Q&A with Bob Lohfeld and Joyce Bosc

Bob LohfeldBy Joyce Bosc in FedBizBeat, February 5, 2013

Ask anyone in the federal contracting industry, and they’ll tell you Bob Lohfeld is the top consultant when it comes to helping companies with their capture and proposal management needs. We had a chance to catch up with him recently to talk about his column in Washington Technology, as well as his thoughts on LPTA and what’s planned for 2013.

1. Of the articles you wrote for Washington Technology last year, what 2012 topics received the most interesting comments?

The most popular article that I wrote in 2012 was “100 words that can kill your proposal.” Last time I looked, that article had been downloaded 30,000 times.

The article I like the most was on taking proposals from good to great. It explained seven steps a company should take to improve proposal quality.  There is so much opportunity in the market to improve the quality of proposals and most companies do a mediocre job when it comes to writing them. The article lays out the fundamentals for benchmarking proposal quality. I’m really big into measuring this because without it, you have no way of knowing if your proposals are getting better.

Everyone in the technology market has been feeling the pain from the inappropriate use of LPTA evaluation criteria. So, I wrote two articles on this topic. One of the articles was pretty technical, with lots of references to the FAR and DFARS. I was concerned that it might be too technical for our audience, but it was well received and has generated lots of interesting discussion.

2. How has LPTA affected your proposal and training services? How has it affected your customers?

We’re working hard to train our customers on how to raise the level of technical acceptability in government LPTA procurements. If they don’t help the government to define what constitutes technical acceptability, then every bid will pass the technically acceptable gate and an award will be made to the minimally qualified lowest-priced bidder. We are also helping our customers understand how to help the government steer clear of the inappropriate use of LPTA evaluation criteria. I believe in time, the government will move away from LPTA, but it will take a concerted effort from all of us to get our bureaucracy moving in the right direction.

3. What can people expect to read from you in the next few months? Any hot topics on your radar?

I generally pick topics that come up in our consulting work, so the topics vary from month-to-month. You can expect them to always be focused around capture and proposal management. My next article will be on strategies to avoid when bidding as an incumbent contractor. Lots of companies choose the wrong strategy and end up losing their re-competes. If companies consider avoiding these losing strategies, I believe they can raise their win rate by about 80% on re-competes.

[Editor’s note: Since this interview was conducted, the article he references has been published and can be accessed here.]

4. What would people be surprised to learn about you? What are your favorite things to do outside of work?

My hobby is aviation, and I fly a Cessna around the country as time permits. When I’m not reading or writing about capture and proposal management, I’m deep into books and magazines on aviation.