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Competitive Analysis

Making the Call: Competitive Analysis

At Richter & Company, we make the call.  Primary research– actually talking to people within industry– provides quantitative data we need to make sound analysis. On most projects, there are 150 to 300 contacts that we reach out to.  In our consulting role, we have flexibility in reaching out to companies as a third party.  Because we’re not vested in an opportunity, we have the ability to ask about the opportunity, problems with the procurement, the competition, and likely solutions. Primary research faces the largest risk of disinformation- any business development manager can offer unreliable information, but it also offers

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The Framework of Competitive Analysis

Competitive analysis can be a daunting task.  At Richter & Company, we believe strong, reliable processes build the foundation and framework for sound, defensible analysis.  Competitive analysis can be broken down into three parts: Business Intelligence forms the foundation of competitive intelligence.  It focuses on quantitative numbers, like financial metrics and number of units produced.  Business intelligence consists of solid, irrefutable data points that define a company. Competitor Intelligence lays out the framework for analysis.  It is made up of quantitative data (business intelligence) and qualitative data.  While quantitative data defines, qualitative data describes.  Capabilities (general and specific), relevant news

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SWOT to Strategy

Many companies include the SWOT chart as part of a competitive intelligence presentation.  They spend a lot of time preparing the strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and creating a beautiful image.  And… that’s it. SWOT charts were designed to be springboards for creating strategies.  What products or services will the company leverage?  How will they differentiate their offering?  What story will they tell?  What are their weaknesses?  Are they aware of them?  How will they mitigate those weaknesses?  How are they perceived by the outside market?  What kinds of opportunities and threats exist outside of the company’s control? Strengths

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A Strong Knowledgebase

In the journey of competitive intelligence, it’s essential to have some kind of knowledgebase to store information.  This knowledgebase allows you to capture data, analyze historical trends and preposition information as you move into the future.  Here are a few characteristics of a strong knowledgebase: A strong knowledgebase is shared by your team.  Too often, there are no shared data points between coworkers.  One has a Rolodex of his references; another has an Excel file saved on her desktop.  The best knowledgebase is one that’s shared among coworkers so it’s robust and constantly updated.  In order for that to happen…

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Proposal Writing: Feature versus Benefit

Often times when companies present their solutions before the government, they talk a lot about themselves.  When you’re thinking about themes, working a brainstorm session with your team, or actually writing your proposal, be sure that you’re focused on your customer. Features are attributes of your solution.  Be it products or services, features are those things that can differentiate you from the competition:  lower cost, smaller size, more power, larger supply base, extended life. Even great features can be meaningless in a proposal, however, if you don’t highlight the value they bring to your customer.  Benefits highlight value. Your solution

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New Year’s Resolutions for the Contracting Community

2015 means new opportunities.  Not just in terms of upcoming contracts, but within your organization as well.  Here are some suggestions on how to make the most of opportunity knocking: Use the No Bid.  There are far too many companies that feel like once they’ve invested B&P dollars, they must bid an opportunity.  Encourage your team to use discretion in walking away from a contract.  Gate reviews serve as great times to assess your company’s decision to pursue an opportunity.  If you don’t have a convincing story for winning, don’t waste your time. Invest In Your People.  A successful business

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Finishing Strong: 3 Habits of Winning Teams

Winning federal business dollars is cutthroat business.   Especially in today’s hypercompetitive marketplace where LPTA contracts now represent a third of contract awards, and large ID/IQ vehicles reign for maximum value to the government. Winning teams work hard to win.  And many differentiate themselves from the competition in how they handle a contract post-award.  Here are three habits of highly effective teams: 1.        FOIA Bids.  The Freedom of Information Act is a wonderful thing, but few companies actually take advantage of available information.  FOIA your own company and bids, and make sure they’re redacted properly.  Check out your competition on contracts;

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Avoiding Proposal Mistakes

In an effort to spread the love this Valentine’s Day, we bring you five mistakes of proposals.  In the federal contracting world, of course. Ignoring the person your proposal is for.  Talk about what your customer needs and wants.  Be in tune with their requirements, both explicit and implicit.  Spend some time getting to know what exactly they’re looking for with the solicitation.  And then speak to that, not what your corporate objectives entail. Not getting permission beforehand.  If you don’t have early management, buy-in, you’re going to have a hard time getting the time and dollars you need to

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The Snow Storms of Capture

With snow and ice storms impacting much of the country this week, we’re reminded that preparing for bad weather is a lot like preparing for capture of new business within the federal marketspace.  Here’s our top five bits of advice for handling either. 1-      Prepare ahead of time.  You never want to face the storm without the proper resources.  For bad weather, tradition holds you need to stock up on bread, milk and TP.  In the contracting world, it’s all about people.  Make sure you have the right people tasked to the right assignments.  Give them the resources they need

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An Ethical Culture of Gathering Intelligence: We Never Cross the Line

With conflict of interest issues as a growing concern within the federal contracting community, it’s important that your consultants don’t pollute your ethical processes.  With a shrinking number of federal procurements and budget dollars at play, it is critical that you play it safe in the realm of business ethics. More RFPs mention conflict of interest and more protests equate to more headaches and possible legal repercussions if you’re not careful. At Richter & Company, we never cross the line.  We don’t involve ourselves in your solutions, strategies or proposal processes.  We don’t access information you’ve collected, instead opting to

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