I was reading a research report a few years ago on the president’s latest budget. These were the Obama years, and with a Republican congress a continuing resolution was all but assured. What’s most interesting about the report, and what really took me back, is how little it mattered to me. Not that budgets don’t matter (they do!), but that this was the exact same report that everyone in the industry was consuming and then applying to their strategic decision-making process. That’s a problem.
I imagined a world where only I matter, and the armies of analysts out there building reports were writing them just for me. I know, it’s a selfish viewpoint, but I’d be able to make incredibly informed decisions. And of course, informed decisions mean more focused pursuit and winning more dollars. What would such a world look like?
The industry was touting personalization at the time, “look, you can mark your opportunities!” or “customize notification settings”. I wanted more, much more. In my ideal world, I’d like to see reports that are only for me, as if I had a dedicated team of market intelligence professionals at my beck and call. My personal team would develop personal reports, highlighting what matters most to me.
For instance, competitive analysis showing exactly where I’m rubbing noses with a particular competitor or which contracts (and to what degree) they are a competitor. Also, I’d like to understand which lines are business are my battleground and what customers we share and to what degree. The list goes on and on. Is this too much to ask?
Expanding on this new world, I grew fixated with customers. How could I identify new customers and gain access? How can I expand my footprint within an existing customer? I just wasn’t getting the answers with the research that was available at the time. Ideally, when looking into a new customer, I’d like to understand their spending over time, but not just top-line figures. I need to know if they are buying what I’m selling, and how much, and how that’s trending over time. But maybe the most important factor to know is where the customer is buying what I’m selling? It doesn’t do me any good to waste B&P dollars pursuing a new contract only to find out that my customer is buying elsewhere.
This is an entertaining hypothetical, but we all have real research needs. After imagining a world where personal market intelligence is a reality, I just couldn’t shake the bug. It turns out that all this is possible, but it requires building a market intelligence platform from the ground up, based on every company’s past performance. Then, apply an algorithm to build markets consistently across that past performance landscape, and poof, we have it. We invite you to experience the difference for yourself.
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