How to Know When to Fire Your Capture Management Consultant

fire-capture-management-consultant.jpgGovernment contracts can bring your company a source of consistent income. However, to get the job, you often have to make large initial investments, such as hiring a capture management consultant.

If you want to manage your bottom line to be profitable, it’s important to understand that it doesn’t make sense financially to employ a consultant over the long term. Here’s how to know when it’s time to stop paying for — or fire — your capture management consultant.

Why You Need a Capture Management Consultant

If you have multiple capture opportunities at once, a capture management consultant can give you the added resources to maximize chances of a win. Or, if you are bidding on a highly competitive contract, a consultant can provide you with valuable expertise.

When you bring on a consultant, make sure you regularly discuss expectations. You should be constantly monitoring the value they bringing. And you should be ready to move on when that value is no longer worthwhile.

The Opportunity Is No Longer Urgent

The U.S. government awards about $500 billion in contracts each year. Understandably, competition is tough. Many contract bids simply don’t pan out. Of course, if you lose out on a bid, you probably don’t need your consultant until another opportunity arises.

The opportunity could also have slowed down for some reason or been deferred or canceled. Even if the consultant did a good job, take a break until the opportunity comes back. It makes better financial sense to pay a consultant only when workflow requires the extra expense.

The Consultant Is No Longer Adding Value

You bring in a consultant because you want an expert. Unfortunately, what is promised may not be what you get. It’s important to recognize this as soon as possible and take action.

Consultants are expected to bring value immediately. If they have been with you for some time, and you find that no substantial benefits or contacts have been added, it’s time to move on. Not only is it financially damaging to continue wasting money on such a consultant, but it also could have a negative impact on winning the next government contract if you have a reputation for not offering value to your clients.

You Are Being Billed for Time But Don’t See Production

Consultants aren’t going to be working a typical 40-hour workweek. There are benefits to having a capture management consultant with a flexible work schedule. If you need help at night or on the weekend, they can help. Also, you only pay for hours worked, which saves you money.

However, there is a downside. While you can control how many hours are worked, sometimes what a capture management consultant bills you won’t match the production. Sadly, overbilling is a fact of life in many industries. And there’s always a chance you get a consultant that pads invoices.

If you find that you are being billed too much or paying for work that isn’t being completed efficiently, it’s time to fire your consultant.

Your Consultant Doesn’t Meld With Your Team

Not every consultant is going to mesh well with your team. That’s why it’s important to look not just at skills sets and experience, but also whether a consultant is a good cultural fit and can follow required processes.

Undoubtedly, there will be limits on how much a consultant can benefit your company if they don’t work well with other consultants. Teamwork is essential for any capture team. If you discover that your consultant is not a team player, firing may be best.

Going Forward

If you encounter any of these situations with your capture management consultant, consider looking elsewhere for help. You can’t waste time with someone who isn’t leading your company toward its goals.

When you look for a replacement, have a clear definition of what you need. A good consultant should add value to your entire capture management strategy and process, from black hat reviews and building relationships to drafting proposals. If the consultant does the job that’s asked you should be in a much better position to win the contract.

About Skip Blackburn