December 10, 2012 Issue
The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information
Providing Software and Service Solutions specifically designed for Teams in Today’s Environment, Privia is helping Government Contractors Streamline the Entire Bid, Capture and Proposal Process
Privia provides an array of products to help organizations streamline the entire bid, capture and proposal process—from pipeline management and reporting to teammate collaboration and proposal development. Leading organizations such as CSC, Management Concepts, Merlin International, MicroTech, Scientific Research Corporation (SRC) and USIS are streamlining processes to save time and money in areas such as bids and proposals, past performance management, contract management and claims processing. Privia also offers a wide variety of professional services, including a team of proposal experts who are available to augment your proposal team.
Bid & Proposal Solutions
Interview conducted by: Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – December 10, 2012
Ms. McGeady: Privia is a company that provides both software solutions and services solutions to help government contractors succeed. Our software tool is a collaborative tool. We have more than fourteen thousand users right now. We help teams work together to pursue and win government business.
CEOCFO: What are some of the unique challenges in winning government business with which your software is able to help?
Ms. McGeady: When I started working in the proposal development or government contracting industry fifteen years ago, teams were primarily co-located, meaning when a company decided to pursue a large government contract, teams would come together in one facility. Now as resources are tighter and more teams are global in nature, companies that are pursing government work are not all in the same location trying to work together, but it is critical to collaborate for technical expertise, management expertise, proposal writing skills and capabilities. Senior management needs visibility into pipelines and activities. The Privia solution is specifically designed to help teams in today’s environment that may not all be in one location but are pursuing one opportunity, two, or ten together.
CEOCFO: What is an example of how that collaboration would work online?
Ms. McGeady: As a salesperson or capture manager is tracking and pursuing an opportunity and trying to decide whether his or her company is positioned to win it, he or she can track that opportunity in Privia. They can also track data in the Salesforce (which integrates with Privia). From the beginning of pursuit, an entire opportunity can be tracked in our software tool: the meetings that have occurred, the white papers that have been released, the correspondence of the client. As the capture process goes along and eventually the RFP comes out from government. What we can do in our software is automatically launch a workspace. Many proposal and business development teams have very specific ways they like to organize information as they pursue a government opportunity. You can automatically launch a workspace using our tool with all the folder structures in place. To organize information the way that a company likes, it can be pre-populated with some templates and the team can start working together much more quickly as they begin reading the RFP, putting together their draft response, holding their reviews. For me as an end user, my favorite part about the tool is our commenting feature. I have not seen anything else like it in the marketplace. As proposal teams work together, it is standard practice to go through several review cycles of the drafts that are in development. Our software allows many people to review a document simultaneously, add comments and have conversations. You can say something about a document in progress and I can comment on what you have said to the writer, then when we get together to meet for our review, we can meet much more efficiently. All of the self-evident comments, the writer can just take care of offline. With the comments that require conversation, the teams can focus on just those so as they move from the beginning of their proposal development process through all of their reviews, they can have effective discussions to make sure they are putting together the most persuasive document on time and response to a government RFP.
CEOCFO: Would you tell us about your role as VP of Professional Services?
Ms. McGeady: I recently joined Privia as the Vice President of Professional Services. I came onboard in August. I was specifically brought to Privia because I have been a long time proposal consultant and I am currently the CEO of The Association for Proposal Management Professionals. I have been brought onboard to provide proposal consulting support to our clients. Clients that purchase our software are able to be much more efficient with their resources. They can be smarter in how they pursue opportunities, and in many cases, would like proposal consultants who can come in on an as-needed basis and help them pursue specific opportunities and then leave until they are ready to pursue new opportunities. I have been brought on to help our customers manage their proposals, write their RFP responses, and be very successful in winning new business.
CEOCFO: What are some of the simply things you might point out to a company in their proposals?
Ms. McGeady: As a rule, people in the proposal industry know that it is best practice to be focused on our customers and not ourselves and our solutions. What I have seen during the last seven years as a proposal consultant is that people tend to lose sight of this. Often companies think that they are talking about their clients and being customer focused when really what they are doing is just focusing on themselves. They focus on the messages that they want to deliver, the features and benefits of their solution, and they are not thinking through why their customer should care about this information or what problem or challenge they are addressing. As a proposal consultant, because I do not know every single thing about the company that I am helping, their messages are new to me. I am able to come in with a fresh set of eyes and help. I will jokingly tell my clients that I will be the “so-what” girl and be the person that challenges “so you are saying this is important for your clients, help me understand why the customer would care about this”. I help them to be more customer-focused. It is a common problem in the proposal industry and I think bringing in someone with a fresh perspective can really help a company. They take that input beyond the opportunity we help them with by changing how they are selling their product or services. They are able to take the lessons that they learned from one experience into their next opportunity, even if they do that in-house themselves.
