Specifically, I mean the process by which people who care about opportunities with the US Government, are informed of important events. For the most part, this is caused by totally unnecessary process intermediaries. These intermediaries come in various incarnations, ranging from people whose sole responsibility is to watch/listen to FBO (or other websites), to dedicated "business developers" who roam the halls of potential client's buildings. To be clear, the people themselves are not the issue. It is the awkward and technologically arcane process they are forced to work within.
One of the main reasons we built hōrd is to both improve the process as well as democratize the data that flows through it. We want to give everyone who is interested in understanding the information, the equal opportunity to do so. For most of our professional lives, we had to "get on lists", or setup "saved searches" to sometimes receive get an email, often 24-48 hours after it occurred. Frankly, it sucked. And it looked a lot like this:
Maybe this eye chart looks familiar. If not, moving from left to right, here's what happens:
- Something Important Happens - This could be all manner of things, such as a draft RFI from your favorite USAID Mission being posted, a competitor being awarded a contract, or a new RFP in your area of expertise. It could also be the nearing of an active contract period of performance, signaling a possible recompete. This "important happening" is sent to the Intermediary, almost exclusively via email. Frequently, the automated emails arrive 12-24 hours after the actual event. For some of these important happenings, there is in fact no way for the Intermediary to subscribe. Hence, the wandering of the Agency halls, etc.
- Intermediary - The Intermediary must choose who receives the information. Often there are lists or groups. These lists or groups or always out of date, and give no real indication of who might actually be interested in the information. Provided the Intermediary isn't sick, travelling, asleep, getting a cup of coffee, playing badminton, or doing anything other than constantly staring at their email, the information moves forward. This step in the process can take anywhere from 2-200 hours.
- Person Who Cares - This person may or may not be on the list of folks the Intermediary contacted. They may not even be involved in a specific pursuit. However, some of them receive the information and some of them do not. Eventually, through cosmic alignment, perhaps the information finds them. Either way, more time has passed and, in the world of government contracting, more overhead accrued.
- Person Who Doesn't Care - Again, this person may or may not be on the list of people contacted by the Intermediary. However, they often get the information. It adds to the clutter of corporate spam in their inbox and over time they are trained to wholesale ignore everything from the Intermediary. Fingers crossed the Intermediary never sends anything they actually care about.
All in, this process is slow, inefficient, and heavily reliant on human judgement. How is an Intermediary supposed to know every single person within an organization who is interested in RFPs relating to Global Health? Conversely, how is every single person interested in Global Health within an organization supposed to know there is a special list one must get on? The answer is, they can't. And they shouldn't be expected to.
When we built hōrd, we wanted everyone in an organization who is interested in an opportunity, a topic area, an organization, or a person to receive information the minute it happens. From the most senior of Senior Vice Presidents to the intern who started yesterday, everyone should be in the know. By using hōrd, the process starts to look like this:
Not to much to explain here, but people who care, find out immediately, and can begin actually working. This work includes making a go/no-go decision or telling your boss that your brother-in-law is married to the contracting officer. Or maybe you are trying to get promoted and business development is one of your goals. Perhaps you just care about what your competitors are winning. Perchance you are really interested in contracts focused on the prevention of Transnational Crime and Money Laundering.
With hōrd, all of this information is delivered directly to your mobile device, the minute it happens. Not 4 days after the fact, when someone else decided it might be important for you to know. Don't wait for what you want. Don't wait for the process to change. Use hōrd and unsuck it yourself.