While building a bid, it’s also a good idea to anticipate potential production issues that can impede efficiency and quality while increasing costs. For instance, over the course of an extended program lifecycle, it’s not uncommon to have regular engineering, design or technical change orders coming from the primary client. If a project bid does not anticipate and make allowances for such shifts, schedule delays and delivery bottlenecks will be a foregone conclusion.
When a complex project requires raw material or parts sourcing from around the world, it’s crucial to build in a flexible supply chain operation. This means having at least one backup source for each critical project component, a projection of how much secondary sourcing would cost over primary sourcing, and how the backup plan would affect supply chain timelines. In many cases, this puts high priority on the procurement team, who typically are in the best position to explore, analyze and validate these options as part of a project proposal.
When completing a bid, project managers should also take into account the state of organizational process controls, particularly in the production areas that would be under the most pressure with a large new A&D contract. This may mean having a preliminary conversation with process leads in those areas, who can review contract requirements for the program and weigh in on any control deficiencies the new work might cause. Similarly, a conversation involving process control, engineering, and production management leads is also a good idea, since that group can offer valuable guidance on proposed development, testing and manufacturing timelines, as well as production bottlenecks or logistical concerns.
In certain situations, project managers may discover that their company has most of the capabilities and talent needed to bid for an A&D project, but lack the right expertise in certain vital areas. When that happens, savvy program managers should seek out and evaluate contract or partner resources that are well regarded in the specific need areas. By building those resources into a bid, a company can strengthen its hand in a cost-efficient way, and increase the prospects of winning substantial new business.
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June 12, 2017