OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Plan Your Capture Strategy for the Army’s $37 Billion RS3

The Responsive Strategic Sourcing for Services (RS3) IDIQ is anticipated to be the Army’s largest contracting opportunity in 2015 with an estimated ceiling value of $37 Billion over ten years. On Thursday, December 18th, join Olessia Smotrova-Taylor, CEO of OST Global and Matt Hummer, Director of Analytics at Govini for a one-hour in-depth webinar that […]

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Incumbent-itis pitfalls

The cardinal sin of any government contractor is to lose their bread-and-butter contract that they rely on as a major source of income. This is a job they know inside out. They have bonded with the customer; they could recite the customer’s challenges and hot buttons with their eyes closed. All they have to do […]

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

State of the Government and Other News

You make the tougher decisions and get the work that’s available. You keep your overhead low, making cuts in the right places, but keeping business development robust to remain competitive. Now is the time to talk to your customers and become the trusted advisor, helping them solve their needs with reduced manpower and budgets. It’s also time to invest in training in all aspects of business development lifecycle to become more efficient and indispensable.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

The Number One Goal of Capture

The most important goal of capture is to stack the deck in your favor. For now, forget about proving you are the best among the most awesome competitors by writing a winning proposal. Let’s think about how you can reduce the number of competitors from the outset or even better, how you can avoid the competition and get a sole source award where you don’t even have to write a competitive proposal.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

The Day You Stop Wanting to Be Better is the Day You Stop Being Good

The interesting thing about fighter pilots is that only ten percent of the top one percent of all pilots get to fly fighter jets. When someone like Bill says that even elite pilots fall into the complacency trap, it’s a powerful message. Although Bill writes about fighter pilots and business in general, what he says also applies to proposal professionals. It is too easy to become content with one’s current knowledge and disinterested in investing the hard work and training necessary for continued growth.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Learning the Foundations of Capture Management workshop on October 9-10, 2013

The reality of government contracting is that most competitions are decided before an RFP ever hits the street. During the pre-proposal preparation process, vendors work hard to ensure that the RFP is written with their specific skills in mind, and that the government customer wants to select them over the competition. They position themselves as the favored vendor, and win the race before their competitors get out of the gate. Yet, many government contractors skip capture and hope to win by writing a compliant proposal. As a result, they are doomed to waste precious B&P dollars and burn out their staff, while their win rates remain low.

Arm yourself with the real knowledge and tools you can apply immediately to capturing contracts. Master the techniques for customer engagement, intelligence gathering, win strategy development, competitive analysis, teaming, solution development, and more. This is an interactive 2-day workshop that is 40 percent lecture, 50 percent exercises, and 10 percent discussion. It will teach you real skills to raise win probability of the government contracts you pursue.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

The Weapon of Seasoned Government Contractors: Capture Planning

Government contractors who know how to play the game pay a lot of attention to pre-proposal preparation work and other activities aimed at raising your win probability, called capture. Essentially, capture is the equivalent of presales for commercial companies that deal with complex sales, albeit even more regimented. Complex sales is when you have to go beyond a handshake and a contract, have to position to win ahead of an RFP issuance, and then write a fairly complex proposal. The concept is old, but the term capture is relatively new, having gained recognition as a full-blown profession since the 1990s.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

What People are the Main Ingredient in Winning Contracts Consistently

Many companies reach a point at which they have to start maturing and growing their business development, capture, and proposal capability. It usually happens when they have a constant volume of bids and they are looking for a more efficient way to develop proposals and win consistently. They want to scale up, grow aggressively, and create a true business development engine.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Keeping Your IDIQ Team on the Same Page

Having your IDIQ vehicle information documented correctly and in one easily accessible for the team place brings many benefits to your proposal development process, contributing to better communication and collaboration among team members, more efficient use of scarce resources, and increased probability of winning. The Task Order Manual is one of the most appropriate documents […]

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Business Development for Project Personnel Workshop on June 6-7, 2013

This course, intended for subject matter experts and other project personnel, teaches them how to become part of your company’s growth engine, and why it’s important that they engage in the business development and capture process. It covers BD and capture concepts at a level ideal for project personnel, and shows them specifically where in the process they can make the greatest impact.

If you want to make money by increasing the scope of your existing projects, deepening and improving your relationship with your customers, and ferreting out all the insider-access secrets you can’t learn any other way, then it’s critical that your project personnel understand and buy into being a part of your BD organization.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Learning the Foundations of Capture Management workshop on June 20-21, 2013

The reality of government contracting is that most competitions are decided before an RFP ever hits the street. During the pre-proposal preparation process, vendors work hard to ensure that the RFP is written with their specific skills in mind, and that the government customer wants to select them over the competition. They position themselves as the favored vendor, and win the race before their competitors get out of the gate. Yet, many government contractors skip capture and hope to win by writing a compliant proposal. As a result, they are doomed to waste precious B&P dollars and burn out their staff, while their win rates remain low.

