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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 smart devices is that data points will be aggregated to identify trends and help reduce waste to help you function more efficiently.   It’s been said that IoT will usher in an age of prosperity. For years, we’ve been capable of capturing data.  But historically, there’s been very little in the way of processing those data points to create actual information.  And even less so to make that information into meaningful knowledge.  The lack of actionable intelligence has meant a plethora of worthless data points for both customers and providers.  The goal of IoT is to change all that. For the past eight years, Richter & Company has acted to aggregate information in the realm of the federal marketspace.  As your trusted provider of Competitive Analysis and Price to Win services, we have a significant knowledgebase and experienced consultants who work to identify trends and translate data points into meaningful knowledge to help you function more efficiently.  And ultimately, win more business. We gather intelligence outside of your internal business activity; conduct analysis and come up with results, news you can use.  The result?  Your dollars and time are spent more efficiently.  You end up with actionable intelligence, and can usher in prosperity as you win more business. For more information on winning business, contact Richter & Company today.
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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 months plus after the government told you it would be.  In the shopping space, save those ads. Save Your Time and Energy for The Accessible Stuff.  B&P dollars, like all wallets, have limitations.  Invest in programs you can and should win.  Don’t put your hat in the ring for every program “just because.”  Make sure the programs you’re bidding are programs you can and should win. Don’t Show Up Last Minute and Expect to Win Big.  If you show up after the stampedes of better seasoned people, don’t expect to win big.  Be it a big screen television, or a sole source contract, if you show up late, you might as well not show up at all. Go With a Trusted Partner.  Not with someone who will steal the goods out from under you.  You worked hard for that win.  In the federal space, Richter & Company can help you win.  Since 2006, we’ve helped our clients win more than $30 B in government contracts.  And we’ll be happy to help you again this holiday season.  Contact us for more information on winning business.
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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 hand out and begin to grasp at a single snowflake, you have but a single snowflake.  But if you gradually gather single snowflake by single snowflake, you will soon hold a snowball in your hand.  And that snowball will be a good representation of the makeup of snow:  it will be a sufficient amount of raw data that can be examined and assessed. In speaking with individuals regarding a specific program or opportunity, one conversation may not yield much.  As with gathering snowflakes, it is the sheer volume of the conversations that provides significant raw data that can be analyzed.  Once you have talked to some appropriate contacts, you can start to piece together an image of the competitive field:  the players, the solutions they’ll offer, and the general consensus regarding their capabilities.  You’ve built your snowball of competitive information
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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 you’ve “seen it all.”  With government stand-offs, and the effects of sequestration still not in full effect, Federal contracting is an interesting realm.  Companies are getting creative in their solutions; new strategies are bringing prices down and changing the meaning of “best value.” Let Richter & Company help you win.  Our analysts are seasoned experts, whose understanding of historical trends along with a commitment to seeking out information regarding the changing world of contracting, provide you with an independent assessment of the competitive landscape.  Contact us for more information regarding our full scope of services.
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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 bring down their wrap rates.  Companies offering goods will often pressure their suppliers; companies offering services will get creative in hiring at specific labor percentiles.  Management challenges drive down the total evaluated price. Once a strategy has been decided on, a team knows the mentality and the creativity they need to take in pursuing a specific opportunity.  Richter & Company’s seasoned professionals can help you identify strategies your competitors are likely to take, and help your company determine the ultimate price to win.  
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We Never Cross the Line

To avoid conflicts of interest, we never cross the line. Our work focuses on competitive analysis.  To do this work, we perform research to identify the detailed solutions and strategies companies are likely to employ to beat our clients. This work is ethical, moral and legal when the research relies on open source, non-proprietary data – but most definitely unethical, immoral and illegal when proprietary data is used.  Continue reading We Never Cross the Line