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Price To Win

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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Actionable Intelligence

In the past few months, there’s been increasing talk about “the internet of things” (IoT.)  Recently, Gartner estimated a $1.9 trillion market impact by 2020. And Cisco estimated that for every person in the world, there would be six smart devices (for a total of fifty billion connected devices) by the year 2020.   That’s a lot of information. But what will we do with all this information?  So what your lamp “knows” that it’s on at 3 PM each afternoon, and your thermostat “knows” to set itself at 72 degrees if it’s colder than 40 out?  The concept of these

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The Pitfalls of Aimless Shopping

A week from Friday, people will wake up too early from their beds, bleary eyed and still full of too much tryptophan, to race to their cars for a few dollars in their pockets.  And that’s just with the latest DoD RFP release, let alone Black Friday shopping. Here’s some advice for, well, either situation. Make a Plan.  Be involved early.  Get to know your marketplace.  Get a hold of as much documentation as possible.  In the federal space, this means talking to your customer.  Influencing how the final RFP will look when it finally comes out, which is six

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Building a Snowball

Primary research is perhaps one of the most daunting aspects of the competitive intelligence process.  It involves gathering information firsthand, or actually talking to people.  Randy Richter, president and founder of Richter & Company, often compares the task of conducting primary research to gathering snowflakes. If you stand in the center of a field and are asked to examine a blizzard, it may seem an impossible task.  With thousands of snowflakes falling each second, it’s difficult to imagine that one is capable of gathering any kind of meaningful information regarding the composition of snow. If you stick your icy mittened

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Richter & Company Debuts New Services for Small Business Clients

In an effort to offer increased value, Richter & Company has developed several offerings to cater to the business development needs of our small business clients. “In order to meet the needs of small businesses in the federal contracting world, we will now offer several ‘a la carte’ services,” said Randy Richter, president of Richter & Company.  “Wrap rate analysis and labor rate analysis are just two of our new offerings that will allow small businesses to win more business.” For more information about how we can help your small business win, contact us.

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The Successful Project

At Richter & Company, we don’t believe in fly-over “pigeon” management.  You know the kind — a member of management staff enters the room clueless, sprays less than welcome “stuff” in your direction that changes the course of your project, and moves on to the next unsuspecting crowd. In order to prevent this kind of unwelcome interruption, it is essential to get management “buy in” early on in the process of pursuing an opportunity.  If management is informed and involved, it is much less likely that they’ll burst in during your final efforts, demanding a major change. Here are Richter

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“History is Not an Exact Predictor” The Value of Evaluating Trends

Historical data is important.  At Richter & Company, the last step of our business process is to capture information regarding a program:   strengths and weaknesses for each competitor’s team; feedback from the customer; award and protest information for the contract, in our database. The information is crucial as reference points for company bidding tendencies and strategies, as well as for Government buying tendencies.  It allows us to look at trends and how they evolve over time. But in the current hypercompetitive landscape, history is not the most accurate predictor of future strategy.  Be cautious of feeling like you’re untouchable, like

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A Process of People

The process of government acquisition is designed to be as objective as possible.  But it’s important to remember that the people issuing government requirements and awarding government contracts are just people. At Richter & Company, we’ve seen some poorly written RFPs lately.   The acquisition force is facing a wave of retirements, meaning there are some inexperienced acquisition personnel trying to put together cohesive RFPs for the first time.  Often, the people writing the requirements aren’t the end users, so there’s disconnect between what the government is saying it wants, and what it actually wants.  No matter.  It’s important to try

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Price= Cost + Strategy

With sequestration as an ongoing threat to the federal contracting community, more companies are getting more creative in their strategies. At Richter & Company, we believe that Price = Cost + Strategy.  Overall business strategy is the biggest driver in making business decisions, and the biggest factor in determining the ultimate price to win.  Not cost plus fee. If a company is looking to gain an important federal customer, they may invest in the program so much that they bid zero fee.  If a company is extremely aggressive in going after a specific program, they may create new overhead pools to

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