ODYSSEY: The Leader in Defense Commerce Solutions Blog

What to Look for in Government Contract Management Software

Posted by James Lusk on Thu, Oct 25, 2018 @ 17:10 PM

 DoD supplier using industry leading government contract management software

Although steady contract work with the Department of Defense and other federal agencies can provide a reliable income stream, the challenges and complexities of working with the government can be overwhelming for many businesses.

We find that many suppliers end up spending a disproportionate amount of time managing contracts and compliance for DoD commerce – and exposing their companies to a disproportionate amount of risk – compared to time spent dealing with their “regular” customers.

Why You Need Government Contract Management Software

Why is it so important for DoD suppliers to be using a government contract management and fulfillment solution? Because of the risk and the lack of efficiency inherent in trying to manage DoD commerce without a streamlined approach.

The government’s highly specific and stringent requirements for vendors make it all too easy to inadvertently slip up if you’re not using DoD-approved software to manage the entire process. And the results of mistakes can be significant: rejected shipments, delayed transactions, cash flow issues, even penalties from the government.

However, getting compliance right can mean more on-time and early payments, and helps you build your reputation as a vendor. As a result, it can become easier to secure renewals or open up future contract opportunities.

In addition to compliance and cash flow benefits, there are also efficiency gains to consider. Instead of managing contracts through a variety of different, disconnected government systems and internal spreadsheets, DoD commerce software allows you to use one centralized system to simplify the end-to-end contract management and fulfillment process.

6 Key Elements to Look For

When searching for government contract management software, make sure it delivers these six key attributes:

1. Comprehensive. The solution you choose should help manage every step of the process, from finding and bidding on contracts, to fulfilling orders and getting paid – even the required scanners and equipment. This is a better approach than using point solutions for different parts of the process, since that can introduce unnecessary opportunities for human error as well as risk, and does not provide a meaningful efficiency benefit compared to using the government’s various websites and systems.

2. Easy to use. Your team should be able to complete the necessary processes with just a few keystrokes. The right solution can reduce the risk of human errors by requiring you to only enter data once, and ensure you’re using the same NSNs and other nomenclature approved by the government with simple dropdown lists.

3. DoD-approved. Not all government contract management software solutions are created equal. It’s important to work with a solution that has the necessary integrations into government systems to ensure data is transferred back and forth with speed and accuracy. Read more about the benefits of using government contract management software approved by the DoD.

4. Streamlines the process. There’s no point using a tool to unify your contract management and fulfillment processes unless it saves you time. Time savings free you up to focus on the core elements of your business, and enable you to fulfill even more DoD contracts in the future to grow your business.

5. Ensures 100% compliance. We’ve already mentioned the risks of non-compliance with all the standards and requirements that come along with government commerce. Look for solutions that offer strong compliance management capabilities to protect your business – and give you peace of mind.

6. Offers support and training. Beyond the software itself, the business partner you choose should provide training, ongoing support, process and compliance advice, and updates on the latest rule changes.

Finding the Right Solution for Your Business

As a leading provider of solutions for DoD commerce, Odyssey’s software and expertise are highly specialized in this field to deliver the best possible efficiency gains and compliance for your business.

See how government suppliers heart&core and Kessler Soils Engineering ensure compliant, efficient government contract management processes and drive increased cash flow using Odyssey’s DoD-approved software.

 

Topics: dod software, business technology

5 Reasons Automation is Your Friend, Not Your Foe

Posted by James Lusk on Thu, Sep 20, 2018 @ 17:09 PM

Using software to automate tedious back-office tasks


When you hear the word “automation,” what comes to mind? Robots taking all our jobs? Not so fast.

Why the robots aren’t coming for us

The experts agree that technology is getting smarter and more capable of handling various tasks. McKinsey & Company found that occupations across the board have some activities that are automatable – in fact, their research revealed 30% of activities in 60% of jobs could be automated.

Lest we all panic about our job security, it’s more likely we’ll be working alongside smarter technologies than being replaced by them. The New York Times reported that process automation technology is “freeing workers from drudgery far more often than it is eliminating jobs.”

