Business development as evolutionary science

When Tom Anderson was named vice president of the newly created Raytheon Information Solutions a year ago, he set about building a business development organization that could evolve with market and customer trends.

The first issue he needed to address was the rise in task order contracting, in which multiple vendors win awards — usually through governmentwide acquisition contracts — and then compete for projects. This requires a different approach than traditional single-award procurements.

"We've seen an increase in the use of governmentwide acquisition vehicles and [General Services Administration] schedules," said Anderson, who is vice president of business development for RIS. "With GWACs, you effectively have to win twice. You have to have a business development organization postured to bring in the master contract and one that has marketing and capture capabilities to address task orders."

The need to get closer to federal customers' business was another trend to consider. Anderson introduced the notion of "customer alignment" to the company's business development approach. "We looked at strategic accounts and started bringing in account executives who really know the customer," he said.

RIS' business development organization doesn't operate in isolation. The group uses a methodology Raytheon developed called the gate review process to analyze potential new opportunities. Under the process, Raytheon's senior managers evaluate the opportunities. The methodology integrates with other Raytheon processes, including the company's program management methodology, so that the customer's experience is consistent throughout.

This procedure is designed to ensure that each new opportunity is compatible with RIS' core business lines. The company pursues seven solution areas: enterprise modernization, security, e-government, high-performance data solutions, knowledge management, logistics information solutions and infrastructure management.

Anderson said RIS also operates a marketing organization that specifically deals with GWAC-like vehicles. The group takes into account the fast turnaround nature of the task order business and other differences between large procurements and GWACs. It's all part of RIS' flexible business development plan.

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