Business Strategies and Proposals- Assignment #2 – Bid Strategy
Business Strategies and Proposals- Assignment #2 – Bid Strategy Bid Strategy 1. Review the action plan from the first assignment and create a future plan that is consistent with federal procurement opportunity’s mission and strategic plan. SRG Consulting’s current action plan is to increase its human capital assets by recruiting subject matter experts (SMEs) in the fields of engineering, technology and telecommunications. To accomplish this SRG has revised its HR programs, policies and practices to empower its HR specialists to recruit, develop and/or retain the key personnel needed to achieve mission success. The action plan includes activities such as – employing a certification and licensing program; (2) securing leadership support for continuous learning; (3) encouraging employees to contribute through a more robust performance reward and recognition program; (4) maximizing employees’ talent; and (5) monitoring, assessing and following-up on outcomes. However, after looking closely at the procurement opportunity’s mission and strategic plan, it would behoove SRG to revise its action plan. The procurement opportunity mission calls for bidders who are familiar with and understand the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Though SRG maybe familiar with ITAR, the level of expertise requested is beyond its current staffing pool. Hence, in order to bid on this opportunity, SRG would have to subcontract to obtain the expertise needed to perform this particular task. To avoid using subcontractors, in the future, SRG will develop a recruiting plan to add this program integration activity/performance task to its line of business (LOB). Some of the activities that will assist SRG in providing this service are: assessing its available funding resources; completing market research on the pool of available talent; implementing a training development program; and advertising its new LOB to draw talent and gain a competitive advantage. 2. Create a bid decision evaluation form, select a total five (5) criteria of the firm’s current marketing position, and then score against the requested opportunity using the example on Figure 7.1 described in Chapter 7 of the textbook. According to Osborne (2011), bid decisions can be made by employing a three-tier decision process that can be applied to almost, every procurement. The tiers consist of – (1) making a preliminary decision to pursue the contract; (2) making a formal bid; and (3) validating the earlier decision to bid. Out of the three tiers, tier-two is the most critical, as a company must ensure, before moving forward with its formal bid, it has carefully and wisely evaluated its decision (Osborne, 2011). To determine whether to pursue this RFP; SRG has selected five criteria – background opportunity, customer reputation, technical capability, personnel/proposal resources, and pricing – of its current marketing position to score against this proposal opportunity. Figure 1, below provides the results of SRG’s evaluation of these criteria (Osborne, 2011). Figure 1 – Bid DECISION EVALUATION FORM BID AREA SCORING CRITERIA BID AREA Negation Neutral Positive RATING 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Background Unfamiliar with customer Generally understand customer Fully understand Opportunity needs; cannot meet and may meet requirements customer and can 8 requirements completely meet requirements. Customer Poor past performance. Neutral or no past Good past performance Reputation Problems exist with performance. and strong customer 10 relationship. customer. Relationship neither positive nor negative. Technical Not qualified to perform. Capable of performing Technically superior. Capability technically. Have unique capability. 7 Personnel/Proposal Sufficient personnel and Sufficient resources available The best and the brightest Resources resources not available to but need to be supplemented. are available. 7 support the proposal. Pricing Must cut corners to be Responsive and generally Have pricing advantage competitive. competitive. and within known limits. 10 Price credibility problem. TOTAL SCORE: 42 AVERAGE SCORE: 8.4 (Total Points Divided by Number of Bid Areas) COMMENTS: Although there appear to be some areas of concern, these concerns can be overcome through a subcontracting vehicle.
The results of this evaluation indicate that SRG has a good chance of winning this bid. However, it would be wise for SRG to pursue its HR strategy action plan, giving that the evaluate results show a neutral score (although on the high side) of the personnel/proposal resources. This neutral score signifies that competitors may have an advantage in the resource category.
3. Develop a bid strategy that provides a competitive edge over the peer federal acquisition market using five (5) customer key evaluation requirements (CKERs).
In order to develop an effective bid strategy, one must first identify the key elements that are most important to the customer. Osborne (2011) calls these elements the customer key evaluation Requirement (CKERs). CKERs represent the customer perspective; and may be used by the customer to distinguish between losing and winning proposals (Osborne, 2011). After carefully reviewing NASA’s proposal opportunity, SRG has identified five (5) CKERs: (1) program integration; (2) experienced program management (planning and control); (3) technology (configuration and data management); (4) training and development; and (5) program assessment and evaluation (R-Project Management Support Services, 2013). These CKERs, as shown in Figure 2 below, gives SRG an indication of its strengths and weaknesses in comparison to its competitors. These strengths and weaknesses can be use to develop a bid strategy
FIGURE 2: COMPETITIVE ASSESSMENT USING CKERS FOR THE R-PROJECT MANAGEMENT SUPPORT SERVICES RFP.
