December 3, 2012 by cs
The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development is hosting what it calls”the largest Native American business trade show in the world” on March 11 through 14, 2013 in Las Vegas, NV.
Booths, sponsorships, and advance registration are now available at https://secure2.rhq.com/res/res13/attreg/index.cgi.
Here’s what the advance agenda looks like:
Monday, March 11 Activity
9:00am – 3:00pm Scholarship Golf Classic – Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort
12:00pm – 7:00pm On Site Registration Opens
7:00pm – 9:00pm Grand Opening Welcome Reception
Tuesday, March 12 Activity
7:00am – 5:00pm Registration
6:30am – 8:00am RES Networking Breakfast
8:30am – 10:00am Opening General Session
10:15am – 10:30am Trade Fair and American Indian Art Market – Ribbon Cutting
10:30am – 6:00pm Trade Fair and American Indian Art Market
11:30 – 1:30pm Luncheon
3:30pm – 4:00pm RES Networking Break
4:00pm – 6:00pm Special RES Networking Event
6:30pm – 9:00pm VIP Evening Reception
Wednesday, March 13 Activity
7:00am – 5:00pm Registration
6:30am – 8:00am RES Networking Breakfast
8:30am – 10:00am General Session – Day 2
10:30am – 6:00pm Trade Fair and American Indian Art Market – Day 2
10:00am – 10:30am RES Networking Break
10:30 – 11:30am Breakout Sessions #1 (5 concurrent tracks)
11:30am – 1:30pm Luncheon
2:00 – 3:00pm Breakout Sessions #2 (5 concurrent tracks)
3:00 – 3:30pm RES Networking Break
3:30pm – 4:30pm Breakout Sessions #3 (5 concurrent tracks)
4:45pm – 6:00pm Trade Fair & American Indian Art Market-Grand Finale
6:00pm Trade Fair & American Indian Art Market Ends
8:30pm – 12:00am NCAIED VIP Reception (Invitation Only)
Thursday, March 14 Activity
8:00am – 1:00pm Registration
7:30am – 9:00am RES Networking Breakfast
9:00am – 10:00am Breakout Sessions #4 (5 concurrent tracks)
10:00am – 10:30am RES Networking Break
10:30am – 11:30am Breakout Sessions #5 (5 concurrent tracks)
11:30am – 1:30pm Award Luncheon
1:45pm – 2:45pm Breakout Sessions #6 (5 concurrent tracks)
2:45pm – 3:15pm RES Networking Break
3:30pm – 5:00pm Closing General Session & iPad Mini Giveaway Finale
December 3, 2012 by cs
The U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of Small Business Utilization is sponsoring an on-line webinar on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, from 9:30 to 11:30 am EST.
This webinar gives businesses the opportunity to the “learn the federal ropes” from marketing to promoting sustainability.
GSA’s Office of Small Business Utilization advocates for small, minority, veteran, HUBZone, and women business owners. The webinar will focus on the steps to “Doing Business with GSA” through contracting
options, sustainability, and more, including:
- GSA’s procurement policies and methods
- Accessing government solicitations
- Marketing your products/services
- GSA Schedules Program Pros and Cons
- The GSA Mentor Protege Program
- GSA and Sustainability
Space is limited. Reserve your webinar seat now at: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/152980351
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.
- PC-based attendees requirements: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
- Mac®-based attendees requirements: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer
- Mobile attendees requirements: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet
For additional information, please contact Janice Bracey at firstname.lastname@example.org
July 30, 2012 by cs
The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) is conducting a seminar on Aug. 14, 2012 on how you can cultivate opportunities in the biobased marketplace.
By participating, you can learn about federal programs that may assist you in meeting your business goals.
The good news is that this USDA siminar is being conducted on the web, so no travel is necessary!
This seminar will provide:
- an introduction to biobased products and the Bioeconomy highlighting several growth industries
- the Federal Procurement Preference to encourage Federal government purchase of biobased products
- a voluntary certification and labeling program to make biobased products more recognizable in the consumer market
- Federal resources available to support businesses
The goal is to encourage the development of new biobased products and to explain federal resources available to the businesses that bring biobased products to market.
The seminar is being held on Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM (ET) by live streaming on your computer or by satellite downlink.
To register for this seminar, go to: http://seminar.us.com/course/seminar_registration.php?orgCode=USDABIO&courseID=201202.
For more information, click here.
June 21, 2012 by cs
The Department of Veterans Affairs is hosting the National Veteran Small Business Conference and Expo in Detroit on June 26 through 29, 2012.
This is the largest nationwide conference of its kind, focusing on helping Veteran-owned businesses maximize opportunities in the federal marketplace.
