What is the cost?
Costs vary based on the scope and level of effort required for each firm’s unique circumstances. Factors like ownership structure, potential affiliation/control, and existing corporate documentation are some of the many considerations that are reviewed prior to determining cost and entering into a consulting agreement.
It is in both the client’s and CMCS’s interest to consider every engagement on a case by case basis to ensure the viability of the candidate and thereby secure the highest likelihood of successful certification/award. We understand that this isn’t the most specific answer, but correctly identifying the scope of work prior to initiating any engagement is paramount.
To learn more about cost, please contact us and ask to speak with one of our consultants.
What is the process?
The typical engagement can be broken down in to six steps:
Step 1 – Education
One of the most important steps is educating clients on the contracts or certifications available to them. Often times, clients have simply been told “you need this” or don’t understand the nuances of the contract or certification. However, after being familiarized with specific contracts and programs, they often determine it makes more sense to pursue something other than what they initially sought.
Our senior consultants are former SCORE instructors who have taught dozens of classes on these contracts and programs and walked numerous companies, non-government organizations, and non-Federal government entities through the application process as consultants. Their focus is to make sure every client understands: the contracts and programs they are pursuing and why they want them; and the application process and compliance maintenance requirements after they have been awarded.
Step 2 – Pre-Qualification
Arguably the most important step, every company considering an engagement must go through a pre-qualification meeting to assess the company’s readiness to pursue any effort. Are they properly positioned to undertake the process and take advantage of the outcome? Do they meet the minimum requirements for their respective contract or certification? What are the areas of concern? Can they be mitigated? We want to make sure that our clients aren’t wasting their time or money unnecessarily. If we do not believe they are ready at this time, we are happy to work with them to prepare for the process.
We have no interest in taking your time or money if we do not believe you are both eligible and prepared to begin the process.
Step 3 – Scope Definition
Taking the information gathered during the Pre-Qualification step, we conduct a proprietary analysis of each company and determine the level of effort required to complete the engagement. Factors involved in this analysis include the front-end risk mitigation effort and identifying information and documentation which may not be readily available or exist. This step is key to determining the cost of the engagement and accounts for the variability in pricing.
For example, a company with a single owner who has been in business over five years involves a significantly lower level of effort when compared to a firm with multiple owners which has only been in business for 18 months. Additionally, companies with meticulous corporate records (including, but not limited to, corporate creation documentation, pricing records, and corporate financials) will require much less effort than a firm which needs to retroactively create corporate and/or financial documentation or requires assistance in performing pricing tracking, competitive analysis, or justifications for everything. Some companies have the majority of their documentation in order and simply need our subject matter experts to review, organize, and present their information. On the other hand, some firms come in and end up starting from scratch with regards to their paperwork. Considerable time is spent determining where a company falls within that spectrum to ensure the customer understands the effort and cost involved. Once a scope is defined, a fee for service is presented.
Step 4 – Terms & Conditions
This step specifically defines the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved in the application or proposal process. The services provided are full service, meaning CMCS will provide support throughout the entire process from initiation to certification/award. The services are designed to require minimum effort necessary from the client to complete a full engagement. Data requests will be made of the client by CMCS, but the responsibility of analyzing, utilizing, and presenting that information is the responsibility of CMCS.
Step 5 – Agreement Negotiation
Once Terms & Conditions are determined, an agreement is provided to client defining the scope of work and pricing. Negotiations regarding payment terms typically occur at this time with payments being centered around engagement benchmarks and milestones.
Step 6 – Provision of Service
Once a signed agreement is in place, a kick-off meeting is scheduled and the engagement formally gets underway. The provision of service is a hands-on engagement with constant communication occurring until completion of the terms in the agreement.
What is the time frame through completion?
Engagement duration is dependent on a combination of factors, including: the specific contract or certification, the queue/backlog at SBA/GSA, the complexity of the effort, the time required to review each application, and the timeliness/responsiveness of the client providing requested information and responses to additional inquiries.