Arm yourself with the real knowledge and tools you can apply immediately to capturing contracts. Master the techniques for customer engagement, intelligence gathering, win strategy development, competitive analysis, teaming, solution development, and more. This is an interactive 2-day workshop that is 40 percent lecture, 50 percent exercises, and 10 percent discussion. It will teach you real skills to raise win probability of the government contracts you pursue.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Run Proposals at Our Facilities

Have you ever had to run a formal proposal team but had to huddle in spaces not designed to run a proposal? Have you ever needed to look at a proposal at a glance, but didn’t have what’s called a “proposal wall?” Or, were you ever in the situation when all your conference rooms are taken? OST Global Solutions has a 4,300 sq ft proposal facility in Rockville, Maryland available for you to develop a proposal offsite – where your personnel are collocated away from daily distractions. We provide variety of clean and spacious office spaces perfect for running up to three proposals simultaneously in a class “A” modern corporate building with a free covered parking that is great in the inclement weather. Our proposal center is located next door to a central FedEx hub for convenient proposal shipping. This location is easily accessible from Virginia, Maryland, and DC (close to I-495, I-270, I-370, I-200, and 355). Our facilities comprise five conference rooms, a production room, touch-down office and a break room to provide ultimate flexibility. You can have a dedicated, fully outfitted proposal space just for your proposal team.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Dealing with Fiscal Constraints and the Increased Competitive Edge

Government contracting market is somewhat chaotic, although it breathed a sigh of relief when the Congress agreed on the spending bill, preventing a government shutdown. We should see a barrage of procurement activity between now and the end of the fiscal year.

Although we have narrowly avoided one train wreck, there still remains the $85 billion in automatic budget cuts known as sequestration. Over time, they may hit some businesses harder than others, depending on the specific contracts they hold or pursue. Companies, especially those in the DOD arena, should carefully check market forecasts and their portfolios to dampen the hard hits by diversifying their customer base. If they haven’t strategized and done market research already, it is an urgent priority now.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Earning a Trusted Advisor Status

When interfacing with government customers while doing business development or capture, you need to remember that you are still dealing with people. The government has its own rules, and the process is hard to navigate in the beginning. Government officials have their own culture and language, but all the universal rules for building business relationships still apply.

When you build a relationship with government representatives, you have to take a multidimensional approach. Your first task is to create a contact plan using phone calls, visits, and, to a lesser degree (and very cautiously), e-mails. You need to build as many relationships as possible, with as many contacts at the agency as you could possibly find time to get acquainted with.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

The Scoop on Government Procurement Teaming, Affiliation, JVs, and More

The majority of teaming arrangements usually take place between large and small businesses, where either one could be the prime, depending on the procurement type. A full and open procurement where anyone can compete will usually have large businesses as the primes with small business subcontractors, whereas in small business set asides, you might see small–large arrangements, and even teams of multiple small businesses.

Because the size rules are complex, small business size is the largest cause for protests. Teaming could be one of the contributors to the problem. Therefore, you must understand the rules that have to do with the small business type and size, and how the government views your size.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Multiple Award Contracts Trends

You have probably heard about the upcoming multiple award contracts (MACs) on the horizon: NASA’s Government-wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) SEWP V with the draft RFP already on the street, the somewhat controversial GSA’s OASIS, and even the Army’s ITES-3S possibly joining the ranks of multibillion-dollar vehicles. There are nearly 1,200 non-schedule MACs as of 2012, […]

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Learning the Foundations of Capture Management workshop on February 28-March 1, 2013

The reality of government contracting is that most competitions are decided before an RFP ever hits the street. During the pre-proposal preparation process, vendors work hard to ensure that the RFP is written with their specific skills in mind, and that the government customer wants to select them over the competition. They position themselves as the favored vendor, and win the race before their competitors get out of the gate. Yet, many government contractors skip capture and hope to win by writing a compliant proposal. As a result, they are doomed to waste precious B&P dollars and burn out their staff, while their win rates remain low.

Arm yourself with the real knowledge and tools you can apply immediately to capturing contracts. Master the techniques for customer engagement, intelligence gathering, win strategy development, competitive analysis, teaming, solution development, and more. This is an interactive 2-day workshop that is 40 percent lecture, 50 percent exercises, and 10 percent discussion. It will teach you real skills to raise win probability of the government contracts you pursue.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Advanced Techniques for Successful Capture Management seminar on March 19-20, 2013

This course takes capture management to the next level showcasing what it takes to maximize win probability and mastermind the most effective win strategy using cutting edge techniques.

