Original Date: 07/10/2006
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Business Development Program
Through its redirected and improved business development process, Tobyhanna Army Depot has been successful in establishing a relationship with new program managers that has lead to new business opportunities and participation in multiple integrated product teams. The depot’s workload has increased significantly, with the facility currently realizing a return on investment of $27 for every $1 spent in its business development function.
Prior to 2004, the business development function at the Tobyhanna Army Depot (TYAD) was based on a commodity management concept, with marketing performed by product experts (commodity managers) along in-house product lines. Driven by production management and engineering missions, commodity managers focused mainly on internal customers and current production. This internal commodity-based approach, combined with a work structure that had commodity managers working in small product teams or “cells of expertise,” resulted in redundancies and inefficiencies.
As commodity managers focused on marketing only their specific products, it was not uncommon for two or three TYAD personnel to be calling on the same buyer at the same time. Missed opportunities resulted when buyers did not know whom to contact at TYAD. Missed opportunities also occurred as commodity managers were unable to uncover buyer needs outside their particular area of expertise.
To respond to these challenges and improve the depot’s ability to increase its future workload, TYAD redirected and reorganized its business development function and processes. The role of the commodity manager shifted from product-focused to people-focused. Specific marketing plans were developed for each targeted buyer or program manager (PM). Instead of marketing one specific product line, business development personnel would market all key depot capabilities to assigned PMs. All capabilities being marketed were linked to the organization’s strategic plan and core competencies. Each marketing plan included descriptions of capabilities likely to match the needs of targeted PMs. In addition to descriptive material, business development personnel received training on capability offerings outside their area of expertise. A standard PowerPoint presentation detailing TYAD’s capabilities was developed, and personnel were trained to ensure the delivery of a consistent and accurate message from all staff members to potential buyers.
TYAD is now regularly calling on PMs, establishing new business relationships, and building upon existing relationships. PMs are no longer confused as to whom to contact at TYAD. Business Development personnel are better addressing their PMs’ broad range of needs with solutions that cross multiple TYAD product lines. TYAD’s message is now more consistent and more accurate.
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