Let's Stay In Touch!
Debra Giles who has been our valued Business Manager for the past 12 years left us on January 1st. Debra is seeking support positions and office management opportunities closer to her home-ideally in the Springfield to Stafford, VA, area. She provides first-rate accounting, administration, market research, office asset management, and event/training management support, just to name a few, and has a security clearance. If you know of any opportunities for this stellar team player, she can be reached at DebraGiles@comcast.net. Debra stays close to all of us at Advantage Consulting, while she considers other opportunities she continues to consult for us, and is available to our clients for some support projects.
ACI staff can be reached at our main number: 703-642-5153. Our consultants; direct numbers are: Bill Hamilton (707-405-8912) for BD and Capture support, John Bender (703-855-3163) for Business Software and WinAward, JP Richard (703-568-6417) and Sheryl Birsky (202-494-7007) for Proposal Support or Proposal Training, and Sid Jaffe (703-855-3160) for BD, Capture, Valuation and Strategic Planning support. In addition, Sid is available to companies seeking Senior Level Board of Directors support.
Business Opportunities for Growth...Valuation Reviews
Uncertainty in the marketplace-combined with many firms being in a strong cash position- has created an environment ripe with opportunities for mergers and acquisitions. M&A tends to be focused on two primary scenarios. The first is a tactical acquisition that increases an organization's size and scope in its market. It often adds capabilities that can be leveraged into existing customers. "Bulking up" can also make a company look more attractive as a component of an exit or sale in the future and in the interim can provide additional resources. The second major acquisition type is Strategic. The acquisition extends a company into a new market, agency or command.
In either circumstance there are risks involved. Strong due diligence coupled with a reasonable price are the best measures to avoid an unsuccessful acquisition. Whether a firm will be a buyer or seller, it is important to conduct their own valuation, due diligence and internal review, over and above financial valuation, before a buyer, seller, bank or investor looks at your firm. For more information on Valuation Reviews, contact Sid Jaffe at (703) 855-3160.
Modeling and Simulation and Analytically Based Warfare Analyses, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command
If you need help designing and executing your capture program or proposals to win this procurement contact Sid Jaffe, at 703-855-3160.
Proposal Support: From "Shred to Red"
By Sheryl Birsky
In a tight economy, both large and small businesses are finding creative ways to make the most of proposal resources. Few companies have the luxury of a full-time proposal team at-the-ready. They have the technical experts to address the client solution, and have an in-house coordinator to manage the process and production. What is frequently missing, however, is a knowledgeable proposal expert to ensure effective messaging and RFP compliance.
The solution? Shred to Red© Proposal Services. These services typically include:
A thorough review of all Solicitation requirements
Development of a Shred Package that identifies RFP compliance and that guides the proposal process and content development-including templates for writers
Conducting a Proposal Kick-Off Meeting so that the proposal team proceeds with a clear outline and understanding of what is needed-including an exercise to ensure that discriminators and themes are identified
Conducting or participating in a Red Team proposal review to identify weaknesses
By adding this service to the beginning and end of the process, companies will keep in-house staff focused on what they do best, while making sure that the proposal is highly competitive. The service ensures a fresh review of requirements and an unbiased critique of content by a seasoned evaluator who has not been vested in the writing process.
Shred to Red© is an economical way to augment your team without a hefty consultant tab. The cost of a Shred to Red Service is generally $3,000. If needed, writing, editing, layout, orals coaching, and other support can be provided separately.
To learn how to make proposal Shred-to-Red© Services work for you, contact Sheryl Birsky at 202-785-5811 or e-mail email@example.com.
Capture Support: The "Must Win"
By Sid Jaffe
A short clinic with your team can provide tactical planning and direction that will result in a greatly increased chance to win critical recompetes and new opportunities. Our consultants will guide your group through a planning session that results in a set of key actions with assigned responsibilities and agreed-upon expectations by your team.
