How Veteran-Owned Small Business FHAS Gathers Government Contracting Information

January 06, 2022

While the last several years of public sector contracting have been marked by constant change, the government market has remained full of opportunity for proactive vendors who are able to use tools and resources to gain the government contracting intelligence they need. Included among those successful businesses is Federal Hearings & Appeals Services (FHAS), a leading provider of business processing solutions for healthcare, legal support and government benefit administration.

Jim Bobeck, Esq., President, FHAS, recently spoke at Deltek’s recent customer conference, Deltek Insight. He participated in a panel of government experts to share how his business has adapted to a changing government market and succeeded with the help of Deltek’s GovWin IQ platform of government market intelligence. Below is a summary of that conversation.

Deltek: Tell us a little bit about your firm and your role.

Jim Bobeck: We’re a utilization management in the healthcare space as well as litigation support. We’re a veteran-owned small business and for 25 years we’ve worked with Medicaid run by various state agencies, and our primary focus is to provide those professional services. We’re located in northeast Pennsylvania but do have offices in the country and in various remote spots.

Deltek: The thing that’s top of mind for everybody is a simple question: How have you adjusted to what’s being termed as a “new normal”?

Bobeck: For us the biggest thing as a small business is having a strong mission, light footprint. And by that I mean focusing on what we do really well. For a while we had various plans where we wanted to go and the things we wanted to branch out into – but we realized we don’t always have the time. So there’s been a strong focus on what we do well. What I mean by light footprint is having a lot of flexibility, not being tethered to a certain way that we have to do it, whether that’s our transportation or our IT. From our customer’s standpoint, especially in the government space, they don’t care how we’re doing it as long as we’re doing it well. And when we’re focusing on our mission is, we’re very clear when we talk to people, they understand what we’re about and how we can help.

Deltek: What would you define as a best practice or something you have done particularly well?

Bobeck: The big thing that’s come out of the pandemic is, the way you would gather information. The biggest thing is how we’re doing our intelligence gathering. It’s dramatically changed for us in the sense that one, we’re using products like GovWin IQ from Deltek, and two, we’re really trying to understand who’s already imprinted in certain areas, particularly on a statewide level. Previously you would have meeting after meeting with some of the high stakeholders, and maybe it would take a year or two until they would feel comfortable. We really had to figure out our intelligence of who’s going to be just fine there – if is there a way we can partner with these people and actually add something. 49% of something is a lot better than 0% of something. All of that is circling back to our intelligence gathering and how we do that. For us, it’s having that heightened intelligence and using it again in a partnership way. Just getting a little bit of presence is better than having no presence at all.

“ GovWin is the most cost-effective business development person we’ve ever had. ”

Jim Bobeck, President, FHAS

Deltek: On the flip side of that, are there any challenges your business will continue to work on?

Bobeck: On the government side, particularly states, there was an RFP of a contract that we fully expected was going out this year. What turned out to happen was, they ended up having to do a sole source with us with options for two years. At that state agency everyone is remote. Everyone is just trying to keep their head above water. And the simple idea of just getting to an RFP, getting through a proposal process was going to be very costly for them.

On the opposite side of that, there was something in a different state that we put a lot of time into, were very ready for it, but then halfway through that process the agency had to cancel the RFP because they simply couldn’t get it done. So for us it’s really that being a small business, we have to be very clear about what we’re going for. There are a lot of set-asides, but we can’t afford to have a lot of major misses. A big thing has been on the partnership side, and if there are incumbents in there, determining if there is a way that we can work with them a little bit more. The state funding is there, but the challenge is for the state to put forth its policies and its procurement methods that it wants to go with on a particular contract.

Deltek: What is the key takeaway in your usage of GovWin IQ, something that you would stress beyond everything else?

Bobeck: For us as a small business, GovWin is the most cost-effective business development person we’ve ever had. There’s no other way we could have that market analysis, what’s going on in other states, what RFPs may be occurring, where that spending is happening. You could spend days and nights flying across the country to people to get that information, but in GovWin it’s all right there. And I can filter it as I need it. It’s the most cost-effective personnel we have. I really appreciate it, I treat it like a person and it’s treated us very well.

Curious how companies like FHAS are using GovWin IQ to gather government contracting information and develop more relevant business opportunities? Click the link below to see for yourself.


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