When you need to create a winning proposal, let our proposal experts support you. Our proposal personnel average more than 20 years’ experience managing and writing competitive proposals for government contractors. We specialize in IT, systems integration, professional services, engineering services, hardware, aerospace, defense, and high-tech products and solutions procurements.
Lohfeld Consulting Group’s mission is to help clients win more government contracts. We can provide a complete proposal team to manage proposal development from RFP decomposition to proposal delivery, or we can provide individual experts to augment your proposal team. We can help you take advantage of the GWACs and IDIQs you’ve already won and provide the resources you need to position your company effectively and respond to multiple, concurrent task order proposals. We handle technical, management, resume, and past performance volumes as well as lead and participate in blue, pink, red, and gold team reviews.
Take advantage of the services we offer:
- Proposal Management and Development
- Solution Architects/Subject Matter Experts
- Proposal Writing and Editing
- Graphics Design/Desktop Publishing
- Proposal Reviews
- Professional Training
- Task Order Support
Proposal Management and Development
Look to Lohfeld Consulting Group for proposal managers, volume leads, solution architects/subject matter experts, and proposal coordinators. Our consultants are a select group averaging more than 20 years’ experience and chosen for their expert skills and subject matter expertise.
When you engage our support, our consultants will follow your company’s proposal process and use your proposal development tools (such as SharePoint, Privia, WinCenter) to manage the development of your proposal. If you don’t have a preferred methodology, you can use our proven proposal development process and tools. If you choose our methodology, we can also host the development of your proposal in our secure SharePoint portal designed specifically for capture management and proposal development. Our consultants will work on-site collocated with your technical team, and we work assignments anywhere in the United States and Europe. Our consultants can also manage your proposal virtually, using a complete suite of virtual proposal tools.
From pre-RFP proposal planning through proposal delivery, our senior proposal managers direct the proposal team of authors, engineers, subject matter experts, desktop publishers, vendors, and subcontractors.
Our proposal management support includes:
- Developing pre-proposal and proposal plans, schedules, staffing requirements, and budget estimates; reviewing these plans with the capture manager; and using them to manage the effort and provide continuous visibility into proposal status
- Advising clients on bid and proposal (B&P) strategies
- Applying thorough knowledge of industry-standard proposal processes and tailoring these to the client’s process
- Analyzing the RFP and amendments and creating the proposal outline, proposal design and style templates, and RFP compliance matrices
- Organizing and leading a focused proposal team
- Organizing and running the kick-off meeting and subsequent meetings
- Allocating requirements to volumes and sections, ensuring proper interfaces among volumes
- Developing annotated proposal outlines that track with the RFP
- Assisting in developing themes and identifying discriminators
- Directing the proposal writing and integration of proposal sections
- Establishing and managing proposal schedules, plans, deadlines, and progress
- Ensuring that subcontractors understand their roles in the proposal and provide needed information
- Developing and vetting questions to the government agency
- Developing color team review plans and leading preparation for proposal reviews
- Leading incorporation of review comments into volumes
- Generating proposal “lessons learned” summary at proposal completion
Our proposal coordinators assist the proposal manager by providing the following services:
- Determining formatting and production-related requirements of the RFP and establishing (in conjunction with the proposal manager) formatting directives, production guidelines, publication deadlines, and production schedules
- Coordinating the proposal effort among desktop publishers, graphics personnel, and authors
- Assisting the proposal manager in developing/maintaining proposal schedule, plans, outlines, and assignments
- Establishing the configuration control process and maintaining version control of proposal text and graphics iterations
- Establishing and maintaining the graphics log
- Setting up and managing the collaborative portal if necessary (e.g., SharePoint, WinCenter, Privia)
- Coordinating special-access badging requests for consultants and other proposal team members
- Creating and maintaining the proposal team contact list
- Handling all meeting logistics and taking and distributing meeting minutes
- Coordinating/scheduling meetings, conference calls, email notifications, and updates to the proposal team
- Maintaining proposal room walls with up-to-date graphics and text
- Ordering all supplies/materials for proposal team
- Arranging for meals and other special requirements for proposal staff
Solution Architects/Subject Matter Experts
We also provide solution architects and subject matter experts to assist our clients with agency-specific expertise, domain expertise, and technical expertise. These experts support development of a client’s solution and technical approach. They are also available to serve as proposal review members or volume leads.
