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Why Incumbents Rarely Win Recompetes... And What To Do About It (01-08-16)

Government customers usually want to retain support from well-performing contractors and their staffers. In these budget constrained times the best most customers can hope for is to keep some incumbent staffers under an insurgent prime. Retaining incumbent contractors, however, is mostly a pipe dream these days.
Government customers that need to renew support contracts no longer hold sway over recompetes. Until the award is made, the acquisition community leads, and their chief interest is lowering the costs of contractor support using LPTA, or LPTA-like, acquisition approaches. Once a contract has been awarded to a low-priced, technically acceptable bidder, the acquisition folk declare victory and leave the customer to deal with the result.
In the "best value" past, incumbents held most of the aces -- key personnel, experience, phase-in cost avoidance, and so forth -- and evaluation schemes usually favored them. Nowadays the acquisition community rarely allows incumbent advantages to be monetized. This often turns incumbent "best value" attributes into disadvantages by allowing insurgent bidders to price their steak without a costly layer of incumbent sizzle.
For these and other reasons it is open season on incumbents. And just to make the sport of incumbent-unseating even more one-sided, incumbents invariably have big, fat targets on their backs painted by information on incumbent teams, labor rates, contract revenues, staffing, and contract performance.
So are incumbents that win recompetes a dying breed? Not necessarily. Incumbents can and must fight back. If your firm is interested in finding out how to do this, please contact us.
To request training information, a PTW proposal, or to buy a book, please contact:
  • Jennifer Weinberg for PTW Professional Development Training - her phone number is (301) 840 5959 and her email is; or
  • Rich Brown for a proposal to do a PTW study on a specific opportunity - his phone number is (301) 704 1289 and his email is
My PTW Book - Hope Is Not A Winning Strategy... ... But Price To Win Is - is always available from Amazon as are copies of the other books in our Roadmap To BD Success Series. If there are any other issues related to pricing strategies or bid price development that you would like to discuss please call me, Tony Constable, on (301) 807 8171.
Good luck, and happy hunting!
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