An interview with Sonny Shoyeb, Site III Program Development Manager, Systems Plus, Inc.
As businesses prepare for the end of the current federal fiscal year and the beginning of the next, they are presented with a unique opportunity to take advantage of year-end government agency spend. Taking the right steps at this critical time can be the difference between winning and losing valuable contracting opportunities.
Deltek spoke to Sonny Shoyeb from Systems Plus, Inc., a small business providing strategic technology and business solutions to the federal government, about their strategies for managing the end-of-year spending rush and preparing for the year ahead. As part of their conversation, Shoyeb also shared insights on how his company uses Deltek’s GovWin IQ solution to more easily identify government contracts and teaming opportunities to help fill his government contracting pipeline.
When do you start thinking about and preparing for Q4, and how do you do it?
Planning in advance is especially important, but sometimes opportunities can appear on a short notice. When you are preparing for something that can take less than two months or three months from start to finish, you must act strategically to be competitive on Request for Proposals (RFPs). You need a team for proposal support, and if you are teaming/partnering, you need a team to plan your teaming/partnerships with other companies. Most important is ensuring technical areas with the final RFP to ensure the review and submission of the RFP on-time, covering each of the tasking areas accurately for the delivery of the request of product or services.
Do last-minute changes or short notices impact your pipeline? How does Systems Plus overcome them?
Sometimes there is a protest, but if you are properly prepared, protests should not affect the business development pipeline. You can continue your pipeline by being agile and adapting to changes with the plan. That is the best advice I would recommend.
Deltek’s research has seen an impact on government spending when appropriations are agreed on earlier in the year, and our annual Deltek Clarity report also suggested it’s becoming more challenging to follow the money. What are you observing in the industry?
The federal government has shifting priorities determined by national defense strategy and current world affairs. Sometimes the budget is redirected for other efforts during the fiscal year. Federal spending has improved for many small businesses, with more competition, more market edge in the cloud and other IT related segments, but spend plan is still positive in Q4 – just not in all market sectors.
How has your team used GovWin IQ from Deltek to find and prepare for federal government contracting opportunities?
We have been using GovWin’s Smart Tags for searches to break down opportunities into distinct levels. Smart Tags help for creating a layered approach. Within the Department of Defense (DoD), I break them down into Army, Air Force, and other certain federal agencies, looking at the contracts for different lengths of time. Those are all, customized searches that I built which has really helped me.
Also, I use GovWin’s teaming features to see interested companies who are looking to sub or as a prime. When I am looking at teaming, I can see the top companies that we may be able to team/partner with.
Do you have any best practices for interacting with the federal government?
As a BD manager, the government is very responsive, if you communicate with them via email. But everything must be set up for you in your pipeline. That includes the changes to focus on the opportunities in your portfolio, and the company’s strategic alignment from the top leadership as it changes in a dynamic way with the changing Q4 budget. Your strategy should be adjustable, agile, and actively networking with teaming partners, whether you are working with small, medium-sized, or large companies. And it is important to have effective communication within your capability managers, service delivery managers and proposal delivery teams – these are the most important teams to make things happen with the government.
Are there any other pieces of advice you would give federal government contractors?
It is very important for you, if you are a GovWin user, to use GovWin to see what contracts are coming up, what contracts are posted on short notice, and using that information in GovWin to make sure you have all your proposal information ready – including the technical parts. That is the best way to get those short-notice contracts with government entities.
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About Systems Plus, Inc.
Systems Plus delivers measurable and effective business solutions for the global digital economy. They offer proven capabilities and sound practices, which promote exceptional value, management agility and superior technical performance. Systems Plus has an extensive contract performance record, including work through multiple contract vehicles (GWAC, IDIQ, BPA, etc.) and through various sub-contractor and teaming arrangements to provide maximum capability and flexibility to their clients.
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