Insights Blog

The root causes and solutions to “100 words that kill your proposal”

Bob Lohfeld published an article in Washington Technology several years ago called 100 words that kill your proposal. He explained, “Inexperienced proposal writers seem to use words that should be avoided when writing proposals. These inappropriate words and phrases can weaken a proposal, annoy evaluators, and even undermine the bidder’s credibility.” I have found both inexperienced and experienced writers can fall into this trap, and I continue to see phrases such as “we understand” or “leverage our experience” in proposals. The following list provides examples of some of the 100 words that kill proposals, the potential root causes of their use, and solutions for avoiding them. Boastful words Examples: best-in-class, best-of-breed, world class Root cause: Inability to distinguish your product or solution in comparison to the competition Solution: Determine how your solution distinguishes you from the competition by conducting due diligence. Describe how your solution will precisely benefit the customer … Continue reading The root causes and solutions to “100 words that kill your proposal”

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SeaPort-NxG: Major changes ahead require a revamped win strategy

SeaPort-e is a Multiple Award Contract (MAC) that contractors either love or hate. For most of the 3,196 award holders, the Navy’s flagship vehicle has generated little if any revenues. For the select few, such as Booz Allen Hamilton, SAIC, CSRA, BAE, and General Dynamics, the $51 billon engineering professional services vehicle has been a reliable revenue generator. Less than 20% of prime contractors have received any awards (this is true for both the large and small business tracks). Some contractors reoriented their focus to General Services Administration (GSA) One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS) and/or other MACs, having had little success in cracking the code that makes Seaport-e opportunity development successful. However, the Navy determined that overlap between the two vehicles was not extensive enough to warrant elimination of Seaport. Interestingly, 23% of large businesses and 5% of small businesses that won SeaPort task orders (TOs) also hold … Continue reading SeaPort-NxG: Major changes ahead require a revamped win strategy

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IAC-MAC: Are you ready for one of FY18’s biggest IDIQs?

A must win for contractors that perform C4ISR work

The Department of Defense (DOD) will release the final RFP for the Information Analysis Center Multiple-Award Contract (IAC-MAC) on October 3. This $28 billion IDIQ was on Lohfeld Consulting’s top 20 opportunities list for FY17, but final RFP release slipped to first quarter FY18. This Full and Open and Partial Small Business MAC will include three competition pools and combine work previously performed by three separate vehicles: The $5 billion Cyber Security Technical Area Tasks (CS TATs); The $3 billion Defense Systems Technical Area Tasks (DS TATs); and The $900 million Homeland Defense and Security Technical Area Tasks (HD TATs). These predecessor vehicles comprised 40 contracts that generated about $1.6 billion in task order awards for 25 companies since FY14. With ceiling values met or close to being met and many task orders expiring, DoD decided to consolidate efforts and meet the Pentagon’s better buying power goals with the IAC-MAC. … Continue reading IAC-MAC: Are you ready for one of FY18’s biggest IDIQs?

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IT modernization has bipartisan support, but where are the dollars?

Washington Technology

The White House’s recently released IT Modernization Report, out for public comment until September 20, says all the right things. The American Technology Council draft, required by Executive Order (EO) 13800, Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure, recommends that agencies take the following steps to secure and modernize federal IT: Modernize and consolidate networks: Cloud computing, modernization of government-hosted applications, and better security for legacy systems. Use shared services to enable future network architectures: Commercial cloud, cloud email and collaboration tools, and additional security for shared services. These initiatives are like motherhood and apple pie, sure to enjoy bipartisan support. Game theory Appendix D of the draft report recommends an acquisition pilot that applies Nash equilibrium, a game theory, to create virtual “street corners” to drive better government-wide volume pricing for cloud email providers, thus lowering costs and speeding migration. Appendix D also throws in a shout … Continue reading IT modernization has bipartisan support, but where are the dollars?

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