Allen Federal has been out and about lately speaking with lots of feds and industry leaders about current market trends.  Here’s what we learned that you need to know:

1. Many DOD Buyers Are Going By the Book:  Despite the fact that Congress recently passed acquisition reform for DOD, DOD contracting officers may not use the flexibility they have.  CO’s are concerned about misallocating government dollars and may use a “belt and suspenders” approach to acquisitions.  This slows things down and puts innovation in the back seat.

2.  CIO’s Are Leery of Contractors Bearing Buzzwords:  At a recent AFCEA event, one CIO said what is surely on the minds of others:  they want to hear plain language ideas and proposals from industry, rather than buzzword-laden promo’s.  Too much reliance on catchphrases can actually make it seem like that’s all your company knows.  Keep your marketing department in its place.

3.  Compliance Works Best When Senior Managers Buy-In:  Been to a contract compliance or training class lately?  Bet the faces look familiar, as do the titles.  Many training seminars are preaching to the contract management choir.  Companies that do the best at staying out of trouble are ones where senior managers sing along.  Take this to the bank:  DOJ attorneys don’t buy that you’re SVP was “too busy” to care about compliance.