800 Person GovCon Guides and Drives Capture Activity – Going Beyond a CRM

Federal Government Contractors have found that they get better win results when they apply a consistent capture methodology.  WinCenter is a purpose-built system for integrated Capture and Proposal Management of Government Contractors.  It follows the industry standard best practices for phase-based opportunity lifecycle management and capture activities.  In addition, it comes with a flexible capture framework that is used to provide prescriptive guidance to capture professionals and to drive consistency in capture activity and results.

In this article, I’ll discuss one customer that leveraged R3 WinCenter on SharePoint to build out a rather unique capture management system.

The Customer and their Situation

The customer is an 800 person division of a top tier Federal Government Contractor.  They have recently adopted a new sales/capture methodology which they want to roll out across the organization.  It is unique and different from the industry stand Lohfeld or Shipley model.  Today, capture work is managed by spreadsheets.  They don’t have a division level CRM system.  Other divisions do have CRM systems.  They evaluated these systems but they wouldn’t meet their key objective which was to be able to design and guide the capture activities as part of their process.  CRM systems are designed as databases.  They are good at tracking data.  It is a view of the past and present.  However, what they wanted was a system that would guide and drive their users to follow their new capture process and methodology.  They were looking for a system that would help them drive better future results.

They wanted a capture system that would allow them to use a standardized Phased-based process with Gate Reviews but that would be configurable to reflect their methodology.  This was the base.  They then wanted to be able to provide prescriptive guidance to users – information and prescriptive activities that help people decide what they need to do at a certain point and how to do it.  This was important as they were rolling out a capture process that was different from industry norms.  In addition, they wanted the system to then drive the users to do the right things and automate the work to make it easier for users and more consistent.

While their needs were unique as above, they also wanted standard feature that one expects from a CRM such as Account and Contact management and tracking contact activity.  In fact, they wanted to manage this closely and also track a contacts influence on the overall account and on each opportunity.

Lastly, they wanted the system to be configurable by their team.  As this was a new process and methodology it was clear that change was inevitable.  The system had to be adaptable, by normal people, without super human skills or effort.

How WinCenter Addressed This Situation

For most software solutions, the flexibility needed by this customer is beyond reach.  For WinCenter, they are ideal.  WinCenter is not a database system like a CRM system.  WinCenter is designed using a work management platform that runs on Microsoft SharePoint.  Accordingly, it is able to support the focus on activity and work automation as opposed to just data tracking.

WinCenter starts as a complete out-of-the-box solution.  It is purpose-built to support the needs of the GovCon industry standard Capture Process.  It even comes with Knowledge Assets such as Forms and Templates and pre-populated Capture Activities to drive the process.  This customer, like others, could have just adopted WinCenter and had an industry standard process ready to go.  However, they had their own special way they wanted to work.

The key with WinCenter is that it is designed to be a flexible framework for capture activity vs. a one size fits all design.  It allows customers to alter the Phases and process.  The customer can substitute their methodology and their capture artifacts.  They can drop in their own prescriptive capture activities that get served up to users when and where the user needs them. They can set up role-based work areas and automate specific tasks to have it their way. This flexible, capture framework supported the needs of this customer.

In addition, the WinCenter capture framework is configurable using a rich set of configuration wizards.  In this situation, the implementation was designed using the R3 Do and Learning methodology.  This means that from the beginning instead of R3 doing all of the configuration work, we trained their staff, in a shoulder-to-shoulder methodology.  By the end of the first two weeks, their staff was doing most of the work with us providing design and technical services when required.

The Results to Date

WinCenter was up and running on their existing SharePoint environment within 2 days.  The WinCenter solution was fully ready to be used in 4 days.  This was the off-the-shelf system.  Then, they went hands on with the off-the-shelf system while they were holding meetings to translate their unique capture process into the framework of the system.  It fit well.  It is very powerful to be able to have the solution up and running and to be able to translate requirements from the whiteboard into the software in near real time.  Within 3 weeks, they had a system that reflected their way of working.  Further, the R3 Do and Learning sessions had succeeded and the customers’ personnel were now capable of making changes on their own.

About half way through the implementation we dropped in an R3 Account Management add-in module.  This module provides the master data for accounts and contacts and logging contact activity.  It is pre-integrated with WinCenter and with the capture activity framework so that customers can get a holistic view of activity on Accounts, on Opportunities, with Contacts and by type of activity.  It also provides a framework for influence tracking.  Their personnel then took the new module and customized it to meet their particular way that they wanted to work.

Leveraging WinCenter, in about a month they got to a functional, customized capture management system. After six months they were managing their full set of a few hundred opportunities across the business development lifecycle. Along the way they have continued to innovate and simply their process making changes to the system on their own with minimum support from R3.


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