Customer Success Stories

How Government Acquisitions Use VisibleThread as a Force Multiplier

Head Quarters

Cincinati, Ohio

Size of Company

1088 employees


IT Services

Customer Success Stories

How Government Acquisitions Use VisibleThread as a Force Multiplier

Head Quarters

Cincinati, Ohio

Size of Company

1088 employees


IT Services

Government Acquisitions - VisibleThread Case Study

Michael Downard
VP of Business Development & Capture
Government Acquisitions

Michael has worked with Government Acquisitions since 1993. Starting as a DHS Team Lead, he progressed to Senior Director of Business Development. Now, as Vice President of BD & Capture, his role involves winning new contracts and helping to maximize their presence on contracts already won.

About Government Acquisitions

Trying to find ways to amplify your output is a never-ending mission, especially for small teams. But it doesn’t have to be.

In the latest of our case studies, Aoife Keane sits down with Michael Downard of Government Aquisitions, Inc. (GAI). As GAI’s VP of Business Development & Capture, Michael shares some insights on how he and his team use VisibleThread as a force multiplier.

About Government Acquisitions
GAI is an experienced, value-added reseller, with over 30 years’ dedication to Federal mission success. They have a performance culture to power real innovation.

GAI helps to empower Federal missions with new efficiency and agility. The work they do focuses on protecting citizens, supporting critical infrastructure, and delivering cutting-edge research & development. Should you need more evidence of how dedicated they are to this pursuit; GAI’s motto is:

“Dedication is in our DNA. Mission is our mindset.”

As for how many people are in the BD and Capture Team alongside Michael?

“We are a giant, Globetrotting organization – so, there’s four of us. (laughs)”

The more key customer case studies we do, the more we see this recurring theme. Lean teams, with huge responsibilities.

The Challenges

Michael and his lean team had a number of day-to-day challenges requiring solutions, three of which we outline below:

1. Small team needing to automate manual activities
At GAI, they needed to support internal discussions. Not just with their team, but also their partners around the requirements of an RFP (Request for Proposal). The team would have multiple documents to manually comb through to find certain keywords and key data. This was obviously a time drain (potentially days) and didn’t guarantee accuracy.

2. Ensuring a compliant proposal
Adding to the time drain, a lot of manual hours were spent ensuring a compliant, responsive, and on-time proposal. For a small team with tight deadlines, this proved difficult. Even though accuracy as the end goal is always essential here, human error inevitably creeps in.

3. Speeding up the bid/no-bid decision-making
While historically a product-focused company, GAI’s services practice is rapidly expanding. This puts pressure on their decision-making process; what bid should they prioritize? With their extensive product and services range, it would take hours to make a bid/no-bid decision.

There is no substitute for an actual human with experience reading through the documents and getting the government’s intention. But it saves us a bunch of time after that first review, iteratively building our response.

Michael Downard, VP of Business Development & Capture, Government Acquisitions

“Dedication is in our DNA. Mission is our mindset.”

The Solution

We’re all about leveraging tech to make your processes not just easier, but more efficient. So, here’s how VisibleThread helped this IT Solutions Provider streamline their practices.

1. Automate the manual, time consuming steps
It can be that simple. After introducing VisibleThread into their RFP process, Michael and his team were now able to carry out keyword searches across multiple documents, simultaneously. Having the ability to expedite this step is invaluable, especially when showing the team what requires evaluation. VT Docs shredding documents has made their lives easier and processes more streamlined.

2. Compliant value propositions for proposals
Once familiar with VT Docs, Michael and his team began exploring other features to aid additional processes. The starter compliance matrix provided them with a great reference point when building their value proposition for proposals.

3. Using Dictionaries to help bid/no-bid decisions
The team began developing dictionaries in VT Docs to help focus in on opportunities. These can take the form of a prime or a subcontractor for the specific services that they offer. Now, when asked to examine an RFI (Request for Information) or RFP, they can upload that information to VT Docs. They then run it against a dictionary they’ve created. Based on the number of hits in a dictionary, Michael can see if the RFP aligns with their services. This highlights if an opportunity is, in fact, worth bidding on!

The Impact

How Government Acquisitions benefits from using VisibleThread

Digestible data, compliance insurance, and amplified output. These are just some of the positive impacts Michael’s team has seen since using VisibleThread.

1. Ensuring Compliance through Concept Tracking and Compliance Matrixes
Michael has witnessed the benefit of using Concept Tracking as a “sanity check”. For clarity, this is used when the team is on the cusp of providing a governmental response. Using the concept tracking analysis helps to ensure that they’ve touched on the topics most important to the customer.

For instance, Michael uses the example ‘supply chain security’ seven times in an RFP. He explains how VisibleThread would show if GAI had listed it in their response.

“I think that also helps when the customer is using automated evaluation tools. Now we can ensure we’re hitting the keywords that are going to be of interest to them. This shows them that we “get it”.”

The Compliance Matrix is for larger and more complex proposals. These include government wide acquisition contracts, large task orders, or delivery orders. Michael and his team often use it to ensure nothing is missed.

2. Making large amounts of data digestible
GAI uses VisibleThread in two ways. One is the proposal/capture side of things – going after and winning contracts. The other is from the business development standpoint – to arm their salespeople with key insights on the government’s future plans. For example:

  • VisibleThread assists them when ingesting the volume of data from the government around major IT investments.
  • It creates reports showing what particular agency they are examining. From there, it highlights the four or five technologies that align with what they do. Michael sees huge value in having the ability to do that now with the help of VisibleThread.

“Using VisibleThread, we’re able to triage opportunities earlier. So, we’re not wasting time going after things that we shouldn’t be. It enables us to handle more opportunities at once. How? Because we’ve got less human time invested in reading and cataloging.”

3. A force multiplier for a small team
Overall, timesaving is one of the key benefits GAI has realized from using VisibleThread. Michael notes that VT Docs’ ability to ingest a large volume of documents from the government helps them to narrow down both their team’s and their salespeople’s focus. This is of huge benefit to their organization as a whole.

We’re a small company with just a few people on the team. Anything that we can use as a force multiplier for digesting RFPs, and coming up with our response strategy, is a value add. From a time-saving, accuracy, and quality improvement standpoint, we use Concept Tracking within VisibleThread to make sure that not only are we compliant, but also compelling in our bid.


To summarize, Michael’s BD & Capture team leveraged VisibleThread’s capabilities for data analysis. This helped the company achieve significant time savings, improved accuracy, and increased productivity.

As an overall result, Government Acquisitions effectively used VisibleThread as a force multiplier to address challenges and enhance their operations. Using VT Docs enabled them to:

1. Automate manual activities
2. Ensure proposal compliance
3. Expedite bid/no-bid decision making

Our partnership with GAI highlights the power of intelligent automation in streamlining processes and empowering innovation. So, if you’re interested in learning how VisibleThread can transform how you do business, our Customer Success Team would love to hear from you.

Alternatively, you can try out our free trial for both VT Docs and VT Writer. As a user of VisibleThread, we also offer free virtual courses to provide a comprehensive learning experience for our solutions. Sign up to VT University today.

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