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Falling back in love with business development #LoveBDAgain

Last week’s American Institute of Architects (AIA) convention brought more than 18,000 attendees from around the globe to the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. The three-day event featured more than 300 educational sessions/workshops and a massive expo with nearly 800 exhibitors.

As in years past, Deltek’s presence was in full force at this premier architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) event. In addition to showcasing Deltek solutions on the expo floor,  Senior Product Marketing Specialist Megan Miller led a seminar titled “Fall in Love with Business Development Again” to a packed crowd on Thursday afternoon.


Alongside Wallace Engineering’s Brad Thurman, PE, FSMPS, CPSM, Miller covered the common pain points identified by business developers and presented tips on how to reengage the industry and win more business.


A 2014 study by the Society for Marketing Professional Services Society (SMPS) – “The Seller-Doer Model: Is it Really Taking Hold – and Is It Working?” – revealed that 63 percent of firms surveyed reported an increase in the number of seller-doers in their company, where employees are not only responsible for business development (BD), but also sales, technical, marketing and client support. However, only 4 percent of companies considered their seller-doers as “highly effective.”


A major obstacle with this growing seller-doer model is the lack of time devoted to business development when having to wear multiple hats. Miller stressed that “business development is the lifeblood of your organization,” and Thurman reminded attendees that BD is not about sales, but about “nurturing relationships.”  


Many attendees reported they simply don’t have enough hours in the day to dedicate to BD, and they often find themselves doing tasks they don’t enjoy, such as cold calling, expense reports, and attending meetings. Thurman and Miller provided several practical tips for spending more time on the tasks you love and blocking time for business development.


Miller also touted the importance of being more selective in business development. Statistics show it takes 100 cold calls to get one lead; therefore, companies should narrow their prospect lists and truly nurture that network. Taking the time to learn about a potential client and their needs before approaching them goes a long way in distinguishing your organization from the rest. 

GovWin IQ offers several solutions to help business developers learn about potential clients and narrow their prospect list in the public sector. GovWin IQ’s Government Snapshots tool combines government data with Deltek’s expert analysis and forecasting tools to provide vendors with key information on spending, population, agency contacts, employment, bids, and more so that they can make informed business decisions in their target markets.


GovWin IQ Lead Alerts act as the first hint of a project for business developers. Our analysts are scouring government websites and reviewing state and local capital improvement plans (CIP) on a daily basis to identify new projects across all vertical markets and provide updates on past CIP initiatives. Lead Alerts help you identify projects planned years in advance so you can start building relationships with prospects early.


Further, GovWin IQ’s newly expanded contract awards database offers business developers deep insight into current contracts across the state and local market, expiring agreements that may be rebid, as well as bid tabulations/bidders lists offering strong competitive intelligence.


Learn more about GovWin IQ solutions with a free trial


Deltek Pulse: Health and human services month in review, April 2015

In April 2015, Deltek saw a slight decrease in the number of health care and social services solicitations compared to March

Notable RFP releases

In legislative news, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on April 14 to permanently extend 90/10 funding and update the Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) Standards and Conditions, including a new modular certification process for MMIS components. For an analysis of how this proposed regulation will impact vendors, please click here to access the GovWin IQ blog.

You can learn more about current procurement opportunities in the GovWin IQ State and Local Opportunities database. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.


90/10 funding made permanent: CMS updating Medicaid procurement standards

In October 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that 90/10 enhanced federal funding would be permanently available for states making upgrades to their Medicaid eligibility and enrollment systems. This funding encourages states to retire defunct Medicaid systems, modify existing eligibility and enrollment (E&E) systems, and integrate Medicaid systems with other human services systems.

On April 14, 2015, CMS issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to codify the 90/10 permanent extension and proposed changes to the Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) standards and conditions, including a new modular certification process for MMIS. The agency is also soliciting feedback on how to encourage the sharing of Medicaid software and reduce duplicative costs. Public comments are due June 15, 2015.

