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Monday, August 26, 2013 - August 2013 Newsletter: Executive-in-Residence News: Jim Ruma: "Michigan Defense-Based Business Planning"
“Making the Sale to Achieve Contract Award” is Phase II of the multi-phase process for successful defense, as well as commercial, area entry. Please refer to the July 2013 newsletter for Phase I, “Identifying and Engaging the Customer.”

Customer acceptance resulting in market entry necessitates a mature level of the technology, product or service. The Technology Readiness Level Assessment is ideal to determine level of readiness for defined market entry and can be easily adapted to other non-technology applications by intuitive adjustments. If the maturity level is too low for the market need, a contract will not be won.

Following this, evaluate if your potential market entry is able to penetrate the thresholds of evaluation. Customers establish evaluation criteria prior to each separate request for proposals. Therefore, an offer needs to not only be mature, but also beat the evaluation criteria. In the defense or commercial sector, beating the competition is achieved by beating the customer’s evaluation criteria. Providing a delivery response that beats all competitors and exceeds the customer threshold evaluation requirements will win a contract and continue the business to benefit you and others. To win, a focus is necessary on best acquisition and maintenance cost; exceptional technical, reliability, weight, efficiency, etc. performance; fastest delivery schedule; accurately identified and mitigated risks; and any others specific to your new customer.

Jim Ruma is a Macomb OU-INCubator Executive-in-Residence and assists businesses in the defense sector, especially in the development of technology, engineering, manufacturing and sustainment. Jim spent 42 years with General Dynamics Land Systems, where he most recently served as Vice President of Engineering Programs and Project Management. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Defense Industrial Association Michigan chapter. Jim can be contacted at the Macomb-OU INCubator at (586) 884-9320.