We have all entered a Proposal development phase with a zealous Capture Manager who is able to assist, and want the very best proposal – at all cost. The Capture Manager is enthusiastic and offers additional assistance every step of the way, and insists on a top quality proposal. However, when you read the Section L of the RFP and reading the SECTION M, you realize that the proposal is a Lowest Price Technically Acceptable Proposal (LPTA). In this Best Value Scenario, where Price is the most important factor, you realize that an “A+” Book Report is not as important as the Capture Manager believes. You realize that an “A+” price with a “C” Book Report may win the competition
CONVEYING THE FACTS
It is very important to convey your thoughts without creating animosity with the team; and especially with the Capture Manager. The team will teeter on your every word. Try conveying your message with analogies (just as we provided above). The balance between keeping a Technically Acceptable Proposal and an excellent price means giving more attention to the particulars of the other Direct Costs (ODC), and Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs), special tools and equipment, geographic dispersion of personnel on the contract, government furnished equipment GFE), and contractor furnished equipment (CFE).
It is important to keep Bid and Proposal dollar expenditures to a minimum to allow for contingencies up to and including a work stoppage. You may have to shelve the proposal if the government states it is cancelling the competition; therefore, be cognizant of escalating writing costs. In order to prevent focusing on the technical more than the Cost/Price volume we recommend the following steps.
- Read the RFP in it’s entirety before making assignments
- Conduct a Q&A session with your time to capture questions and inaccuracies in the RFP
- Refine your Gap analysis
- Refine your requirement analysis
- Test your Price To Win (PTW) against the Final RFP requirements
- Limit the amount of time your writers have to produce a first draft
Value is in the eye of the customer, and in a LPTA competition, the customer is telling us to focus on austerity and reductions. The customer is embedded in the Source Selection Board (SSB), the contracting office, the end user, the COTR, and stakeholders at higher levels. Be wise choose to balance your proposal management time with a heavier emphasis on “how” your price volume is developed, and control the time spent on the technical approach.
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CEO, ProSource Technology, Inc.