Cast Study: Analyzing the Symptoms of Under-performance | Federal Compass

Cast Study: Analyzing the Symptoms of Under-performance


Contractors must be capable of quickly understanding symptoms and diagnosing the causes of a dramatic revenue loss. For this case study, we explore how a technology services contractor, displaying tremendous growth, suddenly found themselves a victim of revenue dependencies. With two customers representing more than three-quarters of their revenue, they created a high-risk environment with no viable way to supplement recent losses. Returning to growth means identifying the primary deficiencies and developing an informed strategy to mitigate future revenue risk.

The Customer

A growing technology services contractor with demonstrated success in capturing prime positions on marquee multi-award and government-wide contracts.

Assessment of the Customer

Company Attribute
FY18 Revenues
FY16-FY18 Revenue Trend
Customer Presence
Successfully leveraging only two relationships
Contract Portfolio
Prime on GWAC and Multiple Award contracts, and GSA Schedules
Set-Aside/Socio-Economic Status
SDVOSB, Veteran-Owned

The Challenge

Determine the primary causes of a dramatic and sustained loss of revenue.

Assessment of the Challenge

Determine the primary causes of a dramatic and sustained loss of revenue.

Assessment of the Solution

To develop an informed strategy, that would return the contractor to growth; it was critical to examine the tactical and strategic oversights that led to their current situation.

  • Have they successfully leveraged existing contracts?
  • Are they nurturing and harvesting existing relationships?
  • Was there a shift in their customers’ acquisition preferences?
  • Did the contractor identify and target potential markets for customer expansion?


Leverage Existing Contracts

One of the immediately visible challenges facing this customer was a lack of post-award execution. While they had proven capable of winning prime positions on several attractive GWAC and multiple-award contracts, they did little to capitalize on this access. As clear evidence, with more than 15 prime positions, only five resulted in an addressable market share of one percent or greater. In other words, two-thirds of their contracts failed to yield any significant revenue.

Nurture Existing Relationships

The contractor had past performance with more than 65 distinct customers spanning thirteen departments, including DoD and civilian. However, as of the end of fiscal year 2018, just three customers, within two of those thirteen departments, accounted for more than ninety percent of their total prime obligations. Their combined addressable market of the remaining eleven departments exceeded $10B between FY15 and 19.

Customer Acquisition Preferences

An assessment of the contractor’s customers showed no evidence that a significant change in acquisition preferences had occurred. In reality, customers were still committed to the GWAC, and multiple award contracts where the contractor held a prime position. Reiterating that a lack of commitment to post-award processes, and not customer activity was a primary cause of the contractor’s situation.

Identify Adjacent Markets

For context, the contractor held past performance with 65 distinct customers across 13 departments. Within those same departments existed 340 potential adjacent customers offering a potential addressable market exceeding $20B. Of those, 178 were actively acquiring services from the GWAC and multiple-awards where the contractor held a prime position. Awarding more than $1.5B in obligations, between FY15 and 19YTD, addressable by the contractor.


The combination of Federal Compass 360 and Market Explorer allowed this customer to conduct an immersive exploration of their addressable market and past performance. It became immediately obvious that the lack of a unified strategic vision and accountability had resulted in the company’s fixation on a single multiple-award contract. By neglecting to leverage nearly every other prime position in favor of this contract, they became dangerously dependent on a small subset of a once broad customer-base.

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