When pursuing the next opportunity, it’s [of course] important to understand the competitive landscape—who are the major players? how entrenched is the incumbent contractor? The answer to these questions lies in two fundamental areas of research 1) human intelligence, and 2) data-driven market intelligence. The only way to paint a complete picture of the competition around any opportunity requires both elements and requires them to work in concert.
Arriving at the desired fidelity for any answer can take time, but with a standard and disciplined approach to research, results are consistent and consistently valuable.
Let’s say that “A” is the most basic understanding of competition around an opportunity, or maybe even no understanding at all. And “Z” is intimate knowledge of who will participate, the nature of their competition, teaming alliances and pricing structure. Where do you begin this journey of understanding?
We like to start the opportunity qualification journey with an initial pre-qualification based on objective data-driven market intelligence. When casting a sufficiently broad net, it’s just not realistic to begin with human intelligence. We need to quickly identify the major players for this opportunity, their relevant past performance and teaming history. Fortunately, there’s a sea of data available to answer these questions and a platform (Federal Compass) that makes it readily available.
Our algorithms identify competition based on a ten-point scale, including degrees of customer fit, service/offering fit and market presence for each potential competitor. Our system literally analyzes thousands of competitors for each opportunity in real-time so that you’re presented with a complete picture of the competitive landscape.
We’re halfway there, now it’s time for the human touch.
Anecdotes are trouble when it comes to research. It’s also problematic to have all these little nuggets of human intelligence scattered across your team and not readily available to decision makers. We make it easy to pivot from data-driven research to more intimate qualification with user-defined fields attached to every piece of content across our system. When it’s time to dive deep, the collective knowledge of your team is now presented alongside objective data-drive market intelligence. Just like that we’ve arrived at a complete picture of the competition for any pursuit.
Is your company prepared for the shifting landscape within Federal IT procurement? For nearly twenty years, GSA Schedules and agency-IDIQs paved the way for the evolution of second-tier competitions. In 2019, GWACs outpaced IDIQs, for the first time, to become the Government's preferred pathway. Every Federal customer interacts with GWACs, and these vehicles continue to lure in new adopters. From the broad range of services to the number of contractors vying for work, the loyalty to IDIQs is waning as customers begin their march towards GWACs. For many, this statement makes sense; however, getting on a GWAC, let alone finding success, creates a challenge unique to these types of vehicles. It isn't enough to know POLARIS, CIO-SP4, and 8(a) STARS III; a clear vision and strategy are critical to determining the right team, surviving the scorecard, and moving into post-award with a proactive plan to capture business, rather than hopelessly reacting.
written by Jim Sherwood, published 03/09/2021
Revenue growth is the primary focus of every small business, but in a market as complex and fluid as the federal contracting market, growth can often stall due to the lack of the right resources. And when effectively managing expenditures puts the right resources out of reach, small businesses often get caught in a growth Catch-22.
written by Jim Sherwood, published 01/25/2021
Huntsville, Alabama, has long represented a tantalizing market that always felt out of reach for many contractors. Over the last decade, this zip code has been a focal point of growing interest as it became home for many organizations that, on an annual basis, manage billions in contract spending. Based on the latest news, Huntsville's influence over the aviation, space, and missile enterprise will grow significantly in 2021.
written by Jim Sherwood, published 01/15/2021