Proposal Writing and Editing
Our proposal writers integrate with the proposal team to write compliant, clear, and persuasive proposal text for a proposal section or an entire volume. Many of our writers specialize in interviewing subject matter experts (SMEs) and compiling the information, creating compliant content from existing or “problem” text, or developing and writing specific sections of proposals, such as resumes, past performance, and management plans. All of our writers can provide the following:
- Identify information needed to draft a section from a completed storyboard or annotated outline
- Interview subject matter experts to obtain required, in-depth information
- Perform basic research to obtain needed information
- Synthesize existing source material for use in a proposal section
- Organize topics for a particular proposal section
- Map allocated requirements to subsections
- Identify and sketch out graphics
- Incorporate review comments while updating or improving sections
- Compare with related sections to ensure consistency
- Ensure work incorporates proposal’s strategies, themes/discriminators, and technical/management features and benefits
- Ensure work is compliant and within allocated requirements
Our editors work with proposal writers to ensure that the proposal presents a consistent style, format, and logical flow and organization. Depending on the level of edit requested and as dictated by the time available for the edit, our editors:
- Develop and/or enforce a proposal style guide
- Correct all errors in spelling, punctuation, format, and grammar
- Suggest revisions relative to compliance and consistency
- Work one-on-one with proposal writers
- Revise and improve sentence construction, organization of ideas, clarity of thoughts, and conciseness of words
Graphics Design and Desktop Publishing
Graphic Design Artists
Our graphics consultants serve as both designers and conceptual artists. These professionals take ideas from technical personnel and subject matter experts and develop compelling illustrations that reflect those ideas—from simple organization charts to complex foldouts.
Our consultants are experienced in providing graphic design support for responses to government RFPs, including proposal illustration, proposal covers, CD labels, oral presentation slides, and overall proposal layout. All of our graphics consultants can:
- Establish the “look and feel” of the written proposal, as well as oral presentations
- Develop and maintain graphic templates and standards for proposal preparation
- Convert and tailor graphic illustrations drawn from archives
- Edit graphic art based on review comments until approved
- Develop and maintain a graphic log book with up-to-date artwork
- Create and maintain graphic “slug” ID numbers and revision numbers for version control
- Import and export files between software programs and platforms
- Troubleshoot many software and hardware compatibility issues
Our desktop publishers work with proposal coordinators and writers to establish templates, compile and format text, make changes to documents, and embed graphics within text. All of our desktop publishers can:
- Develop and maintain Microsoft Word and PowerPoint templates for formatting documents
- Create styles within a document to enhance the overall look and interoperability (e.g., Table of Contents, headers/footers, tables, cross-references, etc.)
- Develop and enforce standards and procedures for the formatting process
- Create custom macros that perform routine to advanced functions on text documents
- Maintain version control and configuration management of electronic files
- Roll-up text documents for pink, red, and gold team reviews
- Format proposal for final (hard copy) production
- Format proposal for electronic submission
- Prepare the proposal for book check and assist with the process
- Complete closeout procedures
We provide senior-level personnel to serve as review team members or to conduct single, independent reviews of specific proposal sections or volumes.
Our proposal reviewers have experience leading and participating in blue, pink, red, and gold reviews and in assessing technical, management, resume, past performance, and cost/price volumes.
Our reviewers come prepared. Prior to the review, they become conversant with the RFP and all supporting documentation provided to them. Clients can count on thorough, frank assessments and actionable out-briefs.
Reviewers recommend specific fixes and improvements to the proposal to enhance client reviewability and proposal compliance.
Our Review Process
Our reviewers can plan and lead your proposal reviews. We follow a structured process that includes the following steps:
- Plan and coordinate proposal review
- Distribute read-ahead material to all reviewers
- Prepare review team kick-off briefing and provide specific instructions for a rigorous, complete assessment
- Based on their technical expertise and available review time, assign team members specific proposal sections and section review sequences
- Direct all reviewers to record their comments electronically using automated review tools such as “track changes” and “insert comments”
- Merge all electronic comments by section into a single file for use by proposal authors
- Chair proposal review out-brief
- Out-brief proposal comments orally to the proposal team and record out-brief by section using mp3 files, which then are made available to the proposal team
- Provide specific actions and guidance to the proposal team to raise the proposal’s evaluation score
- Close out review and brief findings to management.
