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Margarita Howard’s Winning Strategy for HX5 as Prime Contractor and Subcontractor



Margarita Howard's Winning Strategy for HX5 as Prime Contractor and Subcontractor
Google News Recentlyheard

Google News Recentlyheard

HX5, with a workforce of 1,000 employees, is based in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, and operates across 34 states and at 90 government sites. The fierce competition to win government contracts is a significant challenge for HX5. Numerous companies compete for the same projects, making it essential to stand out during bidding.

Under Margarita Howard‘s guidance as the sole owner, CEO, and president, the company has skillfully navigated the competitive world of government contracting. Howard’s strategic approach has involved positioning the company effectively as a prime contractor and as a subcontractor to win contracts. Her leadership emphasizes understanding customer needs, meeting strict compliance standards, and building solid relationships within the sector.

HX5’s strategy centers on a thorough grasp of government procurement and dedication to fulfilling government clients’ needs and overcoming their challenges. Margarita Howard emphasizes the importance of this approach, saying: “You have to certainly understand your customer’s needs and any specific requirements or regulations that may apply to them, and even though almost all work is highly competitive, building relationships with government procurement officers, government customers, prime contractors, and other stakeholders can enhance the chances of winning prime contracts by providing a better understanding of the governments needs and challenges.”

Howard highlights the crucial role of regularly checking industry-specific platforms like GovWin and others to find opportunities suited to the firm’s strengths. “You need to ensure you’re regularly monitoring these sites for opportunities. We, of course, also regularly network with our customers and procurement officers and attend industry-specific events, so we stay informed about upcoming opportunities,” she explains.

Once the business spots a fitting opportunity, the team examines the solicitation documents to grasp the requirements and evaluation criteria. Howard notes, “We have to prepare a comprehensive bid proposal that addresses all the specified requirements and demonstrates our ability to perform the work successfully at competitive prices. It’s also absolutely necessary to ensure you submit your bid before the deadline and follow all instructions provided in the solicitation.”

HX5 CEO Margarita Howard on the Importance of Building Solid Relationships

Building strong relationships is vital in government contracting. Good connections with government procurement officers, prime contractors, subcontractors, and sector stakeholders can significantly boost success. These relationships provide insights into new opportunities, help understand government agencies’ needs, and keeps a company updated on policy changes.

Frequent interactions and past successful projects build trust and credibility, making agencies and prime contractors more likely to work with enterprises they’ve had good experiences with. For smaller companies, forming partnerships with larger firms can lead to working on bigger projects and building a solid track record.

These relationships have provided HX5 with insights into government needs and priorities, enhancing its ability to tailor proposals and solutions that meet these requirements. Moreover, attending industry-specific events and networking functions has allowed the firm to stay informed about upcoming opportunities and emerging trends in government contracting.

“Learning from others’ experiences can provide very valuable insights and guidance,” says Margarita Howard. “Continuously investing in one’s professional development and business capabilities helps with staying updated on relevant industry trends, regulations, and best practices.”

Howard continues, “Also, the firm should continue to maintain strong relationships with government agencies, prime contractors, and industry partners that it’s previously worked with to have access to new opportunities.”

HX5’s Multifaceted Approach

The company’s approach to proposal development is meticulous and strategic. It prepares bids that address the specified requirements and demonstrates the ability to perform the work successfully at competitive prices. This proposal strategy has been crucial in winning contracts and establishing HX5 as a prime contractor.

“When pursuing work as a prime contractor, the company has to invest in comprehensive proposal development, form teaming arrangements, which can sometimes be very complicated, manage client relationships, and prioritize the various competitive risks that may affect any of a number of potential outcomes,” says Margarita Howard.

Additionally, she emphasizes the importance of performance and compliance once a contract is awarded. She ensures successful project execution and adherence to all contractual requirements, which positions HX5 favorably for future opportunities.

“Any successful proposal must always address how the company will ensure strict compliance with all applicable regulations, requirements, and standards that go along with performing on a government contract,” says Howard. “We ensure that all proposals go through a thorough review that includes verification that these items have all been addressed and, when appropriate, include in the proposal risk management processes to identify, assess, and mitigate potential risks that could impact contract performance or compliance.”

Beyond winning contracts as a prime contractor, the company has also excelled as a subcontractor. This dual approach of excelling as both a prime and subcontractor has allowed it to diversify its portfolio and mitigate risks associated with reliance on a single type of contracting role.

“When pursuing work as a subcontractor, you tend to focus on specific specialization areas, you network regularly with multiple prime contractors, and try to demonstrate the value you bring as a partner to the prime’s team by offering the specialized skills and competitive pricing you can bring,” she says. “Ultimately, as a subcontractor, you aim to complement prime contractors’ capabilities, but as a prime contractor, you bear all the responsibility for project execution, client satisfaction, and overall contract management.”

Resource allocation is another critical aspect of the company’s strategy. The company meticulously plans the staffing and budgeting for each bid, ensuring that proposals are realistic and aligned with the project’s scope and requirements. This attention to detail in resource planning underscores its commitment to delivering high-quality services and solutions to its government clients.

Being a women-owned business, HX5’s success in a field traditionally dominated by men is noteworthy. Howard’s leadership has shown that gender doesn’t define a company’s ability to compete and succeed in government contracting. Despite the challenges associated with this designation, HX5 has consistently demonstrated its capability to meet and exceed contract requirements, delivering value to its clients irrespective of the company’s ownership status.

HX5 attributes its success to a continuous focus on improvement and professional development. Margarita Howard says, “One thing we do, whether we win or lose a contract competition, is we seek feedback from the contracting officer to understand how we can improve our proposals and increase our competitiveness in future opportunities. We try to continuously assess our performance, refine our strategies, and invest in professional development education so our employees are able to always stay ahead in performance.”

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