GenAI tools have immense potential for federal contractors when it comes to both proposal and capture management and writing compelling proposals.
Welcome to the future of the federal government contracting industry. The federal landscape is ever-changing, but the tools and processes for capture management and proposals have remained stagnant for far too long.
That is, until now. Enter generative AI, a revolutionary technology that is set to transform the industry as we know it. Generative AI emerged in 2023 with a hype cycle unlike any that I have witnessed in my 20 years in GovCon capture and proposals.
Generative AI is proving out its promise to generate well-written content for proposals, RFI responses, and white papers. It can also summarize RFP requirements, generate proposal outlines, and make content more readable and in one-voice. Early adopters are already lining up to increase the velocity of their proposal shops with the help of these tools.
But what about capture managers?
If you are a large business or sophisticated small business in GovCon, capture management and proposal management are likely separate functions within your organization. So, how can federal capture managers utilize generative AI to gain a competitive edge?
Capture managers spend a great deal of time reading and analyzing data to put together a win strategy to support their capture plans in pursuit of specific opportunities. These new tools hold the promise of helping capture managers and business development professionals streamline their processes by analyzing the data faster, providing real-time data insights, and generating actionable recommendations.
One such example I saw presented was doing competitive analysis in support of a Black Hat exercise to simulate your competitors on a bid. For those who have done it, this type of research is a very time-consuming process.
I can foresee other such use cases such as providing synopses of customer hot buttons or pain points, agency spending trends, or producing a baseline win strategy.
It appears that generative AI can give you a head start on the capture process and provide tangible cost and time savings benefits.
However, it's important to approach generative AI with caution. While the technology shows promise, it is still in its infancy. Issues such as bias and being presented incorrect information, known as "hallucinations," can arise. Also, AI is still limited in its arithmetic capabilities... so while it may help your proposal writers, it is not a replacement for your pricer.
Furthermore, AI may not yet be suitable for every organization. Small businesses typically have smaller and less complex IT environments and thus, more agility and freedom to experiment with emerging technologies.
On the other hand, larger company CIO shops typically are larger scale and more complex. Predictably, their integration considerations and security rigor to ensure compliance with federal regulations pose greater challenges for adoption.
Business Development, capture, and proposal organizations still need to carefully think through potential implications of adopting the technologies. They will need to provide guidance to employees on best practices, do’s and don’ts to protect against issues such as inaccuracies or bias being inadvertently propagated in proposals or marketing materials.
Also, the marketplace for generative AI tools is constantly evolving, with new competitors entering the scene constantly. Organizations must do their due diligence to understand the capabilities of each tool, evaluate the viability of the companies providing them, and determine which tools are most suitable for their specific needs.
If your organization doesn't currently utilize these tools, as a capture manager you should try to experiment with free tools like ChatGPT or, take advantage of free trials for paid tools in your spare time—without using your company's data.
Your federal customers are already experimenting with it. We advise you to approach these revolutionary changes with a growth mindset and a continuous learning intention. If you are fortunate enough to get an opportunity to adopt early or be a beta tester in your company with a generative AI tool, you should take it.
Remember, these technologies are evolving rapidly, and many of the things you want it to do as a capture manager are in the art-of-the-possible. Quite simply— no one has tried it yet. It is an exciting new world out there and you do not want to be the last person to adopt this technology.
In short, we believe that generative AI tools offer immense potential for federal government contractors when it comes to both proposal and capture management. These tools can create proposals and content that are more compliant, compelling, and well-written than ever before.
Now is the time to think about how you can apply these tools to your capture management arsenal. Embrace generative AI and unlock its immense potential for your federal government contracting endeavors.
For capture managers in the federal government contracting industry, it's an exciting time to be on the leading edge of this new technology and see how we can win more captures by implementing these technologies.
Jennifer Namvar is the founder and CEO of the Peerless Group, which helps companies win and capture government contracts.