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Training

The Two Things (Most Likely) Wrong With Your SWOT Analysis

Whether you love them or hate them, SWOT Analyses have been around for many decades, and they continue to pervade the realm of business development and strategic decision-making, most commonly in competitive assessment.  I could talk at length about why these simple quad charts have garnered so much attention (both positive and negative) over the years, but I won’t.  I continue to see value in SWOT analyses, but only if they are done properly and completely. What I want to talk about is what almost everyone does WRONG with SWOT analyses. In my experience, the two most common mistakes that

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Trust the Process: More than Checking a List

Price to Win is always an ongoing process, which undergoes many iterations before an actual proposal is ever delivered.  Richter & Company’s training courses are designed to give you the tools and templates you need to maximize the benefit of your competitive intelligence and price to win efforts.  Actionable intelligence is derived from following the process, while trusting the skills of your analysts to deliver quality results to your capture team. But it’s more than simply checking a list:  the process is designed to lay the foundation of your winning proposal. Plan work based on requirements.  Designate resources.  Can you

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LPTA Awards: Sad to Say, They’re Not Going Away

Over the course of the past several years, “best value” has reigned supreme in the federal contracting world.  But with the economic downturn, we’ve seen an increase in Lowest Price-Technically Acceptable (LPTA) contracts.  Despite the general aversion for LPTA awards, they’re here to stay. Last summer, Washington Technology did a survey among contractors regarding LPTA contracts.  68% of the survey’s respondents said the LPTA has negatively or mostly negatively impacted their businesses; pointing to suffering profits, lowered salaries, and an influx of junior staffers as results of increasing LPTA awards. And 66% of respondents said the LPTA has negatively or

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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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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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Richter & Company to Offer New Course

Richter & Company has a new independent course offering:  Investigative Techniques for Competitive Analysis.  The one-day course will be piloted July 15th. Investigative Techniques for Competitive Analysis focuses on providing insight on how to effectively and efficiently collect unpublished competitor and customer information, giving you the competitive advantage in any pursuit.  The class is designed to help attendees further develop their skills in collecting valuable competitive intelligence using methods which are both effective and ethical. Richter & Company’s courses are offered as one-day, public environment workshops involving instruction and hands-on group exercises.  The classes are also offered as Private Onsite

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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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