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April 25, 2023
Utilizing Managed Services to Improve Competitiveness
Written by: Ron Lewis
How Can Managed Services Improve Your Competitiveness?
Government Contracting can be very lucrative! Winning a contract with the government can provide a long-term income stream while also providing the opportunity to create a market niche. On the other hand, doing business with the government can be challenging because it requires a range of capabilities that require time, money, and expertise to put in place.
In a related blog, DCAA Compliant Systems for Government Contractors we describe the systems that are required by government contractors. Regardless of whether you're new to federal contracting, a mature prime contractor or somewhere in between, putting in place these capabilities are critical factors for long term success. Accomplishing this in a cost-effective manner provides a significant competitive advantage.
Managed services offers an affordable solution to solve the capability challenge faced by all government contractors. Managed services powered by a DCAA compliant ERP platform, and supported by SMEs with government contracting experience, allows government contractors to build the processes and systems they'll need to be more competitive. Whether you're a startup whose just received your first subcontract or an established prime contractor just receiving your first cost reimbursable contract, we'll describe how utilizing managed services allows you to focus on growing your business, while improving compliance, and offering predictable costs. Utilizing managed services tailored for government contractors provides compliant processes and systems as well as providing critical expertise significantly accelerating the building of your capabilities required to be successful. In this blog, we describe the benefits of utilizing managed services, powered by a compliant ERP platform, OneLynk - designed for government contracting, and staffed with government contracting subject matter experts can offer a significant competitive advantage.
The Capability Journey - Common Pitfall
Bidding and managing government contracts and projects or becoming a prime contractor, requires putting in place repeatable processes and systems beyond just accounting. Many government contractors address these requirements by following a similar pattern. They implement a patchwork of manual processes, supported by spreadsheets and siloed systems which increases their cost and inhibits their ability to scale. Even worst, many often invest too early or too late in the solutions needed to run their businesses efficiently.
The Managed Services Value Proposition
There is a lot of hard work that needs to get done to grow from a startup to a prime contractor. As a start-up you need to do the basics; - getting customers, building excellent past performance, and managing your finances. As a prime contractor, you need to focus on being competitive, managing more complex contracts, managing subcontractors, and making sure your infrastructure is secure.
As a prime contractor, at some point, you'll need to make a strategic investment in an ERP system. An ERP system provides the processes and systems required to successfully manage government contracts. However, implementing an ERP system can be expensive, risky, and disruptive to the business as a whole. Implementing an ERP system is even more risky and disruptive without a qualified and experienced implementation team both internally and externally. Failed ERP implementations will put your company years behind plan and schedule or worse; out of business.
Managed services from AtWork Systems on the OneLynk platform provides a unique and exclusive value proposition. You get the best of all worlds; including, (1) compliant processes and systems, (2) predictable costs ,(3) access to experienced subject matter experts as needed. as well as the operational efficiency benefits of a DCAA compliant ERP system without the implementation cost or risk.
Focus on Growth: If you're just starting your business, you probably have limited time and money. You want to focus your time on what really matters - growing your business. If your goal is to become a prime contractor managed services can help establish these capabilities quickly.
Compliant Processes: Becoming a prime government contractor requires that your processes and systems can withstand the scrutiny of compliance audits. Review Government Contractor Compliance and Audits Requirements for complete list of the types of audits that will be required. By leveraging managed services, you can start off on Day One with the comfort and competitive advantage of being compliant.
Predictable Costs: More than anything, you want to have predictable and affordable costs. Timing of investments is everything in being competitive and compliant. ERP implementations require you to posses the requisite internal skill sets to successfully implement and operate the systems. Many small businesses simply do not possess these capabilities which end up in project failures that are extremely damaging to your business. Many times, the fallback is to stay on small noncompliant systems which is just as disruptive and damaging to the business. This is why managed services on a next generation DCAA compliant ERP system is the answer. It allows you to grow in a compliant manner to a point in which you will recruit your own internal executives to take over when the time is right.
DCAA Compliant ERP Platform: The key to success in government contracting is delivering at the highest level of performance in goods and services quality and cost management; both direct and indirect. If you invest in implementing siloed systems for HR, accounting, time & expense, as well as contract and project management, you will lose the ability to control your indirect costs and you will be noncompetitive with companies that are leveraging DCAA compliant ERP platforms to gain operational intelligence, quality and efficiencies.
The Unique AtWork Systems' Managed Services Model
Managed services allow a service provider to provide both the people and the systems through an outsourced model. For companies that are new to government contracting managed services will most likely be the best approach. AtWork Systems is the only GovCon managed services provider that has developed and utilizes their own DCAA compliant ERP platform built by GovCon experts for the GovCon community. This is a major differentiator. Managed services allow you to augment your "back-office" team and gain access to professionals with the accounting, HR, contracts, and projects expertise that will implement the required processes and systems required to mature your capabilities on the next generation highly informative and efficient platform; OneLynk. For a more in-depth explanation of the benefits of a managed service approach, please review: GovCon Managed Services.
The AtWork managed services team will implement a right-sized solution for companies of all sizes regardless of where they are on their capability journey. OneLynk, provides 20+ integrated apps that automates the processes required while significantly lowering your cost. The diagram below provides a high-level overview of our managed service model. We follow a systematic process that keep you informed throughout our engagement including:
Onboard: During the onboarding process, we configure compliant processes on the OneLynk platform that allow you to streamline operations while improving compliance. You'll utilize digital transactions and proven end-2-end processes that are integrated with a DCAA compliant accounting system.
Validate: OneLynk utilizes patented built-in tools to validate your setup before you go-live. We review your master data, validate your accounting system, validate your contracts, and projects management setup and validated transactions are being routed correctly for approval. We will not begin operating until we received your sign-off on the setup.
Operate: As needed we'll provide the fractional resources needed to keep your business running smoothly. This includes financial, contract, project, and HR resources with years of experience in government contracting to make sure you get sound advice when needed.
Generate: We've automated the customer billing for all government contract types. You no longer must go to the paper files to produce the supporting documents required. We also generate the critical reports you'll need to monitor your business performance, including over 20 monthly management reports, the incurred cost report as well as job cost reports.
AtWork Systems designed OneLynk to enable GovCon's to navigate through the challenges of growing a GovCon business by providing the infrastructure to deliver exceptional performance. While a government contractor is maturing in the government market, as either a prime or subcontractor, OneLynk is there to instill the processes needed to help achieve government compliance. AtWork Systems offers subject matter experts - across functions like accounting, HR, financial, contract and project management - to help startups step out on the right foot or to help more mature firms transform ad hoc or inadequate processes into higher levels of performance. The combination of AtWork Systems' OneLynk and associated professional services is available as a comprehensive, secure, and affordable means of gaining the competitive advantage.
Learn More About AtWork Systems
AtWork Systems is an Arlington, Virginia based managed services and software development company. Its principals have decades of experience doing business with and working for federal, state, and local government. We developed OneLynk as a configurable and scalable business operating platform that digitizes and optimizes processes while providing just in time business intelligence for decision making. OneLynk contains a suite of easily configurable web applications for automating and monitoring business transactions, including human capital management, finance, timekeeping and expense management, procurement, contracts and project management, payroll services and more. Discover the latest ERP System for Government Contractors at www.atworksys.com.
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