Key takeaways

1) CMS getting more involved in Medicaid procurement process - CMS is proposing a new contract review process and will help states develop acquisition roadmaps for future procurement. States will look for solutions that already comply with the Seven Standards and Conditions issued by CMS.

2) CMS proposing modular approach to certification - CMS recognizes that most monolithic contracts go over budget and over schedule when states get locked into one vendor, such as those in Maryland, Montana, Nebraska and North Carolina. The agency is offering to certify MMIS systems on a modular basis. We can see many states are already following this approach, such as Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina.

3) Preference for shared software and COTS solutions - CMS is trying to encourage states to adopt commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions to save money and reduce duplicative implementation efforts. The NPRM proposes a 90 percent matching rate for COTS software, and vendors including HP, Molina, EngagePoint and Accenture are increasingly offering COTS solutions that are flexible and adaptable for states. 

Analyst’s Take

While making 90/10 funding permanent, CMS is also using this opportunity to update certification procedures to keep pace with the MMIS modular procurement strategy most states are adopting. In 2015, Deltek is expecting MMIS rebids in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Vendors will have a leg up on the competition if their solutions are in line with CMS standards for COTS products and align with the desire to use modular components and incremental delivery strategies. The benefits are greater with these approaches by reducing risks and lowering costs of complete replacements. Still, as strategy moves away from single fiscal agent contracts and big-bang implementations, states have challenges managing multi-procurements and relationships with several vendors. For more information on Medicaid procurements across the country, please see the GovWin MMIS Vertical Page.


Public-private partnerships may yield high-dollar contracts

Public-private partnerships, or P3s, have been around for decades, helping states with funding problems utilize a contract with a private company that, in turn, will run a large portion (or all) of a project. The number of states that use P3s has grown steadily over the years, with approximately 33 states and the District of Columbia having legislation to allow usage.

One of the major components of P3 legislation is the use of partnerships in development of transportation infrastructure such as bridges, roads, tunnels, etc. A state may not have the funding to develop a new bridge, but through a P3 agreement, the vendor foots most of the cost and collects tolls from the bridge in exchange. One major project that utilized this agreement was the Port of Miami tunnel. The $663 million project needed outside funding – in this case, from Bouygues Civil Works. Later, the state utilized another vendor, Transfield Services Infrastructure, to operate and maintain the tunnel.

Below is a glimpse of GovWin IQ’s snapshot of Miami-Dade County’s construction expenditures for fiscal year 2014. The chart shows that air transportation and transit-related projects top the list at more than $600 million.

Many high-dollar projects are available when looking at the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry as it relates to P3 transportation initiatives; however, with only 33 states having legislation and varying requirements, it becomes a difficult maze to navigate. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has a toolkit for legislators, which also provides insight on state laws and the differences among them.

P3 agreements are not solely tied to transportation projects. Prison facilities, primary and higher education facilities also require significant budget, especially for new construction or upgrades to existing infrastructure. AEC vendors will have many projects to bid on outside of P3 agreements, but these partnerships often allow more flexibility and opportunity to team with vendors as prime or subcontractors.

AEC vendors should not necessarily seek out P3 agreements, but being aware of their availability and what benefits they offer is essential in understanding the market. P3 projects can offer flexibility and options that aren’t typically available with a standard professional services contract. They can be larger in scope, size and contract value, and are worthy of special attention and consideration when examining your bottom line.

GovWin IQ’s government snapshot tool combines government data with Deltek’s expert analysis and forecasting tools. Our government snapshots provide vendors with key information on spending, population, agency contacts, employment, bids, and more so that they can make informed business decisions in their target markets. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial. 





State budget overview: Critical information on priorities and funding for vendors

As spring progresses, news from most states is centered on legislative actions (some controversial) passed before the annual sine die adjournment of the state legislature. With that backdrop, many state legislatures will approve budgets for the coming fiscal year or biennium. Beyond the headlines about the growth of government and funding cuts to pet projects, or the spin promulgated by lawmakers’ press releases and governor budget addresses, vendors can find essential information on state priorities.

