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I’ve worked as a contractor for the past couple of years and noticed the challenge proposal management posses to many company’s. Winning new business is extremely important, but many people work on proposals as an additional duty in conjunction with their client work. Full time proposal managers, technical writers and business development executives seem even busier, trying to keep up with the onslaught of RFP’s being released. This lead me and a friend to perform some research and talk with our friends/coworkers about their experiences. Seeing all the problems and inefficiencies, we dug in and designed a prototype proposal management tool. Our focus is on providing proposal teams the greatest ROI possible. From capture planning through the review cycle to bid submission, we’ve developed the most intuitive user experience possible. At the same time we integrated new design to match a standard workflow that is flexible and scalable based on a company’s needs. The prototype is finished and we’re heading into development. We’re looking for a 3-5 companies that would be interested in signing up as beta customers and help test this product while we build it. If this sound interesting and you would like to learn more check out www.reqwin.com or drop us a line at email@example.com. We can provide a product demo and tell you more about our vision. Thanks.
NCMA HQ posted a blog entry in NCMA HQ BlogWe all know that government executives drinking champagne from a Las Vegas hot tub during an agency-sponsored conference is bad. Congress and the president were right to react as they did. However, current education and training restrictions go too far. The relatively small savings gained by prohibiting employees from leaving their desks to learn or interact with industry counterparts is miniscule compared to higher contracting costs due to lack of knowledge and understanding. Poorly written or managed contracts and miscommunications ultimately cost taxpayers. Note that protests are up! Our government now depends on contractors to do everything demanded of citizens. This increasing reliance evolved under administrations from both political parties. Current hiring restrictions, furloughs, increased missions, and accelerated retirements are exacerbating this trend. Contracting activity is increasing as agencies adjust to new fiscal realities. While there may be fewer contracting dollars, this doesn’t equate to a decreased contracting workload. Denying professional development to contract managers makes this situation even worse. Government and industry acquisition professionals can meet these challenges by working together. But building that relationship and clear understanding from both sides of the table is best done through face-to-face communication—not by video teleconference or webinar! National Contract Management Association (NCMA) members take great pride in this work. Contracting managers are responsible for over $1 trillion on contracts, grants, and loans per year. Being trained and experienced is essential to efficient government operations. Contract managers protect taxpayer and ownership interests by managing the laws, regulations, and policies demanded by the president, Congress, and their own organizations’ chief executive officers. OMB’s 25-Point Myth-Busting Plan encourages productive interactions between federal agencies and industry during acquisition: “Industry partners are the experts in what solutions are available in the marketplace.” The FAR also encourages vendor communication. Just as in any other profession, contracting managers require professional development to remain current. Recent GAO Report 13-231 highlighted the government’s failure to determine relevant metrics, funding, and staff for training. Yet commonly adopted, competency-based principles for this profession already exist. NCMA programming aligns directly to the Contract Management Body of Knowledge (CMBOK) and its competencies. This is why the Office of Personnel Management last week again approved employee attendance for NCMA’s World Congress educational event in July. Not unlike bodies of knowledge in other professions, the CMBOK should be widely supported and ultimately adopted, starting with removing current employee training and travel restrictions. Government and industry acquisition professionals are patriotic and hard-working. They dedicate themselves to a “fair and reasonable price” for the billions in taxpayer dollars they manage each day. Let them professionally develop and ultimately lower government costs for us all! Michael P. Fischetti Executive Director National Contract Management Association (NCMA) www.ncmahq.org/wifcon
An article of mine titled "Contractor Purchasing System Reviews - Not So Different from 1991" was published in the May issue of Contract Management magazine. My contention is that CPSRs are pretty much the same today as they were in 1991 when NCMA published my first article about CPSRs. I would appreciate feedback from anyone reading the article about my positions on source selection, price reasonableness and clause flow down.