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Capture Management: Plan Better, Win More

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What is Capture Management?

Capture management is a strategic process employed by organizations, particularly government contractors, to identify, pursue, and secure lucrative contracts. It encompasses a series of structured activities aimed at understanding the needs of potential clients or government agencies, analyzing competition, and developing compelling proposals to win contracts. At its core, capture management involves early engagement with customers to gather critical information about their requirements, preferences, and decision-making processes. This information is then used to tailor solutions that address specific customer needs and differentiate the organization from competitors.

Throughout the capture management process, organizations strategically position themselves to maximize their chances of success in competitive procurement environments. This involves thorough market research, strategic planning, relationship-building, and collaboration with internal and external stakeholders. By systematically addressing customer needs, mitigating risks, and presenting compelling value propositions, organizations can increase their competitiveness and secure contracts that drive business growth and success. Capture management serves as a cornerstone of business development efforts, enabling organizations to capitalize on opportunities in the government contracting marketplace and achieve their strategic objectives.

Capture Management for Government Contractors

rising chart on computer

The federal government awarded $765 billion in contracts in 2023, with $470 billion (61%) being awarded by the Department of Defense. This award total was a 9.5% increase from FY 2022. With the government spending more than ever on federal contracts, government contractors can win big if they know the process and how to optimize it.

How Does the Government Solicit Contract Work?

Government agencies submit various solicitation documents depending on where they are at in the solicitation process. Some documents are used to gather information from vendors, while others are binding submissions including personnel, scope, and pricing. These types of solicitation documents include Invitations for Bids (IFBs), Requests for Proposals (RFPs), Requests for Quotes (RFQs), and Requests for Information (RFIs).

Invitation for Bid

IFBs are used when the government agency knows exactly what goods or services they need to purchase and are transparently awarding the contract to the best offer. This type of solicitation uses a sealed bid process where contractors submit their bid not knowing the other offers made and bids are then publicly opened and awarded to the lowest bidder.

Request for Proposal

RFPs are used when the government agency does not know the exact goods or services they need to accomplish their goal and are looking for high-level proposals outlining solutions and pricing. This type of solicitation uses a variety of factors to award the contract, including qualifications, methods, and pricing.

Request for Quote

RFQs are used when the government agency knows what goods or services they need and are soliciting price quotations from contractors. Responses to RFQs are not binding and can be used by the government agency to gather a pricing breakdown from contractors, obtain more information about the scope and budget of the work, or be used to select vendors based on price when it comes time to award the contract.

Request for Information

RFIs are used by government agencies to gather information and market intelligence from potential contractors or vendors about their capabilities, products, services, or solutions related to a particular project or requirement. Responses to RFIs are not binding and are used to assess market interest, identify potential sources, gather industry feedback, and refine procurement strategies before issuing more formal solicitations.

A contractor’s response to a solicitation varies greatly depending on the solicitation type and the intention of the contractor. The capture management process is deeply rooted in this stage of the contracting lifecycle as it is this initial solicitation that determines the plan of action for contractors looking to land a contract.

The Capture Management Process

magnifying glass on RFP

The capture management process is all about gathering information and finding opportunities that cater to your strengths. A keen understanding of your organization and the needs required by the solicitor will provide a stable foundation as you look for prospects. From here your capture management process should include 1) Opportunity Identification, 2) Opportunity Assessment, 3) Customer Engagement, 4) Competitive Analysis, 5) Solutions Development, and 6) Teaming and Partnerships.

  1. Opportunity Identification: The capture management process begins with identifying potential contract opportunities that align with the contractor's capabilities, expertise, and business objectives. This may involve monitoring government procurement portals, attending industry events, networking with government officials, and conducting market research to identify upcoming projects and solicitations.

  2. Opportunity Assessment: Once potential opportunities are identified, contractors assess the feasibility and attractiveness of pursuing each opportunity. This involves evaluating factors such as customer requirements, scope of work, competition, contract value, risk factors, and alignment with corporate objectives and resources.

  3. Customer Engagement: Building relationships with government stakeholders, including contracting officers, program managers, and end-users, is essential for successful capture management. Contractors engage with customers early in the procurement process to understand their needs, preferences, and evaluation criteria, and to shape requirements in their favor.

  4. Competitive Analysis: Contractors conduct a thorough analysis of competitors who may be bidding for the same contracts. This includes assessing competitors' capabilities, past performance, pricing strategies, strengths, weaknesses, and key differentiators to develop effective competitive strategies and positioning.

  5. Solution Development: Contractors develop tailored solutions and value propositions that address customer requirements, offer innovative solutions, and demonstrate unique capabilities and benefits. This may involve developing technical solutions, staffing plans, management approaches, and pricing strategies that differentiate the organization from competitors and provide value to the customer.

  6. Teaming and Partnerships: To enhance their competitiveness and capabilities, contractors may form teaming arrangements or partnerships with other companies, subcontractors, or consultants. Teaming agreements allow contractors to leverage complementary expertise, resources, and past performance to strengthen their proposals and increase their chances of winning contracts.

This initial research/ discovery is vital for securing lucrative contracts down the road. Finding your edge and developing an effective capture management process around it will lay the groundwork for future success that builds upon itself as you win more.

Win More With CRI


By outsourcing your capture management needs with CRI you are investing in a proven partner that knows the process and how to adapt it to various environments. This shortens your lead time to wins and frees your personnel to focus on their sweet spot of expertise. We develop a capture plan using detailed market analysis, competitor assessment, and relationship building with key partners and decision-makers. Our team works with you to implement a winning strategy that aligns with your vision and maximizes your competitive advantages.

If you are interested in learning more, check out all of our Proposal & Capture Management Services or Contact Us for inquiries and detailed information.


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