6,000 participants are expected to attend. The conference represents the opportunity to:
- Connect with procurement decision makers from other businesses and federal agencies
- Expand knowledge through over 200 training and business requirement sessions
- Engage with other attendees and gain visibility in the Expo Hall of nearly 500 booths
- Use VetGovPartner to facilitate online and onsite networking including face-to-face sessions with senior procurement decision makers
For additional information and to register, visit http://www.nationalveteransconference.com/
June 16, 2012 by cs
A conference entitled “Your Business Success During and After the 8(a) Program” is being planned for Wednesday, June 27, 2012 by the Georgia District Office of the Small Business Administration and Georgia State University’s Small Business Development Center.
This event will be held in the Georgia State Student Center in downtown Atlanta from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.
The conference will address issues pertinent to those businesses just entering the 8(a) program as well as those preparing to exit the program.
Topics will include:
- How to identify sole-source contracting opportunities
- Networking with federal, state and local government agencies as well as prime contractors
- Best practices from successful 8(a) graduates
- Marketing to the federal government
- Preparing for a DCAA audit
Registration details will be posted here as soon as they are made available, so put this date on your calendar now, and check back here in a few days for registration information.
May 2, 2012 by cs
The National Veteran Small Business Coalition (NVSBC) will be hosting their second annual Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Seminar (VETS) June 11-14, 2012 in Reno, Nevada.
A combination of practical training sessions, an expo, and one-on-one business meetings, VETS 2012 is intended to create opportunities for future and currect Veteran business owners to make meaningful connections with potential mentors, partners, clients and each other.
Complete details may be found at: http://www.veterantrainingsymposium.com/
April 27, 2012 by cs
We’re frequently asked how to improve a company’s overall win rate, and I outlined these in the article I wrote in my January 2012 column “How to Raise Your Win Rate by 20 percent” using our seven-factor model. Since then, we’ve been surveying companies to see how well they perform in these seven factors and to identify areas where companies can make immediate improvements.
In this article, I’ll share some of the survey results and show you immediate actions you can take to help raise your company’s overall win rate.
In February and March 2012, we conducted two surveys – one with the Association of Proposal Management Professionals and the other with the Deltek GovCon team. The surveys asked proposal managers, capture managers, and business development professionals to rate how well their companies performed in each of the seven factors. We used 28 questions in the survey to measure performance and to pinpoint areas where companies could make improvements to raise their win rates. Based on the survey, here are six quick fixes that most companies can make to improve their win rates.
1. Capture and Proposal Training: Only 52 percent of the companies surveyed provide career development and professional training for their business development, capture management, and proposal development staffs.
Every company should have career development plans for its employees and offer professional development training for its management, key employees and especially for those people involved in business development, capture management, and proposal development. They should also provide training in proposal writing for technical and managerial professionals to help them write more compelling proposals.
Companies can develop these training programs internally or contract the training to companies that provide such specialized training. However you do it, some training is better than no training. By offering this kind of training, you can immediately leapfrog half the companies in your market.
2. Business Acquisition Process: 54 percent of the companies surveyed have not documented their business acquisition processes.
It is an indisputable principle that having a well-structured business acquisition process increases business acquisition effectiveness and reduces cost, yet half the companies surveyed compete using undocumented processes. Documenting these processes is the first step in raising the maturity of the business acquisition process. All companies of any reasonable size should have defined, repeatable businesses acquisition processes covering the business development, capture, pre-proposal preparation, proposal development, and post-proposal submission phases of the business acquisition life cycle. These processes should be fully supported by management and used for all new business acquisition.
3. Capture Management: Only 33 percent of companies review their capture progress and use these reviews to make management decisions about pursuing or continuing to pursue new business opportunities.
Companies should evaluate every new business pursuit monthly and make an affirmative decision to continue, delay or suspend the pursuit. If no reviews are conducted, then every new business opportunity remains in play, even when it is clear that the company can’t win. Proper capture management reduces the effort spent on opportunities that are likely to be losers and focuses effort on opportunities with a better chance of winning. Measuring capture progress and making associated management decisions also are essential parts of the business acquisition process and necessary for increasing your win rate.
4. Management Decisions: Only 45 percent of companies surveyed use gate reviews as part of their business acquisition process.
The purpose of gate reviews is to ensure that management makes timely decisions about continuing to invest in a new business opportunity and to provide an opportunity for executive management to coach the capture team on how to raise its win probability. These gate reviews are fundamental to effective and efficient acquisition of new business.
5. Annotated Outlines: 70 percent of proposal writers begin writing their assigned sections before management has approved what they are going to write.
