webinar Click to download the presentation Why you should attend: A 2015 Microsoft study found that digital distractions have resulted in the average person having an 8-second attention span, less than a goldfish! A 2016 Harvard Business Review article stated that bad writing is the biggest productivity buster. Yet, we still write proposals the old-fashioned way, as if our evaluators have unlimited time and focus. This webinar will discuss how to modernize our proposal writing to win in the digital age, using persuasive, attention-grabbing techniques such as calls to action, exceeding expectations, and clearly relevant writing. Meet your presenter: Lisa Pafe, Vice President (VP) at Lohfeld Consulting Group, CPP APMP Fellow and PMP, has 25+ years’ capture and proposal experience. She is President of the APMP-National Capital Area (NCA) Chapter, and was VP and Speaker Series Chair for 2 years each. She … Continue reading Recording available | Proposal writing and the eight-second attention span

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