To excel in a best-value services environment, particularly when you’re a Prime facing budget constraints and tight timelines, it’s crucial to understand what it takes to secure victories. Are you often left with low-price technically acceptable (LPTA) decisions after pursuing numerous procurements? If this sounds familiar, we have a recommendation that can help you out.

The Importance of Customer Assessment and Insight:

Returning to the basics is paramount, focusing on the three pillars that underpin most business development (BD) and capture activities. The first pillar is customer and environment assessment and insight, which involves predicting the award decision and criteria. By understanding customer buying patterns and leveraging similar acquisition data, you can gain a significant advantage.

Why Customer Assessments Matter:

Customer assessments are essential due to the following reasons:

  1. Resource Constraints: Buyers and buying offices operate with limited resources, often stretched thin.
  2. Reliance on Proven Processes: These entities tend to reuse tried-and-tested processes and source selection plans, rarely introducing major changes.
  3. Consistency in Evaluation Criteria: Award decisions are typically made using the same evaluation criteria and TEB (Technical Evaluation Board) score sheets that have been utilized for years. Creativity is seldom prioritized due to time and resource constraints.

How to Conduct Customer Assessments:

To perform effective customer assessments, you can leverage various sources, including:

  1. Buying Office: Reach out to the buying office through FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests or direct contact to gather prior acquisition and award decision data.
  2. Online Search Engines: Conduct thorough online research to uncover additional information and insights.
  3. Federal Procurement Opportunity Research Vendors: Explore vendors specializing in federal procurement research to access valuable data.
  4. Internal Resources: Utilize your archives or consult with in-house operations (Ops) and BD personnel for their expertise.
  5. Local Buying Office SMEs: Seek guidance from subject matter experts (SMEs) who have experience working in federal procurement or have retired from federal/contractor positions.

The Solution to Recent Losses and Inadequate Results:

If you find yourself continually surprised by recent losses or witnessing your Capture/B&P (Business and Proposal) investments yielding unsatisfactory outcomes, we at OCI can help. Our experts can guide you back to the fundamentals of winning, enabling you to avoid LPTA decisions. Contact us here to learn more.


To increase your chances of success in a best-value services environment, start early and invest time in comprehensive research and analysis. By thoroughly understanding the needs and preferences of your customers, defining your win strategy, and conducting a thorough competitor assessment, you can position yourself ahead of the competition and secure favorable outcomes.

This article is part of our Opportunity Development Series. Read the first one here: Back to Proposal Basics.