Capture management, or capture planning, is the process of gathering information, establishing relationships, developing competitive information and strategies to obtain future RFx opportunities.
Continuous and effective procurement planning requires written, action-oriented planning. The discipline to implement, monitor, and adapt these plans to changing customer needs, internal challenges, and competitive conditions is Capture Management (or Capture Planning)
It is common to double win rates, improve profitability, and predictably meet revenue and profit forecasts with Capture Management. If you are not already practicing some form of capture planning, you likely will be after you learn of the benefits reported by others such as:
Essentially, a Capture Management Plan gives your business an edge over the competition. This allows you to connect with the customer, demonstrate your understanding of their needs, and position your business as the best solution. And all this happens before the RFQ is received. When done right, capture planning transforms process of influencing a customer from guesswork into a methodical, research-based approach.
The Capture Management Process
8 essential steps to capture management
Connect with the customer and position your solution – Some Contracting Officers (KO’s) are willing to engage and some want to keep to very rigid lines of communication. That’s fine. You should be doing everything possible to be the Vendor with the very best understanding of the Buyers needs, because that is most often the winner.
Going Deeper into Capture Management
To be successful, capture management must have proven systems & procedures.
So, what kinds of information should go into your capture plan? Remember to include any information that will inform your win strategy or provide background on the customer. To illustrate, think of the capture manager as a detective and the capture plan as a dossier. The plan details the organization’s key players, history, goals and challenges.
Information & Resources to include in your capture plan:
As the months tick by, your Capture Management plan should grow into a mosaic of processes and tools to manage the entire process. As you go down the rabbit-hole, you will find new techniques, tools, approaches, etc. that you can test and see if they bring value. Ultimately, the two Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that should matter are:
Track these KPI’s with discipline, set goals, compare to past quarters, and watch your federal sales grow through experimentation. Speaking of experimentation, below you will find helpful “Resources and Information” to build out your capture plan:
While you are likely new to Capture Management, you probably already have some of the responsibilities of this role. Undoubtedly, winning business through Capture Management requires a significant investment of time and resources. But if you can improve your win rate and get big contracts, it’s worth it in the end. There is always more to learn, so enjoy the ride!
Capture Management Tools & Resources
- Key to Winning podcast: Capture Management: A Beginner’s Guide
- Trello: Capture planning example
- Shipley Associates: Introduction to capture planning