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Leading Aerospace and Defense Corporation Consistently Wins $4B+ Contracts Using Haystack

23 September 2022

Competition is strong when bidding on $4B+ US govt contracts, with less than 60 days to submit a bid.

The Client 

World leader in aerospace and defense

Users

Engineers on Business Capture Teams responding to large scale government Requests for Proposals

Background

A leading aerospace and defense company contracts with the US government to develop, build, and manufacture military equipment. They have partnered with the US Department of Defense (DoD) on projects with budgets from $50 million to over $4 billion and have a robust system in place to respond to government Request for Proposals (RFPs), helping them to continue securing new contracts.

Despite being a consistent government vendor, there is significant competition for potential billion-dollar government contracts. Once the company receives a Request for Proposal for any given project, the engineers are asked to quickly build proposals based on data, substantiating their arguments with pricing estimates, contract length, bill of materials, and other terms. Responses to RFPs need to be accurate and affordable, to compete with other companies' price estimates.

Pain Points 

In order to win more govt contracts, the company is forced into a 35-60-day cycle spent simply to complete a response to a government RFP. This is a manual and time intensive process that takes engineers away from their current jobs at hand.

In addition to working with strict time constraints, the company must submit a proposal that is accurately priced at a competitive cost. Engineers at the company are under immense pressure to develop proposals based on real data. They must defend their claims against one another - and against the board of executives - risking their credibility and position at the company if they cannot back up their projections with data. Presidents and chief executives choose a proposal based on the engineers' defense and submit this to the government RFP. If the company puts forth a proposal that is inaccurate, too costly or late, they will lose millions, if not billions of dollars in revenue and risk their reputation with the Department of Defense - whom they already contract with on other projects.

In summary, the Request for Proposals process presents the following challenges: 

  • Short timeframe: 35-60 days to complete an RFP
  • The government is requiring Firm/Fixed Price contracts which pose challenges when coupled with current supply chain issues and parts shortages
  • The DoD has data for costs and unit costs; if the company does not align on this data, they're deemed "unaffordable" and they lose the contract
  • Without strong supporting data, they risk overshooting the price and losing the contract, or undershooting the price and taking a loss on the project
  • It is time consuming and difficult to find quality parts at competitive prices
  • They risk their reputation if they submit proposals without substantiating data
  • Individual engineers risk their credibility and their positions at the company if their proposal is not accurate and backed with real data

Solution 

The company is using Haystack Gold, an S&P Global Engineering Solutions platform, to source accurate data for their bids. Haystack Gold is the leading defense parts and logistics management system providing the most current pricing, technical and availability data on 1B+ part references in 70+ interconnected databases. Users access secure current and historical data (dating back to the 1960s) on Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corp military equipment parts and suppliers. Engineers design, optimize, and maintain defense systems worldwide using the Haystack platform.

With Haystack:

  • The engineering team finds information on the price their competition is likely to bid at. From these reports, executives see what the competition is likely to do, and counter this with the price their engineers have calculated that is required to win.
  • The company determines a level of certainty and accuracy early on with the right data, this way they can optimize their proposed plan and submit the best design at the right price
  • Engineers can find realistic cost data with substantiating evidence to decide on materials, parts, and manufacturers based on accurate projections
  • The team can collaborate with the DoD on cost analysis because they have strong supporting data around target characteristics

Key Benefits 

When the company submits proposals based on accurate data, they win business, cut costs, and build trusted relationships with their government clients.

Haystack helps them make decisions they can trust, so they are best positioned to win.

With Haystack, the company:

  • Won over $42B in contracts in 2021

  • Set records winning over $36B in contracts with the US Government 2 years in a row

  • Ranked 1st on the US Government Contractor list, acquiring 10% of all government defense spending in a single year

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