Anyone working in DoD knows it’s tough, and about to get tougher. Every year is shaping up to be a painful year for companies supporting DoD. But even with reduced expenditures, there are lots of opportunities to pursue. Knowing how to find them (and win them) is the key to survival now!
You can expect DoD to put extra emphasis on oversight of the precious remaining funding streams to ensure they get as much bang for the buck as possible. You can bet on this: if (when) reductions in force (RIF’s) are authorized across DoD, the contract and acquisition experts will be the last to go. DoD is serious about improving their ability to purchase value.
DISA recently reorganized to provide MORE audit and planning oversight on the acquisition force. GAO continues to pick at DoD’s processes. The July GAO report on how DoD is purchasing unmanned systems was far from complimentary. Under Secretary (AT&L) Frank Kendall’s issued guidance defining responsibilities and authorities for “Should Cost” Management expands the Better Buying Power initiative and gives more definition to the process.
As much as Industry hates Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) and large multiple award contracts (with no guaranteed minimum for each winner), these contracting strategies continue to serve DoD well: providing more competition and lower costs. They aren’t going away.
That said, now is the time to fine tune your strategy for interacting with DoD to make sure that you are one of the voices that are heard. Whenever I work with a company, I spend a good deal of time trying to find out how that company solves a need that DoD has. Making a strong identification here is essential.
The next step is developing a compelling case on how your solution will provide a return on investment to DoD – and I mean exactly how, when, how much. In years past, a strong ROI analysis was always welcomed, but many solutions were selected on vague ROI plans that never circled back to out-year budget cuts. Today, a winning solution will present not only what it can do for DoD, but what near-future budget cuts can be implemented because of this new capability.
NSA announced they will be replacing 90% of their System Administrators with automated systems. Mr. Snowden may have accelerated this response, but obviously these solutions will provide SA functions faster and better. This clearly provides a compelling ROI and an associated budget cut.
As you queue up your DoD meetings, I recommend you look at the organizations upcoming budget and identify ways your solution can help them cut line-entries. That’s an offer that can’t be refused, and if you are SERIOUS, they will be too.
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- The Navy’s Disconnected Refresh Strategy: Delivering Yesterday’s IT Tomorrow - June 18, 2014