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Procurement Corner: Capability Statements… ”Setting Yourself Apart”

I have been writing about building a one-page Capability Statement for your business to optimize your marketing strategy. Personally, I consider it a “best practice” for branding your business and creating solid lasting impressions. As mentioned previously, there’s nothing “sacred” about my format or content. Both are merely based on personal preferences from my experience with government/prime contractor procurement. Keep them simple and easy to read. Besides conveying the limited amount of information on a business card, it needs to clearly set you apart from your competition.

I suggested that using a logo is good, but it’s wise to keep it small to conserve valuable space. Underneath the logo, I added “the usual” general contact information followed by a concise (3-4 sentences) “Capabilities Statement”. This is where you begin branding your business. Always highlight your business type, describe what exactly it is that you “bring to the table”, value-added and, years of experience. How you state it though is critical. You want it to trigger the reader’s interest to keep him/her reading!

Our next section should be entitled: “What sets (your company name) apart from the competition?” Following that, use short bulletized discriminators that not only complement your Capabilities Statement, but take it to the next level. Always avoid repetition, “over-used” words and mundane business clichés (“dependable, reliable, proven, experienced, etc.”). They put readers to sleep! The objective here is (quite literally) “SETTING YOU APART FROM THE COMPETITION”. Make this your branding “AHA”. Our goal should not be trying to level the playing field, but rather to widen the gaps between the players!

And finally, since “best value” is becoming an increasingly more popular methodology for evaluating proposals and contracts, keep that in mind and make your discriminators profound. Be direct about what your best value is. Unique as possible but not “flashy”. What would impress a buyer to choose you? Once again, simple is better – 5 or 6 easy to read but precise bullets. Start with one or two key-words followed by a short but notable description (target < 10 words per bullet). Never shrink font size to increase word count. More is simply not necessarily better! Be creative, be incredibly honest, and never over-embellish.

A couple of generic examples (but you will need to add your own creativity):

· Partnered Solutions – we partner & collaborate with general contractors creating custom solutions

· Gold Standards – revered for our professionalism and industry expertise

· Best Value – awarded ‘2011 Most Successful Newcomer’ to the General Services Administration (GSA)

· Delivery-PLUS – we ensure free on-time delivery to any job site destinations across the globe

· Comprehensive industry experience – subject-matter-experts offering industrial & engineering guidance

· Product variety – “one-stop shop” for FULL LINE of trusted manufacturers & branded products

You get the idea. So set yourself apart / generate your “AHA.” Remember the music from the movie “JAWS”?Great example of a profound discriminator because you immediately think of the movie every time you hear it!

This is section 3 in our series.

Capability Statement example through this month’s section:


Scott Sealing is a Procurement Consultant with the UH SBDC (TX) and an ASBDC member. He also works closely with the UH PTAC (TX) and is an APTAC member. He specializes in counseling small businesses through the rigorous process of registering with government agencies, and then researching and bidding on government contracts. He also provides SBIR/STTR proposal development support. Scott has over 28 years of procurement and logistics experience working for A&D prime contractors on federal contracts. He supported NASA contracts in NM, TX, FL, AL CA and, DoD contracts in NM and CA. Scott is a certified Supply Chain Management (SCM) Professional (SCOR) and is certified in the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt curriculum. He has authored white papers on SCM and conducted domestic & international presentations for government, industry, and academia on procurement and supporting government contracts and, on the effective application of SCM tools & techniques.

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