CEOCFO: What is something out-of-the-box that you could bring to the table that would be unexpected?
Ms. McGeady: I think it is common to hire consultants for the roles of proposal manager, writer, desktop publisher, graphic artist. Now Privia offers all of those services. In the last year and a half, I have spent quite a bit of time doing proposal audits or process audits with companies in various industries, looking at RFP responses they have already submitted. I help them assess what is strong, what they should continue doing and where the opportunities are for them to improve. As someone who has not seen all of their marketing materials, these are questions and concerns that their clients might experience. That is sort of an outside-of-the- box thing that we can do for our clients. We can offer short-term engagements for our clients— just come in only as a reviewer and help them with the strategic proposal that they feel they could use a fresh perspective on. I have had clients that I have helped with things like how to run kick-off meetings for certain projects; how to be more effective in getting the team excited about the opportunity; etc. These are all little pieces of the puzzle that we can help with that might be especially useful for some companies that feel like they are new to hiring proposal consultants. They do not know if they are ready to make that investment but they would like to try it out and see if bringing in someone with a fresh perspective could help them and is the right fit for their team.
CEOCFO: What type of businesses do you target and how do you reach them?
Ms. McGeady: We target large and small government contractors. We look at who is attending various Industry Day events for different opportunities that are coming out. We are very involved in the Association of Proposal Management Professionals. We are active in all of their different chapters, which gives us an opportunity to interface with a proposal managers, directors, and people responsible for business development and capture across industries. We also have ongoing partnerships with organizations like GovWin IQ from Deltek and Onvia. These are companies that provide a service where they provide information to folks that want to pursue government business such as capture data, when bids are coming due and what the requirements are. We have integrations into their systems so that it is easy to pull data into Privia. Then, when someone decides they are going to pursue an opportunity, they can launch the proposal from the information ported into our software.
CEOCFO: I understand recently there was funding into Privia, so what is the plan for growth?
Ms. McGeady: There is tremendous opportunity for growth in a few areas. On the software side, we have 14,000 users. These users are all over the country. As you would expect, there is a large concentration of our clients in the Washington D.C. area since there are so many federal contractors there. I think one great opportunity is to begin reaching out with government contractors to our base in other parts of the country. There is a great deal of activity in the Midwest, the west coast. I live in Texas and am able to be reaching out to some of those clients who may be unaware of our software solutions. On the professional services side we have invested in hiring staff. We have other professionals on staff. We just interviewed and recruited 25 proposal consultants to have on call to work with our clients. The vision for next year and years ahead is to build our consulting practice to help clients who want to either improve their proposal process or document their proposal process. If they use Privia, we can help them automate our tool. For clients that just need proposal consulting support, either to augment existing resources, or because they are pursuing a must-win opportunity, we are able to go do that. The plan going forward is to be invested in our customers’ success and help them pursue and win their business on multiple opportunities simultaneously.
CEOCFO: Why should investors and people in the business community choose Privia?
Having worked with many different software tools over the years, Privia is
the only software solution I have seen that is designed specifically for
government contractors, and promotes the best practices of the proposal
industry. I mentioned our commenting feature, I have not seen any tool on
the market with anything comparable and it is invaluable to those of us who
have to go through review cycles to pursue multimillion or multibillion
dollar contracts. On the consulting side, some of the greatest advantages we
have are that all of our consultants have ten years or more of experience.
Many of us are accredited at the highest level. We have worked for different
industries, have a breadth of experience, and are experts in the Privia
tool. All of our consultants have used Privia on their current proposal
efforts and all of them received training with us. For our current Privia
software solution clients that hire us to come in consult, there is
additional information that we can use to support them on a live opportunity
to enhance their use of the product. Privia is the company to be watching in
the next one to two years.
“The Privia solution is specifically designed to help teams in today’s environment that may not all be in one location but are pursuing one opportunity, two, or ten together.”- Amy McGeady
Bid & Proposal Solutions, Privia LLC, CEO Interviews 2012, Business Services Companies, streamline Government Contractors Bid, Capture and Proposal, software solutions and services solutions for government contractors, Recent CEO Interviews, Business Services Stock, products to help organizations streamline the entire bid, capture and proposal process, from pipeline management and reporting to teammate collaboration and proposal development, bids and proposals, past performance management, contract management and claims processing, Privia LLC Press Releases, News, Companies looking for venture capital, Angel Investors, private companies looking for investors, business services companies seeking investors, software companies needing investment capital
ceocfointerviews.com does not purchase or
recommendation on stocks based on the interviews published.