Masterfully facilitate brainstorming sessions such as Black Hats, Win Strategy Sessions, and CONOPS workshops; perform advanced competitive analysis; create advantageous teaming arrangements; apply formulas to solution development; and much more. The course builds advanced skills by offering deeper understanding of theory and practice of capture management, expands abilities through best practices-based methodologies, and provides tool sets for immediate implementation. It is an interactive 2-day workshop that is 50 percent lecture, 30 percent exercises and case studies, and 20 percent discussion.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Learning the Foundations of Capture Management workshop on February 28-March 1, 2013

Arm yourself with the real knowledge and tools you can apply immediately to capturing contracts. Master the techniques for customer engagement, intelligence gathering, win strategy development, competitive analysis, teaming, solution development, and more. This is an interactive 2-day workshop that is 40 percent lecture, 50 percent exercises, and 10 percent discussion. It will teach you real skills to raise win probability of the government contracts you pursue.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

How to grow your business development capability

When you are a small business or a brand new department in a larger company, you might start as one person who is responsible for winning government contracts. This is not a problem—you can join the ranks of many who have started at one point or another and are still the only one writing proposals, even as their company has grown to a nice size and they have the capital to afford professionals. We once met the CEO of a 1,200-person business who still was the company’s best proposal writer—he had a 99 percent win rate. (He’d lock himself in a hotel room for a week at a time with a few six packs.) It was possible because the company was focused on a single set of offerings and wrote for the same set of customers.

Many companies reach a point at which they have to start maturing and growing their business development, capture, and proposal capability. It usually happens when they have a constant volume of bids and they are looking for a more efficient way to develop proposals and win consistently. They want to scale up, grow aggressively, and create a true business development engine.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Bid and proposal academy certification sale

As you may already know, OST has launched our Bid and Proposal Academy, offering courses and certification for proposal professionals on the following tracks: Certified Federal Business Developer (CFBD); Certified Capture Manager (CCM); Certified Proposal Manager (CPM); Certified Proposal Coordinator (CPC); Certified Proposal Writer (CPW). Just like a college degree, each certification requires a certain number of core, major, and elective courses, for a total of 16 course days (or units). Every certified professional will go through the rigorous program to master all the fundamental and advanced aspects of the profession.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

How Good Teaming Partners Are Like Parking Spaces

Good teaming partners are like parking spaces in an office building’s parking lot. The closest ones to the building get taken by those diligent souls who arrive to work before 7 am and have half their day’s work done before their colleagues roll in at 9 am. If you are one of those people who come in after 9 am but before the lunch break has started or morning meetings have ended, you might have to circle around the lot to find the spot that’s furthest away from the door, the one that no one wanted.

The key to success is to start the teammate identification process early, so that you don’t find yourself teaming in the 11th hour with companies that will bring you no closer to winning than bidding by yourself.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Advanced Capture Management workshop on December 3-4, 2012

Masterfully facilitate brainstorming sessions such as Black Hats, Win Strategy Sessions, and CONOPS workshops; perform advanced competitive analysis; create advantageous teaming arrangements; apply formulas to solution development; and much more. The course also focuses on measuring and improving cost-efficiency and effectiveness of the capture team. This course takes capture management to the next level showcasing what does it take to maximize win probability and mastermind the most effective win strategy using cutting edge techniques.

This course builds advanced skills by offering deeper understanding of theory and practice of capture management, expands abilities through best practices-based methodologies, and provides tool sets for immediate implementation. It is an interactive 2-day workshop that is 50 percent lecture, 30 percent exercises and case studies, and 20 percent discussion.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Foundations of Capture Management workshop on November 29-30, 2012

Foundations of Capture Management workshop will arm you with real knowledge and tools you can apply immediately to capturing contracts. You will master techniques for customer engagement, intelligence gathering, win strategy development, competitive analysis, teaming, solution development, and more. This is an interactive 2-day workshop that is 40 percent lecture, 50 percent exercises, and 10 percent discussion. It will teach you real skills to raise win probability of the government contracts you pursue.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Olessia’s new book excerpt: How to shape the contractual, procurement, and evaluation matters

Among OST’s numerous projects this year, that included supporting some spectacular wins for our clients, bidding on and winning government contracts for ourselves, developing new advanced training courses, and publishing new self-study materials to help our clients be more successful, our CEO, Olessia, has written a book, How to Get Government Contracts: Have a Slice of a $1 Trillion Pie. This book is about to be published by Apress, a New York division of Springer, the world’s largest publisher of professional literature.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Why worry about what your competitors do?

