Insights Blog

A 2017 Recap – Part 1 | Amtower Off-Center

Host Mark Amtower interviews industry experts Bob Lohfeld, Nick Wakeman, and Jason Miller

Click here to list to the interview. On January 8, 2018, Amtower Off Center, host Mark Amtower wrapped up 2017 with Lohfeld Consulting Group Founder and CEO Bob Lohfeld, Federal News Radio’s Executive Editor Jason Miller, and Washington Technology Editor-In-Chief Nick Wakeman. This is part one of a two-part interview. Topics include: The continuing importance of GWACs, with a focus on Alliant 2 Category management, phase two with OMB pushing “Best in class” contracts Operating on yet another CR M&A highlights An early obituary for LPTA? 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 join Mark for a lively discussion of current issues facing the government contractor community.       Bob Lohfeld, CF, APMP Fellow, serves as Chairman of Lohfeld Consulting Group.  He has more than 30 … Continue reading A 2017 Recap – Part 1 | Amtower Off-Center

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Are your proposal review teams derailing the win?

Here’s how to get your proposal reviews back on track

It’s Thursday. Time for another proposal color team review. The Proposal Manager is faced with one of these all-too-familiar scenarios. Scenario 1: Reviewers call the baby ugly The color team reviewers conclude that the proposal stinks. They don’t really know why, but they don’t like it. They offer recommendations, some of which are actionable, some of which are compliant, but none of which improve the proposal quality. Some of the reviewers never read the RFP thoroughly, so their comments must be taken with a grain of salt. Scenario 2: Reviewers suggest improving the win themes The review team couldn’t find any win themes. They recommend that the proposal team goes back to the drawing board and come up with features, benefits and proofs. However, since the capture team never briefed reviewers on Voice of the Customer, they provide no counsel on which of these win themes would resonate with reviewers. … Continue reading Are your proposal review teams derailing the win?

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Behind the curtain: A look at the government’s hidden market

Federal contractors realize that they must own multiple award contracts to compete

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

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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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