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Increasing Your Capacity to Respond to the Surge of Stimulus Procurements by Using Proposal Software

The US government has unleashed an unprecedented rate of spending with the signing of the $800B economic stimulus package. Given the nature of the government procurement process and the urgency behind the situation it aims to solve, the acquisition process will be a challenge in itself. For one, the government agencies cannot afford to wait for long periods to send out solicitations and receive responses. In order to get the stimulus working, procurement has to be completed within a very short period – possibly within 60 – 90 days from issuing the solicitation. Aside from a very short response timeframe, here are some specifics of procurement you should be aware of:
  • Contractors will see more fixed-price contracts for the stimulus-based opportunities since the law requires the government to spend the stimulus money in this manner as much as possible.
  • A recent CSIS study shows that the competition for Federal Contracts is at an all time-high. The stimulus package only reinforces this idea by creating a strong mandate for competitive bids
  • The CSIS study also points to the fact that the average size of contracts is lower – from about $1 million in 1995 to around $400,000 in 2007.
  • The package is not specific to any one industry and includes spending for technology initiatives, healthcare, energy, infrastructure and education to name a few.
  • Transparency and accountability are going to be key. The website will track where the funds are going and is being given the highest profile under the auspices of the office of the Vice President
  • Opportunities will arise from oversight as well as direct spending

In summary, while the economic stimulus package means opportunities for many, it is not going to come easily. With shortened timeframes for response, smaller contracts that are potentially fixed-bid types and higher competition from outside the normal government contracting field, agility is the name of the game. With smaller awards, a company will have to win a higher volume to get to the same top-line revenues. This means that the organization has to bid more business and increase its win rates to achieve this goal. To bid and win more, you then have to produce more proposals which means you have be more efficient than before to assure that your efforts are paying off. Automation of processes and repetitive activities is critical as is the ability to collaborate across varied resources to get the right information. Privia, a software package developed by SpringCM can deliver the automation you need to be successful in this challenging environment.

What you need to do
How Privia can help
In order to win more, you have to bid more, but bid more against the targets where your chances of winning are high. 
·         Facilitates developing proposals concurrently so that more proposals can be delivered in the same timeframe. Privia customers have seen a 10-fold increase in proposal development without compromising quality or increasing core proposal staff count.
·         Supports making decisions about the opportunities you want to pursue by capturing and analyzing the right information.
·         Provides virtual collaboration to ensure that the right SME can provide the information needed regardless of location.
·         Provides features to assess competition and make teaming decisions early in the BD and capture phases.
Make sure that you have the right information and intelligence with regard to the opportunities you want to bid. 
·         Capture information through a variety of sources – email, notes, websites – in one central place providing a better understanding of the opportunity as it develops, across the organization.
Leverage and target opportunities where you can show significant past performance credentials and be sure of winning. This information should be accessible so you don’t have to recreate it every time. 
·         Track past performance information in a central knowledge base and customize and apply it to current opportunities quickly.
·         Facilitate choosing teaming partners and subcontractors based on customer preference, hot buttons and past performance criteria.
Take advantage of information as soon as it becomes available and capture it without errors as soon as it is released.
·         Download RFP and contract information at the click of a button from pervasive content sources into Privia. Automatic imports save time and also eliminate errors associated with manual transcription processes.
If the capture process is in disarray the window will shut before you can respond, especially with the timeframes associated with this stimulus package. 
·         Streamlines capture process and ensures you have the right resources aligned to build and deliver the solution and respond satisfactorily to the solicitation. An important component is to ensure that this can be done cost-effectively without adversely affecting the bottom-line.
If your proposal process is not streamlined then there is a good chance something may go amiss – a missed deadline or a small deviation from a requirement could cost you the contract. 
·         Automates and streamlines the proposal process. Proactively managing resources and activities along the development process increases your likelihood of success.
·         Provides a centralized document management system that is subject to role-based access control and versioning.
·         Supports online reviewing,  accelerating reviews and production.
Leveraging the right resources within the organization, wherever they may be, and within teaming partners can shift your probability of win. 
·         Privia increases geographically dispersed SME productivity by providing access to information anywhere at any time.
·         Executives who may not have the time to fully participate in reviews at appointed times, can now review and provide valuable input before the proposal goes out the door.
Keep bid & proposal expenses under control but deliver more proposals without compromising quality and with the same core team.
·         On-line collaboration functionality enables virtual reviews including real-time commenting and exchange of ideas.   Virtual reviews have been shown to cut down review times from 4 days to 1 day and also involve personnel who are needed but cannot necessarily be physically present.

By Carl Dickson, Founder of

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