“Form follows function…If you love what you do, success will follow.”
EM: Could you tell me about your background, focus and mission of the company?
Zimmerman: When I started with SAIC in 1990, single award programs were in the mid $30 million range. I explained to my CEO that my strengths lie in the 100 million dollar range, so he allowed me to focus my attention on those opportunities for the next 16 years. With his permission, SAIC went on to won multiple contracts totaling approximately $3 billion dollars. The key to winning large programs is, first and foremost, Customer Intimacy. Secondly, is starting 18 months to two years out, which offers your customers the ability to know who you are, what your capabilities are, and how you developed your program management style. The significance of this effort, is that it also allows you the time to better understand the customers’ requirements far enough in advance to enhance your opportunity to suggest technical solutions that the customer might not have been considering.
I started Strategic Capture Group (SCG) to develop and implement a thoroughly well-designed capture strategy for companies that might not have the personnel or financial resources to take on new or existing programs that might be over loading their internal capture system. SCG has brought together highly-trained technical and contractual experts who can step up “On Call” to support corporate efforts, that might not have been budgeted for on a full time basis. We can also jump start the 18-month capture process, in order to help create a Qualified Pipeline. Our mission is therefore to develop and implement a capture strategy, which we call the SWOA (Strengthen, Weakness Opportunity Assessment). The beauty of that model is our dedicated focus on a particular opportunity, offering our clients the ability to quickly focus on their Gate Reviews, in order to perform an informed bid decision. Additionally, since we are exclusive per program, per company, we can direct our energies to specific marketing functions throughout out the marketing life cycle, based on our clients’ needs and interests. Our ultimate goal is to take the stress off the in-house capture teams, who are usually focused on their recompetes or have limited knowledge of new customers.
What prompted you to create SCG?
Zimmerman: During corporate growth periods there are many capture opportunities lost due to the sheer volume of procurements issued by the government. Trying to do marketing “catch up” on a program with only 6 to 8 months left prior to a RFP, is difficult without prior customer knowledge. For the past 25 years, SCG has built significant relationships both within the government and industry. Having the ability to “pull a team” in today’s highly competitive world, regardless of when a bid decision is made, means the difference between winning and losing as a prime or sub on programs strategic to the company’s growth. Working with SCG, companies’ offered the opportunity to make those bid decisions based on realistic data to enhance the PWin. Whether your focus is exploring the White Space of new or existing customers or holding your financial exposure to a minimum, SCG can help direct your attention to programs where your return on investment will be most significant. For all these reasons, SCG was created.
In what areas can companies improve doing more business in the federal government?
Zimmerman: Winning is all about customer knowledge and trust. You win not only by understanding your customers requirements, but how to get them to the next level of success within the frame work of their needs. My favorite quote: “Form Follow Function” sums it up. When contractors do the right job for the country, success will follow for all of us.
Is there anything you would like our readers to know in particular?
Zimmerman: Never trade in a handshake for technology!