Specific tactics include: Becoming the Customer's Preferred Contractor, Accessing Decision Makers and Influencers, Shaping the Acquisition Strategy and Requirements, Gathering the Right Information for a Winning Proposal, Surveying the Competitive Landscape, Pricing to Win, Effective Teaming Arrangements, Leveraging and Working through Set Asides and most important Overcoming the Obstacles you face as a contractor.
For more information and to schedule a discussion on Must Win support, contact Sid Jaffe at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 855-3160.
Effective Proposal Writing: The "So What?" Test
By Sheryl Birsky
You have just written what you believe to be a well-written proposal section. All of the major points are covered. It is organized according to the RFP requirements and the paragraphs flow well. You do a “spellcheck” and then e-mail the completed write-up to your Proposal Manager. Job done! Well, not so fast.
Often, what is most important is what you neglected to say. Re-read each sentence in your section and then ask, "So what?" Does the sentence communicate what the benefit is for the client?
For example, you write:
Our company is a Small Business located in Washington, DC.
So what? What does this mean to the customer? In answering this question, consider this:
Because our company is a Small Business, you will benefit from our flexibility and timely decision-making as your mission evolves. Located in Washington, DC, just 2 Metro stops from your office, we can quickly respond to emerging requirements.
Our company is CMMI Level 3 certified.
As a certified CMMI Level 3 organization, we bring proven, well-defined, repeatable processes and a stringent approach to quality control-ensuring consistent, first-rate products throughout the life of the contract.
Make sure that every sentence is made applicable to the customer. If it isn't, there is a high likelihood that the sentence isn't necessary.
Many proposals are page limited; we streamline as much as we can. In the process, however, we often lose the chance to make a vital point. In doing the "So What?" Test, we make sure that every word counts and also offers meaning to the client. Benefits are not always obvious or implicit.
To discuss this and other proposal tips, contact Sheryl Birsky at 202-785-5811 or e-mail at email@example.com.
Being of Value: Is Janus on Your Team?
By Bill Hamilton
In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of beginnings and transitions. He is usually presented as a two-faced person with one face looking to the past and one to the future. Maybe it's time to put Janus to work on your staff.
An agency hires a contractor to do something the agency cannot accomplish or chooses not to accomplish. We are in an environment where mission does not go away but resources do. In our overworked and over tasked life style, there is frequently no time to take stock and analyze past events to determine how we can learn from them. Many agencies today are in a fully reactive mode and they may not know how to get their mission back on track.
You, as a potential or current contractor, are in a position to help the Government customer because you are not restricted in developing new solutions. Some solutions may be derived from other sources or even other agencies. The best gift you can offer a customer is your interest, your thoughts, and your innovation. As Janus would have done, consider what was done to solve a problem in the past and how it was accomplished. A solution for a present or even future problem may come from other agencies, other industries, or even other countries. You are not limited in the direction you can take.
This not the happiest of times-but it is not necessarily a bad time. Many companies that had their start during a low economic period have thrived. Look to the past and your innovative capabilities and make something happen.
Want more information? Contact Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (703) 642-4153 and let's talk.
Business Development Process and Tool Assessments
By John Bender
When was the last time you assessed how well your BD process is working?
In our unique government contracting environment, you have to be very good-and very competitive. Mass market, commercial "sales" systems just are not effective enough. You need customized tactics and tools to find, capture, and grow government business.
Correct your BD deficiencies before it is too late. You may not have planned to invest in your business development process and tools-and are reluctant to spend on it now-but can you afford not to? What are your toughest competitors doing?
The best intentions won't allow you to be successful if you make BD too hard. Homegrown systems often get in the way rather than assist the BD process. Business processes that do not tap the overall synergy within your company or use the available technologies can put you in a business death spiral quickly.
We provide an experienced, on-site review of how well your BD processes and tools are working for you. Contact John Bender at (703) 855-3163 or email@example.com for details on how we can help you compete more successfully.
Measure Twice, Cut Once…But, if you are not going to cut don’t waste time measuring.
"Be Sure you are right and then go ahead”"said Disney's Davy Crockett 60 years ago-and still good to go.
The Cheshire Cat told Alice, "If you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there." Just make sure you are on a road and not a treadmill to oblivion (with respect to the late Fred Allen).