Competitive analysis is your measuring stick against the rest of the world. To use a boxing analogy: your form may look impressive when you are boxing a punching bag, but it cannot hit you back. There are also no surprises and no unknowns. Ultimately, to see what you are made of, you have to be pitted against an opponent. Your capabilities, in and of themselves, may be impressive, but would they stand up to your leaner and meaner opponents? Let’s look at the reasons why you should mind your competitors and predict their possible actions; what you need to know about your competition; how to find this information; and how to put all the pieces of the competitive analysis puzzle together to exploit your competitors’ shortfalls to you advantage and outdo them through strategic actions.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Advanced Capture Management workshop on December 3-4, 2012

Masterfully facilitate brainstorming sessions such as Black Hats, Win Strategy Sessions, and CONOPS workshops; perform advanced competitive analysis; create advantageous teaming arrangements; apply formulas to solution development; and much more. The course also focuses on measuring and improving cost-efficiency and effectiveness of the capture team. This course takes capture management to the next level showcasing what does it take to maximize win probability and mastermind the most effective win strategy using cutting edge techniques.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Foundations of Capture Management workshop on September 25-26 or November 29-30, 2012.

Foundations of Capture Management workshop will arm you with real knowledge and tools you can apply immediately to capturing contracts. You will master techniques for customer engagement, intelligence gathering, win strategy development, competitive analysis, teaming, solution development, and more. This is an interactive 2-day workshop that is 40 percent lecture, 50 percent exercises, and 10 percent discussion. It will teach you real skills to raise win probability of the government contracts you pursue.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

What does aerobatics have to do with business development organizations?

I used to be so scared of flying that I would sit on a plane and breathe in a bag to deal with an anxiety attack. I forced myself to travel for business, but each flight was such a high-stress event that I would feel depleted, as if I had run a marathon. I felt as if I had to hold the plane in the air by sheer willpower the entire flight.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Techniques and News: How to dominate IDIQ’s competition and Minority contracts threats

Workshop in 1.5 weeks: Foundations of Federal Business Development.
September 11, 2012, 9.00am-5:00pm, Rockville, MD. Gain understanding of the Federal Business Development (BD) lifecycle, and learn how to navigate the U.S. Government marketplace, perform strategic BD planning, market analysis, federal marketing, pipeline development, opportunity qualification, and maximize your Pwin. Only 4 seats left: www.ostglobalsolutions.com/federal-business-development-training.php

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Foundations of Capture Management workshop on September 25-26

Foundations of Capture Management workshop will arm you with real knowledge and tools you can apply immediately to capturing contracts. You will master techniques for customer engagement, intelligence gathering, win strategy development, competitive analysis, teaming, solution development, and more. This is an interactive 2-day workshop that is 40 percent lecture, 50 percent exercises, and 10 percent discussion. It will teach you real skills to raise win probability of the government contracts you pursue.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Copywriting: fake it ’till you make

Samantha Enslen from Dragonfly editorial it about Olessia’s presentation at the APMP Conference in May 2012: http://www.dragonflyeditorial.com/copywriting-fake-it-till-you-make-it/ Written by Olessia Smotrova-Taylor, AF. APMP, President ad CEO of OST Global Solutions, Inc., a business development, capture, and proposal management company that helps businesses grow in the federal market. Olessia has won more than $18 billion for […]

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Advanced Capture Management workshop on September 27-28

Masterfully facilitate brainstorming sessions such as Black Hats, Win Strategy Sessions, and CONOPS workshops; perform advanced competitive analysis; create advantageous teaming arrangements; apply formulas to solution development; and much more. The course also focuses on measuring and improving cost-efficiency and effectiveness of the capture team. This course takes capture management to the next level showcasing what does it take to maximize win probability and mastermind the most effective win strategy using cutting edge techniques.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Proposal Mastery: Affecting Proposal Outcomes through Content and Leadership

What separates outstanding proposal managers from mediocre ones is the ability to lead their teams in developing winning content on top of running a smooth process. No matter how compliant and attractive the document may be, most often it is the substance that will distinguish a winning proposal from the rest. Many proposal managers rely on Subject Matter Experts (SME) to create the substance, but most SMEs require guidance, facilitation, and significant rewrites in order to produce something innovative and compelling. Rarely is a proposal team blessed with a solution architect who can guide the SMEs. In the majority of cases, a truly top-flight proposal manager steps up to become that solution architect, to ensure that their proposal content shines.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

