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Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 – salesman’s nightmare or opportunity for reflection?

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The Government is midway through its promised Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) to review and report on the capabilities needed to defend the realm for the coming years. An update on the 2010 review that reflects the considerable changes in world threats/opportunities and a chance to re-focus budgets on the economic and political realities we now face.

As a tax-payer, I welcome the SDSR as a chance to look again at how we deliver these defence and security capabilities in an efficient, effective and sustainable way.

As a supplier in the defence supply chain trying to win business on existing and future projects – it’s a right royal pain in the backside! Many sales teams and their management will be tearing their hair out at the planning blight brought on by such a review, the movement of future opportunities to the right (or removal altogether) and the need to re-position work already in progress.

However, if I am to find a silver lining in all this uncertainty, perhaps it is that it gives me an opportunity to re-assess my winning business capabilities. In these quieter times, do I have the necessary firepower (resources, skillsets, propositions), to win business in the upcoming storm of competition once the procurement floodgates are reopened on completion of the SDSR.

Producing compelling proposals is an expensive business, so not only is it demoralising not to win, it can also be very costly. The cost of proposals can be anything up to 5% of contract value; few organisations can afford to be consistently investing at this level without a return.

Given the cost and value of proposal management to the success of your organisation, doesn’t it make sense to find out how well your capability measures up?

Of course the acid test for how well any organisation is doing are win rates and capture ratios. But these are lagging indicators and by the time you find out how you’re doing, it’s too late. Fine if you’re winning; not so good if you’re not.

So the SDSR gives a window of opportunity to assess proposal management capability – to help your organisation become more efficient and effective at winning new business post-SDSR by:

  • Revealing previously unseen bottlenecks that could be holding you back
  • Providing objective evidence for making changes or investing in improvements
  • Identifying your organisation’s biggest opportunities for growth

SDSR – Pain in the backside or glorious opportunity for reflection…you decide.

Ian Sherwood

PM-CAT LogoAt twentysix2 we use a proprietary model based on best practice to assess an organisation’s proposal management capability. We don’t just focus on a proposal, nor try to assess your entire organisation. Instead we look at eighteen key proposal management capabilities in four capability areas. Our intention is to show you the shortest route to the biggest improvements; we call that taking the racing line. You can find the shortest route to the biggest improvements in your proposal management capability by visiting www.PM-CAT.com and taking the free online assessment.

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