Customer Key Evaluation Requirements A B C
Program Integration = = ?
Experienced Program Management + = +
Technology (Configuration and Data Management) - = -
Training and Development + + ? Assessment and Evaluation + + + Based on the competitive assessment in Figure 2, out-of-the five CKERs, SRG has strengths in three areas – Experienced Program Management, Training and Development and Assessment and Evaluation. Thus, to keep its competitive advantage, SRG must maintain and enhance these capabilities. However, in areas where SRG is neutral/equal – Program Integration, and weak – Technology, it is crucial that SRG develop a bid strategy to strengthen these capabilities. The goal of the bid strategy is – (1) to create an information technology environment that will enhance core businesses; and (2) to increase program integration capabilities. The activities of the bid strategy include: market research of current and latest technology (i.e. data management tools and data configuration); assess resource availability to obtain technological tools and talent; partner with other contractors who already possess the human capital resources; and enhance training and development to include a mentor and intern program (NYIT Information Technology Strategic Plan, 2010).
4. Identify three (3) risks of the bid strategy and then develop three (3) opportunities to mitigate each risk.
Risk management is defined as “the identification, analysis, assessment, control, and avoidance, minimization, or elimination of unacceptable risks” (BusinessDictionary.com). Hence, risk analysis is a technique used to identify those potential risks that are either associated with the performance of the contract or generated by the bid strategy itself. These risks must be leveled by the anticipated gains and advantages they may present (Osborne, 2011). In assessing SRG’s bid strategy, I have identified the following three risks: (1) the lack of human capital resources, (2) funding to acquire technology tools; and (3) timeframe to train and develop employees.
Lack of Human Capital Resources
The bid strategy is based upon the belief that SRG will obtain the necessary talent needed to perform the ITAR task by subcontracting. This is a risk as it may not be easy to find a contractor with the human capital resources who is willing to subcontractor. In addition, the price of such subcontracting may be higher than SRG is willing to pay.
Funding to Acquire Technology Tools
Using technology as a resource in today’s cyber environment is a must. However, acquiring technology tools – i.e. data management software program can be expensive. This funding requirement can proposal a risk if SRG fail to include this cost in its budget plan. Even if funding is available, using additional funds not originally accounted for can cost SRG to go lacking in some other program funding area.
Timeframe to Train and Develop Employees
Training and developing employees is not something that can be done overnight. It is a continuous process; and depending on the skill-set of employees it can take 90 to 120 days. This proposal a risk as contractors who respond to RFP must ensure they are ready to perform require tasks upon being awarded the contract. If SRG fails to provide a ready, competent staff or there maybe cause to terminate the contract for failure to perform.
While every bid carries risk, every risk presents an opportunity that goes “beyond those represented by winning the contract” (Osborne, 2011, p. 155). Opportunities can be used to help mitigate future risk. For example, the risk of lack of human capital presents the opportunity to develop a strategic recruiting plan to increase SRG’s human capital asset/talent pool. The plan might include, but not limited to, the following: recruiting outreach activities, increasing or revamping employees’ benefits to attract and retain talent, and partnering with colleges and universities. Employing these activities will minimize and/or eliminate SRG’s lack of human capital risk.
Now let us consider the second risk, lack of funding to acquire technology tools. This risk presents the opportunity for SRG to reallocate funds to enhance and/or build new core business. Moving funds from an un-needed resource to a needed resource – technology tools, will strengthen SRG’s future position and give the company a competitive advantage over those competitors who lack this resource.
Finally, the third risk – timeframe needed to train and develop employees, presents the opportunity to revise and improve SRG’s training and development program. Revision of the program should include mentorship activities to help develop employees and increase skill-set. Mentorship activities also help engage senior level employees. Engaging senior level employees is a wise tactic, as it not only helps to develop entry and mid level employees, but it increases the potential for retaining senior level competent employees.
In conclusion, while it is vital to understand the risks that come with every bid, it is even more vital to mitigate these risks by capitalizing on the opportunity these risks present. Integrating both the risks and opportunities into the bid strategy help your company better position itself for future bid opportunities. According to Osborne (2011) there will always be trade-offs. Thus, completing a thorough assessment of the risks and opportunities linked to your bid strategy might be the key to winning or losing (Osborne, 2011).
NYIT Information Technology Strategic Plan. (2010, March 23). Retrieved from
Osborne, S. (2011). Winning government business: Gaining the competitive advantage (2nd. Ed.).
Bienna, VA: Management Concepts.
Risk management. BusinessDictionary.com. Retrieved from BusinessDictionary.com website: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/risk-management.html.
R-Project Management Support Services. (2013). Federal Business Opportunities. Retrieved from https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity.