Once a contract has been awarded, what happens next? It might seem like an easy answer: complete the work and get paid! Although that might be correct to a certain extent, there is a lot more that needs to be accounted for and it all starts with having a strong capture process. From the very beginning, your legal team needs to get involved, your contract manager(s) will need to step up, and your capture management process should have decision gates and ways to measure success. You mean government contracting is not as easy as people make it out to be?!
The Importance of Capture
The capture management process is essential to move from a position of minimal information to a knowledgeable and favorable position that results in a high win probability (PWin). Too often contractors find themselves in a "dump and chase" cycle where they chase anything and everything to help drive revenue forward. When this happens, it leads to your team straying from its core competencies and does not help build on your ideal past performance.
To help keep your team focused and pursuits on track, the following components can help:
Keys to successful capture management include:
- Clear opportunity qualifications and streamlined bid/no-bid decisions
- Increased chance to win based on thorough research and connections
- More focused proposals with shortened proposal timelines
- Faster sales cycle and a more robust pipeline
- Improved customer relationships and experience
Just because an opportunity has been published and you qualify does not mean you have to pursue it. There needs to be a validation process to ensure resources are being allocated to high-priority opportunities, not ones that just drive revenue. A solid capture strategy and decision-making process are essential to all organizations that want to do business with the federal government.
The Acquisition Process
The government is responsible for planning the acquisition, gathering its requirements, documenting its market research, and establishing how the goods and services will be purchased. It is up to your team to gather as much information as available to implement your PWin strategy and bid/no-bid strategy. Identify potential incumbents, if it is recompete work, if a contract vehicle is required, or maybe it is a new capability your organization is going to see if it can win the work alone or if you need teaming partners.
Gathering all of this information heightens the importance of having a market intelligence solution so you can pull relevant information to support your information-gathering efforts. Your organization needs accurate and in-depth insights so you can validate the opportunity in the follow-on states of the contract life cycle.
The Contract Award Process
What happens once you have earned the award? Initially, nothing! Hold off signing the contract until all key stakeholders have had a chance to read it. Too many contractors make the mistake of signing without doing their due diligence to review the contract and compare it against their proposal. If there are any discrepancies between your submission and the solicitation in the award, contact your Contracting Officer or Contracting Officer Representative and outline your concerns in a clear and concise manner. This is why having an experienced contract manager is key.
In the event that you are unsure if work has been authorized to begin and/or do not have a contract team, REXOTA Solutions LLC can support you by providing guidance, training, and support in your review and negotiations.
Improve Your Contract Life Cycle Management
Once the contract has been awarded, it is time for your team to get to work. During the performance of the contract, your contract manager(s) play a vital role by ensuring you get the full value from every contract and that it is moving in the right direction.
Key responsibilities held by contract managers include:
- Write proposals, analyze data, respond to partners
- Negotiate price, timeline, terms, and conditions
- Contract management - ensure compliance and implementation, solve problems, and resolve conflicts
- Prepare the time and responsibility schedule as well as manage the team who will fulfill the contract process
- Handle and satisfy contract close-outs
Involving your contract experts and legal team early in your capture process is essential to your success and your company's growth. Remember, capture management is a disciplined and strategic approach to qualifying opportunities to develop a winning strategy. Your goal should be to improve your PWin by finding and pursuing better, more aligned opportunities.
REXOTA Solutions LLC is a professional services company established with the goal of creating incremental change to improve decision-making and break down silos to maximize the potential of businesses and governments.
Download the full Improving Contract Life Cycle Management eBook today!