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Rethinking Business Development Along Lines of Business (06-28-2006)

Companies offering productized lines of business (LoBs) in the federal space have long been anomalies. That is about to change as government buyers, prodded by OMB and accommodated by GSA and others, will soon be seeking to buy well-crafted, best of breed LoBs with robust development roadmaps from journeyman providers rather than quasi-custom services from generalist providers. The expectation is that, government-wide, commoditized LoBs will lower costs, lessen risks, improve service levels and provide more rapid technology insertion.
As a frame of reference, an IT-oriented contractor's LoBs could include enterprise level activities such as email consolidation and migration, seat management, ERP implementation, infrastructure modernization and rationalization, and server consolidation. A defense-oriented communications & electronics (C&E) firm's LoB elements may add program management, nonrecurring engineering (NRE), integration, test & evaluation (ITE), and integrated logistics support (ILS) to the IT list.
To compete effectively in this brave new acquisition world, federal services providers will have to identify, define, develop and continually improve their core LoBs, and re-orient and refocus their marketing and capture processes around them. Making verticals out of the commodity processes that are common to every agency will have the effect of making the capture of many future opportunities more LoB-centric and less customer specific.
Unless your firm already has an LoB orientation, study and an investment will be required to accomplish it. Study is needed to determine or confirm an LoB portfolio that leverages your technical strengths and past performance. LoB portfolio development involves packaging existing offerings, augmenting existing capabilities, or acquiring new lines. Investment requirements should be offset over time by a corresponding reduction in solution and proposal development costs.
Over the years, CAI/SISCo has supported a stream of capture opportunities involving repetitive services where only the competitors and the ultimate customers change. Subject services have included: server consolidation; data center, network operations, and ground station O&M; seat management; case management; financial management; ERP implementation; help desk and so forth. These and other offerings are the basis of our LoB taxonomy -- a hierarchy of commodity services supported by insights and rules of thumb that can be productized to lower prices while increasing profits. Our taxonomy has always been the basis for continuous improvement of our core competitive analysis, PTW and strategic pricing services where it helps us add value to our engagements.
Using our LoB taxonomy, CAI/SISCo can help get your firm's LoB ball rolling. We can use it to identify and flesh out your major and minor LoBs and develop them into repeatable, evolving processes that can be easily leveraged. We can also help produce a strategic marketing plan that estimates and rank-orders your LoB portfolio's marketplace potential and create your customer-based opportunity pipeline. Please call CAI/SISCo to discuss our LoB-related services further.
Good luck and happy hunting!
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