How Government Contractors in Your Industry Grow with GovWin IQ

April 16, 2020

GovWin IQ helps businesses across a variety of industries navigate the public sector every day with our analyst-backed market analysis, early lead identification and unmatched customer success support. However, successful navigation for your business may hinge on avoiding industry-specific challenges.

In this feature, we’ll be summarizing the webinar series, “How Firms Grow with GovWin IQ” specifically looking at insights for government contractors in five industry sectors: operations & maintenance; professional services; IT; professional services; architecture, engineering & construction; and transportation. We’ll do so by identifying industry-specific challenges and then look at spending trends split between the federal sector and the state & local market.

Operations & Maintenance Government Contractors

Businesses operating in the Operations & Maintenance (O&M) space should be aware of the challenges posed by the consolidation of contracts. On the positive side, demand for these services should remain steady because of their continuous need and since most work will have follow-ons and less impact from budget cuts. Contractors should also be mindful that through Category Management current sole source contracts may fold into existing vehicles to maximize cost savings and efficiencies. With a broad range of services, this industry is attractive for small businesses, as both niche and subcontracting opportunities are plentiful.

In the federal space, O&M covers a broad range of services; which essentially keeps activity on federal facilities and bases moving forward and running smoothly. It represents about 6% of all federal contract spending, however work under this industry often overlaps other, larger industries such as Professional Services and Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC). The Department of Energy is the top buyer by a significant amount, followed by the Army, Navy, Air Force and Labor.

GovWin IQ SLED Principal Research Analyst Paul Irby defines O&M in the state and local space as covering “a broad range of services which essentially keeps activity moving forward and running smoothly” in his 2020 SLED Government Contracting Forecast. This is seen across the range of commodities and services such as the increase in janitorial and cleaning supplies. Many states are beginning to establish statewide contracts with numerous vendors that allow for competitive pricing.

Information Technology Government Contractors

Businesses specializing in Information Technology (IT) services and hardware rely heavily on maintaining tight margins, which makes awareness of historical data quite valuable to see where spending is being allocated. Another way IT firms can give themselves a competitive edge is by planning ahead with early opportunity identification to meet required specifications. With the ability to see where budgets are being allocated years in advanced, GovWin IQ helps users plan accordingly, like Christine Taylor at Advanced Management Strategies Group (AMSG).

“ I needed a tool that provides me with the research and information needed to make proposal decisions – information I knew GovWin IQ would have. ”

Christine Taylor, Director of Proposal Management and Marketing, AMSG

Priorities remain consistent in federal IT contracting with an emphasis in IT modernization and cybersecurity. The Trump Administration is requesting a relatively flat IT budget, with spending boosts planned in key areas, including Census 2020, VA electronic health records and claims processing, FAA modernization and cybersecurity.

On the SLED side, the market for smart cities solutions has helped generate additional demand in areas like sensors, big data, citizen engagement, and connected facilities.  The Federal Communications Commission will also be pushing out nearly $5 billion in rural broadband funding in coming years.  K-12 schools are implementing collaboration tools and higher educational institutions are creating wired campuses for students and faculty.

Professional Services Government Contractors

An issue facing many federal contracting industries is the consolidation of requirements. Through category management and strategic sourcing, many formerly stand-alone opportunities will have their follow-ons awarded through a contract vehicle. Federal Professional Services contract dollars reflect 15.7% of all federal obligations reported for the fiscal 2016 through 2020 period. It is the third largest industry, based on obligated dollars, behind Defense and Aerospace industry.

Across both federal and SLED, professional services include a wide range of roles and services with a focus on administrative, worker education and training, logistics and management. Often, professional services step up to achieve efficiency and customer-focus in business operations although procurement historically has had a difficult time supporting these goals. By changing to a more strategic approach, with an emphasis on longer, more collaborative contracts, relationships between vendor and client will emerge and succeed. This connection starts in the proposal phase.

Ron Zayas, CEO of 360Civic, has found success with tailoring presentations to his audience with intelligence provided by GovWin IQ, and says, “We’re able to go in and tailor our presentation as if we were talking specifically to one individual and that’s what’s given us a close rate of about 55%.”

Architecture, Engineering & Construction Government Contractors

Environmental sustainability is a key part of success in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) market. Energy efficiency and sustainability have grown as priority for design criteria, as has qualifications-based selection (QBS), with an emphasis on quality based selection of contractors rather than a pricing-oriented approach. In particular, QBS is becoming popular with 46 states and many localities now allowing an emphasis on design qualifications and capabilities of contractors rather than on project specifics or price. This trend is closely followed by the push for environmental sustainability, green design and construction in the face of climate change.

Federal Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) contract dollars reflect 7% of all federal obligations reported for the fiscal 2016 through 2020 period. Services considered AEC often overlap the O&M industry, and so for construction management services firms like McDonough Bolyard Peck (MBP), insight into these contracting opportunities is crucial. MBP subscribes to GovWin IQ for strategic insight into the federal, state and local government contracting markets, which enables them to submit better proposals and win more contracting opportunities.

“ We take advantage of GovWin and its platform to have all that information in one place, we gather intel from that and it helps us to get ahead of the opportunity. ”

Stephanie Veliz, Marketing Manager, MBP

Transportation Government Contractors

Due to the mobile nature of the transportation industry, it can be difficult to identify where opportunities are geographically as they often cross county and city limits. This is certainly the case in instances where historical data is missing because it can make identifying budgeted improvements tricky.

GovWin analysts are identifying new trends in state and local spending including the pressure to buy from co-op contracts, newer technologies and digital systems, autonomous vehicle technology and intelligent transportation systems. More specifically, connected and autonomous vehicles are steadily gaining ground in this industry segment.  This is, in turn, is driving interest in telematics and intelligent transportation system, or "ITS," infrastructure to support these vehicles.  For local governments, which have many vehicles in circulation, these improvements hold the promise of major savings in terms of route efficiency, public safety and improved maintenance.

It’s no secret that the majority of nationwide transportation infrastructure improvements occur at the state and local level and that’s partly due to transportation crossing a wide range of other industries in the federal sector. However; for those that do, they are through the Army Corps of Engineers. Additionally, the Department of Transportation falls at number 6 in the top buyers by department – reporting about $3.7 billion for transportation-related NAICS codes over the last 5 years (mostly for highway, street and bridge construction).

No matter which industry your business operates in, they can count on GovWin IQ to help them build their contracting pipeline, create sound proposal strategies and execute on winning more government contracts. Looking to learn more? Request a free trial today.