Annotated outlines or storyboards probably are not used. If they are used, they are not reviewed and approved by management. No wonder there is so much rewriting involved in completing typical proposals.
6. Proposal Quality: 37 percent of companies surveyed said their proposals suffer from errors that could cause them to lose bids.
Professionally developed proposals do not have these problems. They are always compliant, compelling and responsive. Major improvements in proposal quality are still need by many companies.
Compete survey results are available on our website.
About the Author: Bob Lohfeld is the chief executive officer of the Lohfeld Consulting Group. The article was published by Washington Technology on Apr. 23, 2012 at http://washingtontechnology.com/articles/2012/04/23/lohfeld-7-quick-fixes.aspx?s=wtdaily_240412.
April 4, 2012 by cs
Winning enterprise-wide government contracts is no easy feat, but when you do win it is critical to capture lessons learned. In many cases organizations are part of a larger team that typically includes a mix of products and services that must be delivered in an integrated manner. When managing an enterprise-wide government program there are many things that can be done to ensure success. Here are five lessons learned from my experience:
Keep your eyes and ears open
Typically there are all kinds of different personalities and geographical and structural logistics involved. To maximize value for the customer, you should continually conduct assessments of future users to get a strong read on expectations. Establishing a total awareness of how the solution will look and feel with respect to the user experience is critical. The more they know about what they’re going to get before they get it, the better they will adjust once it’s there.
You should also be cognizant of bottlenecks users have run into in the past, and try to make sure those are not repeated. You discover what pain points exist – and really understand those intricacies – before moving forward.
One of the larger challenges we faced in a recent enterprise deployment is that each site location was used to conducting their own business, setting their own standards and meeting site-specific requirements. Part of deploying the solution for this customer is to bring cohesion and unity for users and administrators across the enterprise.
Keep your vendors involved as well. Read their white papers and product reports. Allow them to visit on site while the work is getting done to gain their input. The only way they can help you (and the customer) is for them to have a hands-on understanding of the whole solution.
Steady as you go
For a complex undertaking like this, you don’t want pedal to the floor activity periods and then others that are fairly quiet. That’s when you end up needing 30 hands on deck one week and then just three the next. It simply isn’t a good work model for large enterprise and international deployments. So it is critical to pace enterprise deployments with very even-keeled, consistent workloads, to make the best use of everyone’s time, resources and investment.
Another important task is requirements gathering from the customer and understanding those requirements. The customer provides their requirements; we, in turn, provide them with a design that meets those requirements. This precipitates changes within the deployment plan as well as on-site to account for all design requirements.
Both of these tasks take a fair share of pre-project planning, but it’s worth it. Otherwise, you’re spending an enormous amount of time coordinating on the fly. That could make for a negative customer impression, and impact the certification and accreditation process. This process is something you should think about every step of the way. Because if you stumble, the entire effort is tossed for a loop – possibly indefinitely.
With training, timing is everything
The training experience means so much with respect to success. So be careful about when you schedule this. You can’t host training sessions at the last minute, because the sense of immediacy may lead to a bit of user panic. You want to give users a chance to familiarize themselves with the new equipment and system before it is thrust upon them. On the other hand, if training is conducted six months in advance, they will likely forget everything they learned by the time they have to make the transition.
To users this is a simple solution that they truly enjoy using. To administrators it brings together several already complex components into a single environment. In order for the enterprise to embrace and support the new technology, the administrators require vendor-level advanced training and hands-on experience after training.
That said, we have learned that retention is enhanced if participants are allowed to determine the training method. So offer up a number of options – in person, online, PowerPoint, simulations, etc. – and you’ll get better results/retention.
There is a period of time that the technology needs to transition from us to them. That period of time should be determined by both the customer and the solution designer, and is based on the experience of the on-site administrators. It is critical that the customer understands the importance of allocating the proper time and resources to achieve a smooth transition. There is no cookie cutter approach when handing the keys over to the customer, but rather open and honest dialogue always makes for a successful transition.
Even with a game plan in hand, keep in mind that circumstances will change. Requirements will shift. Schedules will get revised. There is always someone in the room that says, “We can’t change that, it is not part of the design”, or “the documentation says this.” Yes, there are cases in which you have to redo major designs. To stay on top of these shifts, maintain an active, open dialogue with the customer to understand the true requirements that your team must address. Remember that as requirements evolve or are discovered it is our job to help the customer understand changes are necessary and expected. The original design can be amended and documentation can be updated – ultimately resulting in a better overall solution.
