Accelerated buying as the federal fiscal year winds down
Soon, federal government agencies will be racing to spend the remainder of their annual budgets by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. This can create a use-it-or-lose-it situation for government buyers, contracting officers and administrators, who have to spend their agency’s budgeted money by the end of September or lose it forever. The end of the federal fiscal year can be a busy time for government agencies, as well as for vendors who hope to land government business as fiscal year 2012 draws to a close.
Govpro asked Yoav Ziv, vice president of marketing at San Jose, Calif.-based Realization, what we can expect as the federal fiscal year-end approaches. Realization provides project management software and services to help organizations run projects 20 to 50 percent faster. The company has developed Synchronized Project Management, which is a system to speed up projects. More than 200 organizations have implemented it to efficiently complete projects and realize more than $3.5 billion in additional cash, savings and profits, according to the company.
The company’s tools help government, military and other organizations deliver more projects with fewer resources, build infrastructure on schedule and reduce downtime of aircraft and machinery.
Govpro: Can Realization assist federal agencies as the end of the federal fiscal year approaches?
Yoav Ziv: When it comes to selling to federal agencies and the fiscal cycle, there are many myths out there. Our company has successfully sold our solutions to federal organizations, including the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy and NASA, just by focusing on their needs and goals. All these agencies are looking for ways to maximize their output while using the taxpayer dollars most efficiently. When we clearly demonstrate how we can help them achieve their goals better than the alternatives, regardless of the fiscal cycle, we usually succeed in selling.
Govpro: Does your firm’s software and services help federal agencies keep a grip on spending as the federal fiscal year winds down?
YZ: Realization’s software and services help organizations, including federal agencies, complete more projects in less time with the same or even fewer resources. So, while we don’t directly help agencies get a grip on spending near the end of the fiscal year, we certainly help federal agencies complete a great deal more projects in a shorter amount of time without adding resources. That has a large impact on their budget and, ultimately, reduces the amount they have to spend.
Govpro: Do you have any advice for federal agency heads on how to make sure that spending is appropriate as the federal fiscal year ends — especially on the final days of the federal fiscal year, through Sept. 30, 2012?
YZ: Agency heads will be best off in the long run if they prioritize spending in terms of the value it can deliver, and then spend accordingly. Spending primarily for the sake of spending the budget ultimately isn’t productive.
Govpro: Do you have any advice for marketers on how to make sales as the federal fiscal year ends?
YZ: The best way to sell to a federal agency is to demonstrate that your product or service is valuable and will help them work more effectively. As part of the sales process, organizations need to identify clearly how they solve a big problem. The more pressing the problem and the more clearly the benefits of the solution are articulated, the faster the sale can occur.
Govpro: What are some good selling tactics for vendors to land federal contracts?
YZ: The key is always to demonstrate that you can solve a big problem for the agency and help them be more effective. Explaining how we can help federal agencies become more efficient and better spend taxpayer money has been a very effective tactic for Realization.
Govpro: How do you see this year’s federal fiscal year-end?
YZ: Budgets are tighter this year than they have been in the past, so vendors will need to demonstrate more value and a shorter return on investment to close sales.
Govpro: Are there plenty of federal selling opportunities through the end of FY 2012?
YZ: There are always opportunities for vendors who can demonstrate that they can solve big problems that need to be addressed immediately.