Happy Days Are Here Again, But Only For a Few

The year 2013 presented its share of challenges to the federal government,

IT federal contracting community as well as, Congress and its budget process. Going into 2014 the sequestration as we have come to know it has taken a back seat to more forward thinking leadership from our political leaders.Even though the sequestration didn’t last for a long time, it lasted long enough to cause crippling damage to both small and large business alike. The New Year has arrived and with it comes an end to the Continuing Resolution (CR) and a new approved two year congressional budget has been passed. The New Year also brings with it a couple of pieces of new legislation that are designed to make the government more efficient in its ability to do IT acquisitions….. The legislation purposes to provide a single point of responsibility and maybe… budget authority at the CIO level of each agency with the possibilities of establishing an Acquisition Center of Excellence to assist agencies with complex acquisitions and keep them apprised of lessons learned in acquiring technology. And there is also consideration being given to establishing a Federal Infrastructure and Common Application Collaboration Center. Both could have significant impact on the contracting community and the way they pursue business opportunities.

Pending Legislation:

The House Oversight and Government Reform committee: “The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act” which they tried to pass through the National Defense Authorization Act via an amendment but did not sneak through.

The Senate Appropriations Committee/Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013…”The Federal Information Technology Savings, Accountability, and Transparency Act” which is still pending

Boy, isn’t this music to the ear? Does this bring about a sigh of relief to the IT contracting community? Are happy days really here again? Well, as the title of this article says “but only for a few” and here is why.

The budget struggle that the federal government faces is not going to go away anytime soon. Consolidation of resources, technology and staff will continue to be its focus for years to come.

The vendor community must recognize this and adjust accordingly. Shrinking budgets means project consolidations, contract consolidation, staff reduction and yes, long-term vendor collaboration.

The vendor community must become more serious and aggressive in its abilities to form long- term strategic alliances. Many are still operating in the “old school” mode of simple teaming arrangements for subcontracting opportunities. I refer to this as the “meal or deal of the day” model. The landscape has changed in two very dynamic ways. 1.) Budgets require users to do more with less and 2.) The idea of optimal efficiencies is at the top of the organizational pyramid due to budget cuts.

From a vendor perspective responding to these dynamics can only be realized through forming long-term strategic alliances. The traditional teaming/subbing does not fulfill long- term growth, especially if your team isn’t winning. And, if it is winning, your success is only good for a couple of years.

Collaborating with the competition and sometimes with your customer can position you to capitalize on steady long-term growth in the marketplace. In order to do this you we recommend that you;

  1. Change your focus from the short-term teaming/sub-contracting arrangements to mid-range and long-term opportunities. (30%, 25% 45%).
  2. Identify potential partners that you can grow together with for a minimum of 5-7 years of growth and market positioning.
  3. Make sure you perform comprehensive internal and external assessments on all potential partners and integrate as much as possible)
  4. Find and align yourself with 3 long-term strategic partners that match your growth strategy.
  5. Co-market, co-brand your business development and capture plan activities. When feasible you can co-develop technical solutions with your partners to pursue opportunities a minimum of 3 years out.

Doing these five things will definitely help you prepare and position your company for future trends in this changing landscape. You will end up in the (few) category. And believe it or not, you will have a prosperous New Year!

This article was contributed by Earl S. Holland III, President /CEO of Growth Strategy Consultants, LLC. Growth Strategy Consultants provides consulting services in the area of strategic alliance development and training, business development and capture planning and is located in Fairfax VA. 22030. (www.growthstrategyconsultants.com) (earl@growthstrategyconsultants.com)

This article was recently published in the Government Technology & Services Coalition February 10, 2014 Weekly Insider News Letter.

Footnote:

The Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI)

This is a very serious initiative that will have a devastating effect on Small Business. There are two bills in Congress which intend to make the Federal Strategic sourcing Initiative, (FSSI) mandatory across all federal spending. Both bills are entitled “Buy Smarter and Save Act of 2013” H.R. 2694 was assigned to the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform and S. 1304 is the Senate Homeland security & Governmental Affairs Committee.

Growth Strategy Consultants can assist you and your company in preparing

your strategy for staying in the federal contracting game” You must prepare now so you are not left out of the game!

earl@growthstrategyconsultants.com www.growthstrategyconsultants.com

703-865-8346