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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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But, What About Us? The Importance of Self Assessment in the Federal Contracting World

Your proposal team dutifully takes on the business development process for most projects.  But as B&P dollars are cut in an uncertain Federal climate, your team has taken to cutting corners where they can.  Your team’s morale has taken a hit, and is struggling to come up with creative solutions to respond to RFPs where “best value” increasingly means lowest cost. In today’s hypercompetitive market though, there are a number of dark horses.  Companies are more and more creative, and aggressive, in their strategies to win more business.  So what if you assessed a program from a different angle?  What

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The Rise of the Dark Horse

Increasingly, during Richter & Company’s pricing assignments, a “Dark Horse” or “Notional Bidder” is named as a target for analysis.  As the federal marketplace becomes more cutthroat, companies are increasingly concerned about the creative pricing strategies that have been offered on recent contracts. Small businesses are becoming more sophisticated, investing in experienced business development people to bid creatively and expand their business.  Large businesses are creating cost pools to keep G&A down, and bidding zero fee to “buy into” programs.  A recent Grant Thornton study showed that federal contractor profit rates are plummeting, with 60% of survey respondents reporting no

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Investing B&P Dollars

Retail companies that are struggling often cut advertising dollars when budgets are tight.  In the Federal contracting world, Bid and Proposal dollars are often the first to face the chopping block.  In both cases, the very thing drumming up new business is cut for lack of immediate return. But what if retail stores knew their advertising efforts would equate to new sales?  What if your business development team knew their B&P dollars could yield a contract win, and a significant return on investment? Richter & Company’s core services are designed to help you win.   Our Competitive Analysis and Price to

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The Fear of Sequestration

Despite the fact that sequestration was set up as a “worst case scenario” incentive to encourage politicians of all walks to actually get along, March 1st marked the date of the deadline and the start of automatic “across the board” budget cuts.  The $85 billion in cuts make up about three percent of the Federal budget.

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