A state’s budget and how it passed into law is important information for a vendor to have when deciding in which states or localities to compete for business. For most states, the budget process follows the same approval path by the full legislature and the governor’s signature. The first step in this process generally comes from the state agencies themselves. In most cases, these agencies report to the governor as part of the executive branch. The agencies conduct their own planning and budgeting process and submit a request to the governor’s budget team or office. The governor and his or her team then decide which priorities and funding to include and compile a document of the governor’s recommendations for submittal to the state legislature.

At Deltek, we spend quite a bit of time compiling and analyzing the state governors’ recommended budgets. The budgets, along with other compiled data,  are contained in Deltek’s State Government Profiles. The profiles provide essential and in-depth reference and research on state budgets, procurement, and organizational details to assist contractors in building important state buyer relationships and quickly ramping up new government sales professionals.

A governor’s proposed budget is by no means the final budget that makes it out of a state legislature, though it provides valuable insight about the executive priorities and the fiscal condition of the state. These documents also provide us with historical expenditure data, which allows for a more in-depth analysis of budget trends and fiscal realities. 

Following the governor’s lead, the state legislature begins work on their own version of the budget. Sometimes they use the governor’s recommendations as a starting point, but this is not always the case in adversarial political environments. Both houses of the legislature (for every state but Nebraska) weigh in on the budget as it goes through the normal process of committee and floor votes, and then conference committees work to reconcile any differences. The legislature submits the budget to the governor and he or she decides to approve it or not.  

For vendors, both the governor’s proposed budget and the final version are important documents. They can help to understand both the priorities of an administration and the reality of the political system and/or fiscal climate. Of course, they also offer insight into exactly where state funding is flowing and which departments will be looking for vendor support. 

In the coming months, look for the compilation of state budget data, including IT line items and detailed Deltek analysis of this data. In addition, vendors in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) space should watch for more budget data specific to state investment in AEC as outlined in state capital budgets.

You can learn more about state budgets in Deltek’s State Government Profiles. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial


First quarter indicates strong year ahead for AEC market

The first quarter of 2015 was quite busy for the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) sector, with approximately 19,500 solicitations released. The number of bids grew steadily throughout the quarter, with 5,725 issued in January, 6,139 in February, and 7,636 in March. This growth indicates that governments will continue to increase their procurements as the warmer months roll in.

Nearly 30 percent of the solicitations released in Q1 had a general government requirement, while 28 percent had a transportation requirement. Education was a close third at 21 percent. Not surprisingly, most bids were released out of transportation departments, even beating out purchasing and procurement departments, which came in second in the number of bid issuances.

According to the bids captured in the GovWin IQ database, the top five states with the most solicitations released were Texas, California, Virginia, New York, and Ohio. Bids coming out of these five states accounted for just more than 32 percent of total bids released in Q1, and would be excellent locations for AEC vendors looking to expand to new markets.

On a more local note, the top five cities and counties releasing bids in Q1 were New York City (NY), Los Angeles County (CA), the city of Columbus (OH), the city and county of San Francisco (CA), and the city and county of Honolulu (HI).

The rising number of solicitations released in Q1 is a strong indicator that the AEC sector is in recovery mode after the 2007 recession and that not only states, but local governments, which often lag in the recovery process, are finally at a point where they feel comfortable spending again. Vendors should expect the number of AEC solicitations released to be on par with Q1 for the remainder of 2015. For additional details about what state governors have in store for AEC, take a look at Deltek’s state infrastructure priorities blog.

You can learn more about current procurement opportunities in the GovWin IQ State and Local Opportunities database. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.


State infrastructure priorities: Where do states want to invest?

Deltek’s Industry Analysis team published its annual State of States report last month, which analyzes each governor’s state-of-the-state speech for key projects anticipated in the year to come. Thirty-three governors mentioned major architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) projects in their addresses. Below is a list of several high-value AEC projects states are focusing on in 2015.  

