Included here are a few pictures highlighting the in-person networking event that followed our recent DHA-focused opportunities event. Key Takeaways from the event are below.
Industry professionals gathered last week at the G2X Agency Spotlight: Defense Health Agency – Building Your 2022 Opportunity Roadmap event, which featured several keynote speakers sharing insights into DHA, the state of acquisitions at the Agency and opportunities for industry.
Acquisition Trends and Restructuring at DHA
- There is consolidation happening at DHA and a concerted small business focus.
- Acquisition workforce: There’s still an Acting Director, which has caused some uncertainty, but the Component Acquisition Executive (CAE) and Deputy CAE are trying to streamline the processes to include training—down to the program managers—to help build better requirements for industry.
- The Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) is a player.
- Industry is hurting the mission with so many protests.
Challenges and Opportunities
- Management, leadership and how decisions are made across markets are still in flux.
- Medical readiness – How are providers keeping their competencies up? How can we ensure Military Members are ready to be deployed? There’s a significant amount of data analytics possible at all levels surrounding this.
- There are issues across resource management. DHA needs to understand efficiencies across the board and get a handle on what facilities are actually spending across the organization. They need to look at standardization across the organization and markets to bring similarities under one contract but are struggling.
- The answer may lay with industry taking a recommended different approach.
- There’s no new money. Industry is wrong in thinking they can bring forward new ideas without considering where the money is coming from; industry must think about what is being cut or reduced or changed to make room for the new thing.
Advice for Industry
- Many proposals don’t speak the right language. With consolidation, it is imperative for industry to speak the language of the ‘bible’ for joint medical operations.
- Improve customer intimacy by increasing understanding of the mission.
- Take advantage of information sharing across industry to understand what DHA is going through. Peel into newsfeeds to understand why DHA is doing acting in a certain way and understand the strife between the Garrison mission and the operational mission.
- At DHA, they must line up the money, the contract vehicle, and first and foremost the political will to do anything.
- Don’t show up with your “box.” Those are solutions looking for a problem and not the other way around.
- People, process, and technology, and training and education are key. Understand their processes and their problems. Try to cover all bases, educate oneself and be open to multiple pathways.
- Industry is failing if it’s not trying to engage as early as possible. Industry must come with ideas and solutions. Part of that early engagement is helping to shape that contract strategy.
- Look at the things DHA has done well: They’re rolling out multiple sites of MHS GENESIS at a clip. They got that done in collaboration with the vendor community. Their response to COVID has been phenomenal. The transition of the Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) into the DHA and the consolidation of J6—go back and peel those apart a bit. Those are examples of working well with the Government.
- Best value procurements are desired. When Government uses Lowest Price Technically Acceptable, they end up paying for it over and over. Just providing a savings, isn’t enough. Help them walk through your value proposition to the stakeholders that are ultimately going to make the decision.
Breaking into the Tight Vendor Community
- If you get a meeting with a DHA leader, don’t go in with a pitch. If you have business with them, help them to understand what you’re doing for them today. If you have something to bring to the table that will fill a gap you’ve identified, talk about that. You must hit on the pain points.
- Attending events is another way to break into the community.
Identifying the Gaps
- Bring in commercial best practices.
- The Government is taking a really big swing at T5. Look at the referenced key effort taking place within CMS for potential opportunities.
- Identify gaps based on what’s happening in the news.
- Look at the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which offers a view of what the gaps are going to be within DHA, where the money is going and where the focus is.
- Be careful that your organization doesn’t try to meet every gap out there. Companies need to look at what they are good at and focus on that.
- It seems that’s there a disconnect with what’s going on with DHA – especially with J-6 and the Defense Healthcare Management Systems (DHMS). Industry needs to look at how to collaborate and cross-pollinate those who are mostly J-6 focused and those that are more DHMS focused.
- The money is no longer just with DHA but with the three organizations discussed.
- DHA talks a lot at industry days about forecasts and then never puts out those procurements. It’s a culture that really hurts the organization. DHA is reluctant to engage with vendors because of the potential for protests.
- Try to get as much information and engage legally and ethically as best you can.
- Definitely use all the public information that is out there. Use all the tools, including the NDAA. Listen to committee hearings –the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) and the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC). Industry has to work a little bit to get the information.
2022 Roadmap – What Should be on the Radar?
- The Geographic Service Provider (GSP) and The Development Multiple Award Contract (DevMac).
- Training is a huge gap. Training at multiple levels, including medical and clinical is needed.
- Look at commonalities between MTFs. Lower level MTFs are struggling because policies are so broad or the process hasn’t been set up and they need some help.
- Operational medicine should be a big focus. Services are pivoting to a readiness mission. DHA is going to control part, but the readiness piece still falls on the services. There are some gaps there and it has everything to do with Operational Medicine.
- DHA has a real human capital problem.
- GENESIS is just one of the challenges.
- Analytics must be a part of any product or solution brought to the table.
- Whatever solution is brought to the Government, it must have a transformation or change management plan attached or it will fail. Make it part of the broader solution.
These are treasured missions. Make your plan simple. A solution doesn’t necessarily mean anything unless it makes life easier to them as the customer and the customers they’re supporting. Be deliberate about the thought and solutioning brought to the table. Our Military Members, the Vets, and their families deserve the best money can buy, and when there’s less money to go around, they still deserve the best money can buy. Consider that creative solutioning you’re putting together, how you put your pricing models together, and how you consider the labor force, consider all of these things as you approach these customers and their mission.