Information technology provider DSA, Inc. focuses primarily on work for the Department of Defense (DoD), including the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the US Army, among other federal agencies. With 45 years of experience, the company is in a strong competitive position as one of the awardees for contracts under ENCORE II, which encompasses IT requirements for the military services and DoD. But to capitalize on these opportunities, DSA has to act quickly, explains Jim Gatewood, Director of Business Development for DSA: “Task order response turnaround on Encore II is usually a two-week process, during which time we have to decide whether to bid, assemble the information we need, farm it out to the appropriate personnel to develop the proposal, then get it back to the government.”
- DSA has achieved a 25% improvement in task order management efficiencies
- Web-based solution has improved collaboration both internally and with trading partners and reduced travel expenses
- SaaS-based deployment has reduced numerous IT costs, including hardware, desktop storage, administration, and development; improved disaster recovery
- All proposal and past performance information, and teaming partner collaboration are managed through the Privia solution, delivered as SaaS
- Standardized workspace templates support a consistent file structure to enhance ease of use and productivity
- Web access supports secure, efficient collaboration among DSA’s proposal team, internal contributors, and teaming partners
Until recently, inefficient processes made it difficult for DSA to manage the information and collaboration required for successful bids. Proposal source information regarding cost, technology, management, and past performance was stored in different locations, as were opportunity details and the files of each contributing team member. Without an efficient platform for collaboration, team members were forced to complete some proposals without the help of operations, business development, and contracting personnel—making it impossible to fully leverage DSA’s deep resources and expertise.
Says Gatewood, “Given the size of the ENCORE II program and others we pursue business under, we needed to help everyone involved in the process—including our trading partners—share information and collaborate more effectively.” To keep costs under control, the company sought a solution that provided reliable support without extensive in-house development or maintenance requirements.
Rapidly Implementing a World-Class Proposal Development Platform
DSA found that Privia, the business capture and proposal management software from SpringCM, met its requirements in capture, proposal, and task order response without prohibitive development time and costs. The solution provides team members with complete, easily customizable document management (DM) functionality and access to centralized proposal information and documents via dedicated opportunity workspaces. Compatibility with Microsoft Office simplifies adoption and use.
“Privia has become an integral part of our proposal development process,” says Director of Business Development Rich Lorenz. “It enables us to manage proposal requirements and the documents we create in response, and to easily incorporate the contributions of subject matter experts throughout our organization and our trading partners.”
ENCORE II, DSA’s largest application for Privia, illustrates a typical use case. Privia is used to register opportunities; notify DSA and its teaming partners of task order requests (TOR); register interest in TORs; collaborate on proposals; and store proposals and receipts after submission to the government—all within a single platform. Designed in coordination with business development, project management, operations, and contracting personnel, each opportunity workspace is based on a standard file structure which makes it easy for everyone involved to share information and edit centrally managed documents. The solution’s secure, web-based interface supports distributed collaboration by remote DSA employees and partners, with revision control features to ensure cogency and accuracy.
Improving Efficiency and Reducing Costs
Privia quickly delivered a significant impact on DSA’s business with a 25% improvement in efficiency with task order management. Having responded to more than 80 task orders in its first five months on Privia, the company expects to handle from 200 – 300 in the coming year. Says Gatewood, “We’ve been able to get every member of our proposal development process working together quickly and accurately. Privia helps us ensure complete compliance with requirements and build on past success by making information about past performance readily accessible. Engineers, contracts personnel, and other contributors can easily see what we’ve done before to solve particular problems and then focus on tailoring it to what’s needed for the current customer.”
Along the way, Privia has helped DSA reduce its proposal development costs. In its initial on-premises implementation, the solution reduced DSA’s costs for software development, employee travel, and desktop storage. The transition to software-as-a-service (SaaS) provided additional savings by reducing administration, maintenance, and on-premises data storage. Privia has also enhanced DSA’s disaster recovery processes—something made dramatically clear when the company lost power for two days during a recent hurricane. “If we’d had an on-premises system, we wouldn’t have been able to complete or submit a successful proposal, but with Privia, we were able to continue our work remotely and meet both the deadline and our own standards for proposal quality,” says Gatewood.
DSA continues to grow its Privia implementation, bringing on additional personnel from its executive team, operations, contracting, and teaming partners to contribute to proposal development. “Privia’s flexibility and ease of use gives us the freedom to address a broad range of requirements,” says Gatewood. “At the same time, the solution scales easily to help us win even the largest, most complex contracts while keeping costs low. It’s a powerful combination.”