And according to Leslie Willcocks, a professor at the London School of Economics and industry expert, companies that use technology to automate the most tedious aspects of back-office jobs retain staff to work in tandem with technology, but focused on more interesting or complex work. “It takes the robot out of the human,” he says.

The conclusion is clear: A blended approach is best. Humans are good at certain things, software is good at certain things, and they can accomplish more when they work together.

5 reasons to embrace what technology can do

Software tools can automate mundane tasks and help you be more efficient, but for Department of Defense suppliers, they can be even more valuable. Complying with DoD requirements and managing fulfillment can be complex and time-consuming, but government contract management solutions can make these processes faster and more accurate.

Here are five reasons you should use advanced DoD software solutions to improve operations:


  1. Gain peace of mind knowing the right software can ensure 100% compliance with DoD requirements.
  2. Improve cash flow by mitigating errors that could cause payment delays and penalties.
  3. Get both real-time and long-term visibility for your shipments, while eliminating the headaches, personal liability, and physical space associated with maintaining government audit files.
  4. Software support teams can reduce the pressure to know everything about the complex world of supplying the government, and provide additional help on those unsure shipments and contracts.
  5. For most companies, working with the DoD represents a fraction of their operations. Embracing software and automation allows you to spend more time on your core business.

Benefits to you

Remember that government contract management software is just a tool in your toolkit. It still takes a human to perform the tasks and complete the shipments. Plus, automating processes can revolutionize the way your company does business with the government, and being an internal champion for these improvements will raise your status within the organization.

Learn more about how Odyssey’s technology can make doing business with the DoD more efficient, and help you work smarter. See a demo or get in touch with us today.

Topics: dod software, automation

What to Look for When Selecting DoD Software for Your Organization

Posted by James Lusk on Wed, Jul 12, 2017 @ 11:07 AM

evalutate software.jpg

Since 2006, when Odyssey began, we have worked with many companies and have listened to them describe their day-to-day pain points. We’ve heard just about everything a company and its employees experience as they muddle through the ever-evolving mandates and compliance measures required to do business with the Department of Defense.

 Every organization can agree that DoD Commerce is no trivial matter and that choosing the right DoD solutions software can be difficult. We want to re-focus the way DoD suppliers and other organizations view DoD commerce, as well as demonstrate all that is possible through an integrated cross-departmental solution, specifically designed for DoD suppliers. We’ve listened to our customers and colleagues and have put together our best advice.

Companies should ask themselves the following questions when comparing DoD commerce software platforms.

Will it be a simple transition?

When researching software solutions, be sure the software you are reviewing doesn’t cause any stress on your organization’s internal IT department or force further management or overhead to operate. Fundamentally changing your process will cause more harm than good. A simple transition will guarantee employee buy-in and better results.

Is integration possible?

DoD tasks should not be seen as events occurring one after another. The most successful companies have integrated departments, resulting in efficiency and ensuring 100% compliance throughout the entire process. Look for a software solution where integration is possible from award to payment.

Is it scalable for long-term success?

Scalable solutions allow companies to grow and plan for future requirements that are not yet mandated or not yet impacting current business. When comparing software solutions, be sure to find one that can easily scale up or down, based on the myriad of criteria that could affect the organization in the long-term. Fully scalable solutions for DoD suppliers is key to successful business.

Does it unite your organization?

DoD commerce tasks should not cause discourse between departments and stakeholders. Ensure that a proposed solution brings your team together for a common goal and does not require part of the group to continue using unrelated software. A collaborative software solution will help organizations see the best results.

It’s important that internal champions within a company, just like you, care enough to seek new, efficient and effective ways to successfully complete DoD tasks in one solution. It takes leaders to change the way an organization views DoD Commerce. Understand the impact of change and convey your message to peers and authorities with conviction.

Also, be sure to keep these questions in mind when researching software solutions. If you have questions, or would like to learn about using Odyssey as your DoD-approved software and commerce solutions provider, we would be happy to speak with you. You can contact us here

 

Topics: DoD approved software, dod software, department of defense, dod commerce solutions