Countdown to Rolling Admission, 2011

Updated December 06, 2010 Are you ready to obtain your Seaport-e prime contract and start competing to provide services to the Navy and Marine Corps? Rolling Admissions is slated to open in April 2011. You should be planning your response now.

Over the next few months, among other subjects, we will address SeaPort-e preparation issues here, in articles about strategic teaming, zone coverage, performance-based contracting, and lessons-learned in previous competitions. Please use the link in the side-bar to subscribe to this blog to be updated when new articles are published.

By planning ahead, you can avoid all of the pitfalls related to a hurried submission once the RFP is published and a deadline is on the horizon. Additionally, you can gain a significant competitive advantage by establishing your teaming relationships, assuring appropriate zone coverage, and identifying the functional areas you will address in your offering ahead of the rolling admission period.

Most importantly, you can save crucial business development resources by preparing the bulk of your response ahead of time. The details of the SeaPort-e RFP have remained largely unchanged since its inception. With existing documentation and the previous RFPs, your firm can develop your proposal to at least 75% completion, with only minor compliance edits to make when the RFP is published.

Winning a Seaport-e prime contract award is the first step in establishing your firm as a service provider directly to Navy and other eligible DoD customers. More and more, service acquisitions are being migrated to SeaPort-e, and in fact, it is mandatory for some types of services.

At a recent small business event, the NAVAIR Office of Small Business Programs emphasized: “If you don’t have a SeaPort-e prime contract, plan to get one in the next rolling admission.”

Do you know what the demand will be on your business development resources when the next rolling admission period opens? Do you know what opportunities you will be chasing, and what phase of capture they will be in? By staging your proposal submission early, you can make sure your firm is not caught in a crunch as the deadline approaches, and free your internal resources to focus on other urgent, and possibly unpredictable, demands when time is of the essence.

Preparing your  proposal early is a wise strategic move for your company if you plan to compete for Navy work in the future.  Reading the previous RFPs, available briefs, and related articles now will familiarize you with the language, structure, purpose and mission of SeaPort-e.  You can begin to think about the ways in which you will market your company, and the area on which you will focus your response to increase the likelihood of receiving an award.

The process of gathering your past performance and workforce qualifications, formulating your win strategy, cultivating and finalizing teaming agreements and drafting your quality and management plans is an excellent exercise in coalescing your corporate story.

The resulting proposal will not only be an exceptionally well-prepared  submission, but can serve as the backbone of your corporate documentation, extensible to other proposals, marketing materials, business plans, and even valuation justification for capital attraction.

Iona Moon has won the SeaPort-e vehicle many times over for our clients and has compiled valuable lessons-learned during every competition. Each rolling admission period, the demand for our services has increased, until 2008 when we reached capacity within days of the release of the RFP. We were simply unable to help all the firms who contacted us.

To help meet demand, Iona Moon published the “SeaPort-e Proposal Toolkit©”, which quickly became a “best seller” on the website, enabling all the firms who used it to win their SeaPort-e award. The toolkit includes all appropriately-formatted templates, writing guides, cost proposal workbooks, line-by-line guides to fill-ins, step-by-step instructions, reference material, and up to one hour of phone consultation.

“The toolkit was amazing and made a murky process crystal clear. We would not have been successful without it. Thank you!” – a successful bidder

“Thank you for taking the time to put this together. We won!” – a happy client

For firms who want to get started early, the toolkit is available and now includes valuable planning data to facilitate your process. The current version is up to date as of the last rolling admission. When the 2011 admission is conducted, the Toolkit will be updated for all compliance issues and any other changes, and the update provided free to those who have purchased a previous version. The updated version will be available for purchase after the RFP is published.

Iona Moon is currently in workforce planning to accommodate as many firms as possible for complete proposal preparation support for RA 2011. We anticipant reaching capacity well before the RFP hits the street. If you are interested in having Iona Moon prepare your proposal, now is the time to engage.  We can help you with teaming, zone coverage, and all aspects of your response.

However you plan to prepare your proposal, using our full-service option, with our tools, or going it alone -- I hope this has encouraged you to begin your planning process now, and to put SeaPort-e into your strategic plan for increasing your Navy business.

Best of luck!