Document your experiences
I have learned that being involved with large-scale enterprise deployments isn’t just a job. It’s an opportunity to learn how to effectively support a large customer. So it is important to capture your experiences in working documents that summarize, “lessons learned” so it can be passed on to the next location.
About the Author: Douglas Norton is a senior manager for professional services at Raytheon Trusted Computer Solutions. This article was published by Washinton Technology on Mar. 26, 2012 at http://washingtontechnology.com/articles/2012/03/26/lessons-enterprise-deployment-advice.aspx.
April 1, 2012 by cs
The Procurement Services unit of the Cobb County School District will hold its next “How to Do Business” session on Thursday, May 3, 2012.
Vendors will have an opportunity to ask questions, meet CCSD Procurement personnel, and learn about the District’s purchasing processes. All interested vendors are welcome to attend.
To learn more about the school district’s buying needs in advance of attending the orientation session, vendors may conduct research on-line at http://www.cobbk12.org/centraloffice/purchasing to decide if they want to get more information. (Under “Quick Links” on the web site, take a look at both awarded contracts and current solicitations to get a good idea of the school district’s annual buying needs.)
The school district’s vendor orientation sessions are Very informal and participant driven. Officials conduct a review of the purchasing process, outline the school district’s buying needs, and describe supplier shortfalls experienced by the district.
These informal sessions are conducted on the first Thursday of every month from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. in the CCSD Procurement Services Bid Room located at 6975 Cobb International Blvd., Kennesaw, GA 30152.
Should the schedule or location change for any reason, the information will be posted on the school district’s website at http://www.cobbk12.org/centraloffice/purchasing. Please note that the District will be closed April 2-6, 2012 so there will be no vendor session in April.
March 30, 2012 by cs
Congress and the Defense Department need to simplify the department’s confusing and burdensome acquisition regulations in order to make the jobs of the acquisition workforce and contractors easier, the House Armed Services Committee recommended in a new report.
In one recommendation, the report says DOD and Congress should embark on a comprehensive review of laws and regulations related to procurement. They then should attempt to amend or even repeal outdated regulations. In doing so, officials should consider whether a rule has had unintended consequences that outweigh its original purpose.
“This effort should be undertaken with an eye to simplifying and streamlining all aspects of the acquisition process and reducing the negative cost and schedule impacts,” according to the report released March 20.
The House committee’s Panel on Business Challenges Within the Defense Industry released the report after discussing acquisition issues with more than 150 people from government, industry, think tanks and academia.
The panel learned in those discussions that the acquisition rules are constantly changing and are extremely complicated. The result is unnecessary complexity, confusion, and poor execution, which only furthers challenges for the acquisition workforce, according to the report.
The Office of Management and Budget urged agencies on March 20 to take similar steps in an effort to avoid duplication among regulations. It even urged agency officials to talk to contractors and other experts before they issue a proposed rule.
DOD’s acquisition rules are off-putting to some companies, the panel wrote in its report.
“The plethora of regulations specific to government and defense contracting dissuades many companies from competing for government contracts,” the panel found.
The complexities also make it tough for the department’s acquisition workforce, which is going through a slow rebuilding process. Employees need a lot of training to understand the ins and outs of the acquisitions regulations and manage complex procurements, the panel wrote.
The workforce took a hit in the 1990s with a major reduction in its numbers. Nowadays, defense officials are attempting to rebuild it. They have hired a lot of new employees, dubbed by the panel as a “new-hire bulge.” Meanwhile many senior members are eligible for retirement.
“These parallel bulges constitute a ‘bathtub effect’ as mid-career personnel are not abundant enough to adequately replace the retirement bulge, nor provide for enough on-hands mentorship to the new-hire bulge,” the panel wrote.
DOD’s training now is very important, the panel added. Maturity in the job and higher education are keys to a strong workforce. It’s more than numbers.
Higher education equips acquisition workers with complex skill sets in finance, systems engineering, logistics, and operations management needed to administer large contracts and manage long-term technology projects.
In President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2013 budget proposal, DOD requested $374 million in its acquisition workforce development fund for recruiting and hiring acquisition and only $120 million, or less than a third, for training and development of the workforce, the panel points out.
“Just as it takes many years to develop a military leader capable of commanding at the senior ranks of the operational force, it takes a similar amount of time to develop an acquisition professional with the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to manage large defense acquisition efforts,” the panel wrote.
About the Author: Matthew Weigelt is a senior writer covering acquisition and procurement for Federal Computer Week. This article appeared Mar. 22, 2012 at http://washingtontechnology.com/articles/2012/03/22/regulatory-reform-dod-acquisition.aspx?s=wtdaily_230312.