This management approach was developed entirely by Black Knight and Black Knight team members without the assistance of any consultants or other outside assistance.
Black Knight has assembled a team within the framework of SeaPort Enhanced which possesses extraordinary depth and capabilities to address the various requirements across the Navy and Marine Corps. This team is comprised of enterprises with extensive knowledge and experience relative to the defense industry and the Navy in particular. The Black Knight team will build on the superlative engineering, technical and programmatic support services and product strengths of each team member to meet objectives in a timely and cost-efficient manner.
Black Knight has grown steadily and successfully over the past 15 years from a one-man shop with a single contract into a thriving small business with sixteen employees and several contracts involving multiple task orders.
With an operating history of fifteen years showing sustained growth and profitability, existing and continuing awarded contracts, a strong capital base and an established line of credit with a large national banking institution, Black Knight is financially stable and capable of managing the financing requirements that will result from an award of a SeaPort Enhanced contract. In addition, in August 2004 our cost accounting system successfully passed a DCAA audit receiving a satisfactory evaluation.
Black Knight acknowledges and will comply with all of the Special Contract Requirements of Section H of the Solicitation. Black Knight maintains policies providing all required insurance coverages as set forth in the solicitation (H. 15). Black Knight computers and software are compliant with SeaPort Portal Requirements (H. 18).
In conjunction with and in addition to the demonstrated capability of the Black Knight management team, team members have committed to lend support, including management expertise, to achieve successful results to effort. Black Knight will maintain regular communications with team members to meet those goals.
Definition of a Best Practice: A Best Practice is defined as a superior method or innovative practice that contributes to improved performance of the process or achievement of a goal.
Through the sharing of best practices among team members as provided in the teaming agreements executed by each team member, and the examination and review of practices of others, the Black Knight team will identify, adopt, and incorporate those methods and procedures most likely to foster and promote innovation and cost reduction. Further, Black Knight acknowledges the Office of Secretary of Defense ("OSD") indicated desire for acquisitioning to move towards performance based contracting. We endorse this approach, as it would allow us to promote our strengths stemming from a lean management approach with quick responsiveness and are confident in are ability to operate successfully in that environment.
Communication is the mainstay of the Black Knight team plan to integrate and utilize professional support services across and within the Navy and Marine Corps to determine the best practices available and institute such where appropriate to effect cost savings. This includes all stakeholders, specifically task order customers, NAVSEA acquisition coordinators, team subcontractors, and other sources identified as having valuable ideas or better methods.
Black Knight will use two primary means of communicating among team members and with existing customers and prospects: 1.) Meetings, planned formal or informal, with any and/or all stakeholders involved with an awarded contract; 2.) To establish and maintain a Black Knight SEAPORT-e website containing the information requirements specified by the RFP (H.11) and such other information as the team may deem convenient and appropriate.
The members of Black Knight team will participate in regular meetings as agreed to relay and review information and measure task progress and performance against benchmarks and standards. The agendas of these meetings will cover Contract/Subcontract status, Task Order status, staffing and costs status, security requirements, periodic training needs, and review of existing and new quality programs and processes (best practices), cost savings initiatives, and metrics.
Black Knight will design a dynamic and scalable website that upon award of a contract initially will include all the information and capabilities listed in section H. 11 of the solicitation. Black Knight intends to enhance and improve the website on discussion with team members as to desired information and functions.
Each member of Black Knight team is committed by the terms of its teaming agreement to cooperate and share information as to methods and procedures identified as "best practices" (defined above) with Black Knight and its members individually with the objectives of maximizing innovation and efficiency.
Black Knight will take a similar approach to identifying and incorporating novel ways to reduce costs and measure the effectiveness of cost saving programs in place. At the monthly and quarterly meetings we will review status of established programs and measure progress against anticipated/projected results to provide metrics for assessment of efficacy.
Beyond our experience and communications approach described above, Black Knight will send management team members to training seminars to familiarize them with policies and procedures.
Black Knight's management has considerable experience managing teams. Also, our management team knows the NSWCDD contracts personnel and understands what is expected of a prime contractor. In those instances where we find we need to shorten our learning curve we will rely on other prime contractor team members for guidance relative our best practices approach to systems.
The ability to manage change is one of the strong advantages of a technology focused, research and development small business. The Black Knight team is better equipped to predict, react and adapt to changes in industry than many large defense contractors with their substantial commitments to existing programs and technologies. Black Knight as team leader has small, more localized management and technical teams that can respond more quickly to the customer changes and requirements than a larger company with multiple layers of management and approvals.
As to managing changes to project hardware, software, firmware, or system configurations, our team is experienced in using a variety of tools that provide configuration control of project information and artifacts. Configuration and change management requirements will be established at the onset of each task order.
The most important impact on quality is the person working on the project and their commitment and desire to deliver high quality products or services. The next strongest factor is the environment in which that person works. The organization, management, tools, and co-workers all play a role in determining quality. To maintain this level of quality, and translate it to the customer, our team will investigate ISO 9000 certification. For our subcontractors who already implement this or comparable processes, and we will utilize them to establish and adapt a set of quality standards and processes.
In addition, lessons learned and future improvements will be discussed on a monthly and quarterly basis in the ongoing team and customer management meetings. Templates will be developed for all repetitive forms of documentation (including various types of reports, proposals, budgets, etc.). These templates will be reviewed and approved by the appropriate customers and task order managers. The templates will be available to all team members and their use will improve the consistency of our documentation.
Our approach to guarantee responsiveness to and cooperation with customers involves several components:
Our approach to problem resolution is related to our approach in managing responsiveness and customer satisfaction. The best method to reduce problems in the first place is a well conceived and agreed upon plan and frequent communication with task order stakeholders. The POA&M will minimize problems due to unmatched expectations and the frequent communication will catch smaller problems before they become large. Once a problem is detected, direct communication between the task order manager and the government POC will happen right away. A standard overall process will be available on the Black Knight team website which can be tailored by the customer and task order manager to meet their needs and resolution approach expectations.
The largest incentive that Black Knight is offering our subcontractor team mates is the promise that our small, innovative, and agile company will be able to provide them access to cutting edge work that they would not otherwise be able to pursue do to size, costs, or other factors. In addition, as our subcontracting revenue increases, our pass-through decreases thereby providing a more attractive cost solution to their customers. More subcontracting revenue will be achieved as the team performs well and the customers choose to send their tasking and funding to our team. We are all equally incentivized to continue our existing tradition of providing high quality products and services, within budget and on-time. Combine this level of performance with an attractive price and a real focus on customer and employee satisfaction, our team will be very successful.