Deltek Providing Clarity for Government Contractors

TEC’s mid-2011 article, which reported on the Deltek Insight 2011 conference, indicated that Deltek has lately become the leader in market intelligence for government contractors (in addition to long being the leading provider of GovCon enterprise software solutions and professional services). By using Deltek’s market intelligence services, companies are able to benchmark their performance against their GovCon peers.

As of late 2011, Deltek has been hosting a number of in-person seminars and Webinars that are related to Deltek's Clarity survey -- the industry's largest annual survey of government contractors (Deltek also does similar surveys for the architechture and engineering [A&E] and marketing agency space). Deltek’s third annual Clarity Report for Government Contracting, available today, unveils the results of Deltek's annual study of top performance benchmarks in government contracting.

Topics at Deltek Clarity events have included the key findings from the survey, a forecast of what lies ahead for government contractors in 2012, a panel discussion of industry experts on the research findings, and the best practices for the government contracting industry. The Clarity event attendees were able to learn the operational, program management, and business development trends in government contracting, including performance benchmarks and historical analysis.

The attendees were also able to get the latest information on the federal government spending plans for the upcoming budget year leveraging information in Deltek’s GovWin IQ offering. Last but not least, a panel of leading industry experts discussed what changes they were making in their business at the time, and what best practices they are implementing to ensure success in 2012 and beyond.

Clarifying Some Items with Deltek

After attending Deltek’s Boston event in late 2011, I felt the need to further clarify and flesh out some new facts and concepts, as well as new product and service brand names with Deltek. My questions and Deltek’s answers are as follows:
PJ:  It appears that bigger GovCon companies are performing worse than smaller ones, if one is to trust your Clarity reports. Why is it the case, why are they worse in key performance indicators (KPIs) such as Days of Sales Outstanding (DSO) and Invoice Cycles (although their Profit nearly doubled)? Everywhere else it is the other way around, as small to medium businesses (SMBs) have been struggling in comparison (due to the cash crunch, inability to get credit, etc.).

Deltek:  Our thesis on the worsening KPIs (i.e., DSO and Invoice Cycles) centers on the Government’s initiatives around transparency. They are focusing their efforts on evaluating the big dollar suppliers and transactions. This is making life more difficult for the larger contractors, and giving the smaller contractors a bit of a reprieve.

Additionally there are possible negative effects resulting from the increasing numbers of Fixed Price contracts.  As the pendulum shifts from cost type contracts to fixed price, companies and their customers who are not familiar with concise and measurable milestone definition ultimately create mismatches in expectations causing a failure to meet acceptance criterion resulting in payments being pushed out.

The increase in DSO is likely due to more contested invoices, missed milestones, or even an emphasis on getting invoices right the first time.  Invoices for large companies are more complex, meaning it takes longer to get them right and to process them on both sides.  This may partially explain why DSO for large firms is greater than for smaller firms.

PJ:  What are these upcoming GovWin IQ and GovWin Enterprise Applications about?

Deltek:  GovWin IQ is the combination of our former INPUT and FedSources market intelligence offerings. It is now being offered through our GovWin network as a key offering within our new and improved business development platform. The offering combines the best of both offerings (deep market analysis, intelligent search capabilities) and now offers over US$1.4 trillion in federal, state, and local opportunities. The following are other notable stats about the GovWin IQ content:

  • Thousands of federal opportunities valued at more than US$1.4 trillion

  • Thousands of state and local government opportunities valued at more than US$75 billion

  • Over US$159 billion in federal task order spending on more than 171 top programs

  • Market forecasts and analysis of verticals and industry segments within federal, state, and local governments

  • Profiles of over 90 federal agencies, 50 states, and 67,000 local governments

  • More than 4.8 million labor rates on over 8,900 vendors

  • Over 500,000 partner and teaming profiles

  • More than 475 government organizational charts to quickly identify key decision makers and influencers

For their part, GovWin Enterprise Applications are a suite of software solutions that manage and improve the entire business development process.  Government contractors can leverage the following business development tools to manage customer interactions, increase forecast accuracy, streamline proposal activities, manage task orders, and identify and secure teaming partners:

  • Delivered on-premises or through the cloud, GovWin CRM delivers lead management, proposal automation, and opportunity management capabilities that enable government contractors to make faster, more concise bid decisions.

  • GovWin Supplier Management is a single, secure portal to manage all supplier and partner relationships. By automating the evaluation and ranking of suppliers, the solution greatly reduces the time it takes to find the right partners and facilitates timely "bid–no bid" decisions so contractors will win more of the right contracts.

  • GovWin Contracts and Task Order provides all the tools needed to deliver the distribution, management, and reporting requirements associated with the Government Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWAC) and Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract vehicles.

We also have additional GovWin enterprise solutions that all work together with our above capabilities to power the complete business development process. In summary, GovWin IQ and our new suite of GovWin enterprise applications make THE place contractors go to win business and THE business development platform for this entire industry.

PJ:  What else exciting is coming on the Financials and Enterprise Project Management (EPM) side in government contracting?

Deltek: In 2011, we launched Costpoint Analytics, which was specifically targeted to help our customers tackle the complex internal reporting necessary to satisfy the executive level within our customer’s organizations. This solution leveraged the data in Deltek Costpoint to provide a view of key KPIs such as utilization, backlog, and projects at risk to provide instant access to the information executives need to run their business.

In 2012, we are going to build upon this offering by launching a new solution for Capture Analytics that will provide a clear window into all of the key activities in the business development lifecycle. This product will include pre-built dashboards that display GovCon specific performance metrics focusing on pipeline, backlog, revenue and profit, projects at risk and labor utilization. This solution will allow users to quickly assess what contract backlog looks like for each customer. It helps companies answer questions such as whether they are winning new business, which projects are under-funded, and more.  No solution like this exists for government contractors today. This new tool will help government contractors be more efficient in everything from resource planning to forecasting and budgeting since it also ties the business development side of the business to the mid and back offices by integrating with our project management and ERP solutions.

In the Integrated Program Management (IPM, formerly EPM) domain we have launched PM Compass, which provides a composite view of schedule, resource, cost, and analytics for the office of the project management office (PMO) with embedded workflow and business process management (BPM) capabilities. This new tool will provide unparalleled visibility and control over the complex environment that program managers face today and could revolutionize how programs are managed in the government contracting industry.

PJ:  How related is GovWin CRM to Deltek Vision, and does Deltek have any other customer relationship management (CRM) product?

Deltek:  GovWin CRM is related to Vision CRM because it was built using the same underlying architecture. While the foundation may be the same, many elements of the software such as workflow, terminology, and functionality are all very specific to the unique government contracting space.

We do have other CRM products – CRM is a core component of all of our four main enterprise resource planning (ERP) suites. These four suites are as follows:

  1. Deltek First/GCS Premier --for small government contractors, including those that need our products delivered through the Cloud

  2. Deltek Costpoint -- for mid-to large government contractors

  3. Deltek Vision -- for global architecture and engineering firms

  4. Deltek Maconomy -- for the larger professional services industry including accounting firms, PR and marcom agencies, law firms, and management/IT consulting firms, to name a few

CRM is a core capability of our overall offering, since winning new business is so critical for all of our customers.  It fits right into our portfolio of mission-critical solutions that manage the complete end-to-end business and project lifecycle for government contractors and professional services firms of all sizes around the world. Needless to say, that lifecycle starts with winning new projects and clients.

Dear readers, what are your comments, opinions, etc. on Deltek’s GovCon approach and strategy? What are your experiences with Deltek’s solutions and services?
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