How to Build a Simulator – Part VII – Business and Proposals
Throughout this “How to” series we have discussed the ins and outs of building simulators. From the lifecycle to the hardware elements to the software; the basics have been covered. In today’s edition of the series, however, we will discuss the business aspect of building a simulator and what to do once the integration is complete.
AVT Splits our responsibilities into three major departments: business development, marketing, and proposals.
Business Development is responsible for finding, tracking, and facilitating opportunities.
Marketing is responsible for attending industry events and generating a positive reputation for the business.
Proposals are responsible for pulling together all the information captured as well as past performances to write, submit, and ultimately win the opportunities that are chosen.
Being in the simulation industry, AVT’s largest customer is the US Government. More specifically AVT’s customers are services and agencies within the Department of Defense (DoD). The DoD allocates funds to its services and agencies when a simulator is needed.
These agencies advertise and communicate their needs with the industry through the BetaSam website. Initially, they post a Request for Information (RFI) to gather data on various suppliers so they can compare their abilities and determine where to go from there.
AVT, being a small, disadvantaged, minority-owned business (SDMOB), specifically looks for small business set aside contracts. These contracts, as the name implies, are set aside for small businesses with the capabilities to accomplish what is needed for the simulator. This is opposed to full and open contracts that are available to anyone.
Once suppliers have shown interest in the RFI, the agency creates a draft of a Request for Proposal (RFP). This draft is released, and suppliers respond with comments and suggestions for the RFP. After these comments have been received, they are taken into consideration for the final RFP. The RFP contains requirements for the simulator and the contract.
Its purpose is to relay this information to suppliers while also soliciting the proposal itself. When AVT begins the proposal process, we delegate responsibilities to our proposal team. Phases are set in place for certain goals to be accomplished. At the end of each phase, the progress is evaluated by an external or unaffiliated color team for quality assurance.
- Pink Team
- In this phase, the team is responsible for brainstorming and creating the first thoughts on how to satisfy the needs of the customer in the most efficient way possible.
- Red Team
- This is when the team creates the first full draft of the proposal.
- Green Team
- The team determines pricing and milestones for the project.
- Gold Team
- Our managerial executives refine the proposal.
- White Team
- Ensures the entire document is perfect down to the last comma.
Once all teams have completed their tasks and everything has been triple-checked, the proposal is submitted. From there, it is up to the customer to determine who gets the win. If AVT is granted the contract, the lifecycle of the simulator begins.
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Initially, Applied Visual Technology Inc., AVT has been developing modeling and simulation expertise through engineering services since 1998. This is due to our founder who has accumulated over 30 years of military MS&T expertise in aviation applications. Nonetheless, everyone at AVT specializes in making old training systems new again and making new ones for less. Consequently, for 20 years AVT has served our Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine customers by providing the highest quality of service and solutions. Following its inception, AVT’s highly specialized staff of engineers has included some of the top leaders in the simulation industry. With over 20 years of simulation experience, our dedicated team provides specialized solutions for customers with complex problems.