Water/Energy projects – $13 billion estimated value

  • Alaska Governor Bill Walker (Independent) announced his administration will begin building the Alaska gas line to Tidewater, at an estimated cost of $10 billion.
  • California Governor Jerry Brown (D) announced his administration will invest in long-overdue water projects, saving $2.8 billion in the state's new rainy-day fund.
  • Montana Governor Steve Bullock (D) asked for support for his infrastructure plan, The Build Montana Act, which would invest more than $300 million into bridges, water and sewer systems, schools and roads.

Roads – $4.7 billion estimated value

  • Texas Governor Gregg Abbott (R) added more than $4 billion a year to the state’s budget to build more roads in Texas.
  • Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R) called for an additional $300 million in funding for roads to allow cities and towns new resources to plan regional growth strategies.
  • Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval (R) called for a $250 million investment in Project NEON to improve Southern Nevada’s I-15, reduce congestion, and create construction jobs.
  • New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (R) proposed at least $180 million of infrastructure money over the next three years for major highway construction projects across New Mexico.

Building/School Revitalization - $1.8 billion estimated value

  • North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (R) will submit to the General Assembly a $1.2-$1.4 billion bond proposal for Project Phoenix, to revitalize old buildings, build more efficient facilities, and spur economic development.
  • North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple (R) called for an additional $300 million for the school construction revolving loan program.
  • Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (R) allocated $260 million in this year’s budget for capital projects including new science facilities at Jackson State Community College and the University of Tennessee, nearly $25 million for improvements to colleges of applied technology across the state, and funding for a fine arts classroom building at East Tennessee State University.

Transportation - $1.4 billion estimated value

  • North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (R) announced he will request a transportation bond of $1.2 billion to allow quicker construction of projects in the 25-year vision plan.
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a $65 million investment in ports and hubs from Albany to Oswego, to Syracuse, to the Port of Ogdensburg, to the Binghamton Rail Yard.
  • Governor Cuomo is also calling for $150 million for construction of vertical parking structures at strategic locations in Long Island and Westchester to assist commuters coming in on the Long Island Rail Road.

Continued budget growth sets the stage for ongoing investments and innovation as the governors look to allocate a collective $750 billion in FY 2015 general funds across a variety of spending areas. For access to the 2015 State of the States report, please click here.

State and local Industry Analysis provides an in-depth comprehensive perspective of the market. Our highly trained analysts provide answers to your critical questions about agency priorities, budgets allocated for your technology or service, trends and forecasts in state and local technology spending – enabling you to determine your strategy and tactics for capturing more business. For more information on State and local Industry Analysis, click here


State and Local AEC Snapshots: Baltimore County, Md.

You know Baltimore County’s capital project plan is big when the Maryland Stadium Authority is the agency administering the project. How big? More than $1 billion big.

In 2014, Baltimore County Executive Director Kevin Kamenetz unveiled an aggressive $1.1 billion school renovation plan. More than 80 percent of the county’s schools are more than 40 years old, and school populations are expected to grow, despite the county’s 0.7 percent population growth rate.

In fiscal year 2014, Baltimore County spent $97 million on construction within elementary and secondary education, and an additional $19 million within higher education. Elementary and secondary spending is up from $84 million in fiscal year 2011, and the numbers are expected to rise dramatically with the billion-dollar capital project plan coming to fruition. 

It is no secret that local governments tend to favor local vendors when it comes to AEC contracts, but this doesn’t mean that a company based outside of Maryland or Virginia has no chance of winning a piece of the $1 billion pie. Vendors should be aware that the Maryland Stadium Authority has publicly stated that it is “not restricting it [contracts] just to local firms,” but “part of the desire of the program is to maximize local participation.”