How To Manage Proposal Consultant Costs

Consultants often get the blame for high proposal costs because their fees are an obvious big-ticket item. Many business developers tell me, however, that when they tally up the proposal costs at the end of the proposal effort, it is not the consultants that blow the budget. Surprisingly, it’s the in-house employee costs that take them way over the plan. Either way, there are three solutions that business developers can adopt to keep proposal costs under control – solutions I am going to discuss below.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Avoiding Business Development Budgeting Pitfalls and Proposal Cost Cutting Blunders

As a proposal manager getting a proposal plan approved, I always found it difficult to get my management to approve a budget that was based on 40-hour weeks for employees and 50, 60, or even 70-hour weeks for consultants. It just didn’t look good: a consultant often cost more per hour than an employee, and got paid for every hour worked to boot. Yet, I managed to stay on budget and win. I would like to share how I did it with you.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Traditional Capture is Wasteful – Long Live Capture-less Proposals?

We all hate being wasteful. I gather this is why some people feel that they don’t really want to spend money on pursuits until they get to a real battle – the proposal. They avoid pre-proposal work or capture, thinking that it’s there for those with bigger budgets and deeper pockets. After all, who has time or money anymore for lengthy brainstorming meetings, large Black Hats, proposal development before an RFP ever hits (so you get to rewrite the sections almost from scratch when the RFP is out and your SMEs really focus on the problem), or composing lengthy PowerPoints for your management to feel comfortable.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Redefining Proposal Professionals as a Warrior Class?

Should proposal professionals redefine the way they think about themselves? Eric Gregory of CACI, Inc., delivered a keynote address at the APMP International Conference that caused some serious audience buzz at the follow-on networking session. He somberly stated that proposal professionals are different from the “normal” folk: we are warriors, the vanguard, the point of the spear, pioneers, adventurers, the legion, the cavalry…

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

How Much Do Consultants Charge?

Let’s talk about the sensitive topic, proposal consultant prices. I don’t think I am revealing any trade secrets here.
How much proposal consultants charge varies from individual to individual, and can range between $60 an hour on the low end to $250 an hour and up on the high end.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Capture Management: The Right Way Of Gathering Intelligence

Intelligence gathering permeates every capture activity. It not only overlaps with the first capture aspect—knowing your customer—but is part and parcel of everything that drives capture – since the best informed wins!

Basically, Intelligence Gathering is research and detective work—you painstakingly collect little pieces of the puzzle and put together as complete of a picture as you can to make good decisions. As you learn about the opportunity and the customer, you will get into a full-blown intelligence gathering process that has multiple dimensions and involves a slew of information sources.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Proposal manager’s midlife crisis?

Something happened to me over the past year – as if a switch flipped in my mind. All of a sudden, I can’t get enough of life and want to savor its experiences. Perhaps I’ve clocked too many years in the proposal war room, stayed up late nights seven days a week building a business for too long, and spent every free moment with my kids. Maybe I blew a circuit at one of the Chuck E. Cheese birthday parties. I am not yet at the BASE jumping stage, but I find myself fantasizing vividly about stuff like catching a jet ride to a classroom in another state with the top guns I will be training. This from a person who finds even the kids’ rollercoaster terrifying!

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Where to find good proposal consultants?

Where do proposal consultants come from, and what are the upsides, downsides, and risks typical to different proposal consultant sources? This is the second article in our eight-part series on How To Benefit The Most From Working With Proposal Consultants. If you have not yet had a chance to read the first part, please visit our blog at www.ostglobalsolutions.com/blog to read it.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Advanced Capture Management on June 19-20, 2012

Masterfully facilitate brainstorming sessions such as Black Hats, Win Strategy Sessions, and CONOPS workshops; perform advanced competitive analysis; create advantageous teaming arrangements; apply formulas to solution development; and much more. The course also focuses on measuring and improving cost-efficiency and effectiveness of the capture team. This course takes capture management to the next level showcasing what does it take to maximize win probability and mastermind the most effective win strategy using cutting edge techniques.

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Success Factors In Federal Business Development

How hard can it be to do federal business development? All you need is to be good with people and a willingness to talk to decision makers, right? If it were so easy, why for years has BD been given a bad name, and why have many companies struggled to hire business developers who produce results?

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Preparing Winning Multiple Award and Task Order Proposals on May 14-15, 2012

The government keeps issuing more and more multiple award contracts (think EAGLE II, NETCENTS, CIOSP-III, T4, and so on). Multiple award contracts make up more than 50% of all government contracts. Now every agency has to have its own multiple award vehicle. But all these new vehicles do not necessarily mean more money to businesses.