Proposal Improvement Assessments
Despite poor results, we often continue to do things the same way. This pattern may apply to your proposal shop as well. Perhaps your win rate is stagnant or declining, your team is burned out, your technology doesn’t work, and/or proposal quality is at an all-time low.
To provide a roadmap for improvement, Lohfeld Consulting Group now offers an independent Proposal Improvement Assessment. This review is an objective analysis of proposal operations (people, processes, and technology) versus best practices as well as proposal quality versus our 7 quality measures proven to increase win rates. Based on the analysis, we provide detailed, actionable recommendations that will dramatically improve results.
Our review service offers the best return on investment (ROI) for proposal improvement that will increase your win rate. Often, proposal shops realize they have problems, but don’t know how to articulate and fix issues. Even when they realize what the fix is, they don’t know how to implement it and/or they don’t have organizational buy-in. By investing in the unbiased opinion of an expert, proposal organizations can better understand strengths and weaknesses and take actionable steps to improve effectiveness and efficiency.
The assessment uncovers what works and what doesn’t through documentation reviews, observation, interviews, focus groups with proposal operations employees, and focus groups with business unit customers accessing proposal services. Combined with a review of representative submitted proposals, the analysis helps organizations achieve positive results leading to more effective competition and winning more bids. We provide an oral and written briefing that documents our findings and provides detailed recommendations and actionable next steps so that you know what the problem is and how to fix it.
Our experienced consultants can perform the following separate reviews.
Proposal Process/Operations Review
- Gather and review existing documentation related to proposal operations organization and staffing, processes, tools, and technology, including representative proposals
- Interview proposal operations staff and hold a focus group with stakeholders regarding the “as-is” environment and related strengths and weaknesses
- Develop recommendations for improvement of people, processes, training, and technologies.
Proposal Quality Review
- Review the quality of two representative proposals, one win and one loss, versus Lohfeld Consulting Group’s 7 quality measures proven to increase win rates
- Develop recommendations for improvement.
Proposal Post-mortem Review
- Review RFP
- Develop compliance matrix
- Review submitted proposal
- Provide completed score sheet
- Provide outbrief.
Too busy? A packed calendar is not a problem, as we can conduct the review to work around your schedule. If desired, we can complete much of the analysis off-site. We provide a documentation list, and all you need to do is gather and provide the materials. Interviews can be conducted on or off-site with a very flexible schedule at your convenience. Optional focus groups are the only aspect of this service that must be performed on-site, but they are definitely a great way to gain a true understanding of customer perspectives and overall satisfaction with the proposal shop services.
If capture management is a problem as well, we can add an independent assessment of the capture processes to the review. Lohfeld Consulting Group often conducts capture and proposal operations assessments simultaneously, providing experts in both areas who can ask the right questions and provide unbiased appraisals.
Task Order Support
Billions of procurement dollars are running through U.S. Government contract vehicles that use task order proposal submissions to select their service providers. Are you struggling with how to take advantage of the GWACs and IDIQs you’ve already won? Do you have the resources you need to position your company effectively and respond to multiple concurrent task order RFPs? Do you have a well-oiled task order “factory” in place, or is every task order submission a major ordeal for your team?
- Are your company’s GWACs and IDIQs underutilized?
- Are your subcontractors underutilized or do you need new subcontractors?
- Have you positioned your company to win a task order?
- How do you know where you stack up against the competition?
- Do you have the winning solution?
- Do you have the proof points to validate your strengths?
- Do your reviews generate the right feedback needed to produce winning proposals?
- Can you respond to multiple concurrent task orders?
- Are you getting top-level support from task leads, technical SMEs, or internal project management organization (PMO) staff?
For further information on how we can support your proposal development and task order proposal requirements, please contact Amy Barden at ABarden@LohfeldConsulting.com.