Another unknown result of the county’s massive education infrastructure overhaul is the effect it will have on surrounding counties or even neighboring states. Many counties and cities across the country have dilapidated schools in dire need of renovation or replacement, but lack funding to pay for the upgrades. Baltimore County brought the $158 million education bond to voters in November 2014. It was the largest voter-approved referendum in the county’s history. Additional localities may take a similar route to put more money toward education.

A quick glance at the county’s surrounding Baltimore area shows a similar picture. Howard County’s top construction expenditure in fiscal year 2014 was elementary and secondary education, at $71 million. Anne Arundel County spent nearly $131 million on elementary and secondary education construction, also its highest expenditure. While education and construction on education-related projects are typically top spending areas for counties, it is clear that education spending has taken even greater priority in Maryland.

You can learn more about state and local spending with GovWin IQ’s State Profiles and Local Snapshots. Not a subscriber, click here to gain access with a free trial. 


Deltek Pulse: Health and human services month in review, March 2015

In March, Deltek saw the release of 1,831 solicitations from the health and human services vertical – a 31 percent increase from February.

Notable RFP releases

  • The Alabama Department of Human Resources released a request for proposals (RFP) for electronic benefits and funds transfer (EBT/EFT) services on March 5. The incumbent contract with Xerox is set to expire in June 2017. Proposals are due on June 25, 2015.
  • The Pennsylvania Department of Health released an RFP for WIC EBT implementation and claims processing services on March 13. Proposals are due on June 11.
  • The National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA), with its subsidiary Information Technology Support Center (ITSC), released an RFP for independent verification and validation (IV&V) services for the Mississippi, Rhode Island and Maine (MRM) Consortium for the joint UI modernization project on March 23. TCS was selected as the prime developer for the modernization project and is currently refactoring MDES UI system’s architecture to accommodate the implementation of a largely common set of functionalities among the MRM states. Proposals are due on May 1.
  • On March 25, the Virginia Department of Treasury released an RFP for electronic payment card services. Current users of electronic payment services include the Department of Accounts (DOA) for payroll, the Department of Social Services (DSS) for child support and TANF benefits, the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) for unemployment benefits, and the Department of Taxation (TAX). Proposals are due on April 27.

You can learn more about current procurement opportunities in the GovWin IQ State and Local Opportunities database. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.




The pains of prolonged procurements

Every state and local government agency is distinct, with its own rules related to procurement. Some have strict guidelines for vendors submitting a proposal, while others require state registration prior to even bidding. Regardless of the rules, one commonality routinely causes problems: drawn out procurement processes.

What constitutes a long procurement process? It depends on who you ask and also the technology being purchased. A simple request for quotes (RFQ) for 100 radios likely constitutes a straightforward procurement, while a customized jail management system for a statewide agency is more complex. For example, Connecticut issued a request for proposals (RFP) in September 2009 for an offender management system that still hasn’t been awarded. Details on the contract delay are sparse.

While the Connecticut procurement may be an outlier, it is not uncommon for bidding processes to take several months for multimillion dollar projects, which then lead to even longer timelines to award and negotiate a contract. Understandably, agencies want to ensure they select the best possible product for the best possible price, but at some point, this can be a detriment to both the vendor and the agency.

How the vendor loses

  • Anticipated revenue following a win takes a hit during lengthy contract negotiations
  • Hefty legal costs associated with negotiations
  • Travel and other expenses related to contract meetings

How the agency loses

  • Costly man hours spent reviewing bids and negotiating contract terms
  • Technology advancements made during procurement timelines often result in negotiating a solution that could be antiquated
  • Agency budgets, needs and wants can change drastically over the course of a long procurement

No single solution

Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet for long contracting and procurement processes. Agencies must be fully aware of what is required when reviewing a large, complex bid. They must also ensure budgets are secured prior to bidding to avoid dragging out awards due to limited funds. Vendors, on the other hand, must be patient and understand agencies may require more time for costly technology. Well-established timelines, budgets and game plans on both parts are required to achieve a swift and seamless procurement. 


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