In our Better Way series, we dig deeper into the government to government (G2G) process and how CCC works with exporters to get deals done.
CCC’s government to government contracting model is ideal when a foreign government buyer has a need but no RFP has been issued yet, specifications may not be defined — and there’s a Canadian company ready to meet it. This creates an opening for an unsolicited proposal. So how does it work, exactly, when you have CCC on your team?
A “Team Canada” approach
“We don’t do anything unilaterally,” says Antony Rizk, CCC Export Sales Manager. “It’s never a ‘CCC’ solution; it’s a Team Canada solution. Nothing happens unless the exporter is totally comfortable with it.”
Once an opportunity is identified, the first step is often to familiarize the foreign government buyer with the G2G procurement option — and Canada’s unique approach to reduce procurement contract risk. When exporters have a relationship with the buyer, they can help introduce CCC. In other cases, CCC might work directly with local contacts or through the Canadian embassy to set up meetings and introduce the option of contracting on a government to government basis to meet their needs.
Rizk explains that outside of specific opportunities, the CCC team and its partners in Canadian embassies abroad also engage in ongoing advocacy to raise the profile of Canadian exporters and the G2G option.
“We’ll work with Global Affairs Canada to keep track of foreign dignitaries visiting Canada and Canadian ministers’ trips abroad, and where and when it’s appropriate, build political advocacy for pursuits into their meeting agendas.”
While every deal is different, Rizk says there are some common steps exporters can take to be as prepared as possible.
“The first thing is to make sure you understand your prospective buyer’s technical needs and budget, find out who your competition might be, and who the decision makers and influencers are for procurement decisions,” Rizk advises. After that? “Be ready to prove your expertise.”
Before CCC works with a company, it verifies the firm’s technical, managerial and financial capacity to undertake the contract successfully.
“We do extensive scoping to understand the contractual options for the opportunity, the exporter’s technical solution and how it meets the buyer’s needs,” Rizk explains. He notes that if an exporter has a record of success as a vendor to the Canadian government or another government that can go a long way toward building credibility with the buyer.
Setting a threshold for risk
Finally, Rizk says it’s important for every exporter to be clear about their risk comfort level. While all business carries risk, international deals carry risk due to distance, differing legal and governance structures, and, in some markets, political and economic instability.
“We have our own risk thresholds at CCC, but we want to make sure that we’re respecting — and representing — our exporters’ risk comfort at every stage as well,” Rizk says. “Like I said, we do nothing unilaterally: every deal is a partnership, and we make sure our exporter partners are comfortable.”
Shaping the proposal
Once all the groundwork is laid, the due diligence is done and the buyer’s need is defined, CCC works with you to optimize your proposal. This stage can take some time and patience, Rizk notes.
“There can be a lot of back and forth with the buyer to get the proposal right, which is important because it’s the foundation for the contract that will be signed,” he says. “And when we get to the end of the proposal process and it’s time to negotiate the contract, the exporter is right there with us at the table.”
In our next Better Way blogs, we’ll share tips on how to recognize a great G2G opportunity, walk through the steps in the negotiation process, and what the typical CCC–exporter relationship looks like.
If you’ve spotted a great opportunity, contact CCC to find out how we can help you move forward.