Why generic tools fall short: The need for purpose-built software in government contracting

GovCons need to do two things consistently better than their competitors: deliver successful project outcomes and build a pipeline of new opportunities.


The world of government contracting (GovCon) is a combination of regulations, tight deadlines, and complex projects. GovCons need to do two things consistently better than their competitors: deliver successful project outcomes to their clients and build a solid pipeline of new opportunities.  

Some GovCons use spreadsheets or project management tools for these functions. But these tools are built to be generic for a wide variety of users – not specifically for the needs of GovCons.  

While generic software might cover the basics, it lacks the precision and tailored support GovCons need. Here's why government contractors are increasingly turning to purpose-built solutions to manage their operations.  

The government conundrum: More than just numbers 

Staying compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation(FAR) is very complex for generic software. These rules govern the acquisition process every federal agency must follow, encompassing nearly every aspect of the government contracting cycle. To stay compliant, contractors need a tool that not only organizes and stores data but also follows all the rules of FAR.  

An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for government contractors should seamlessly integrate and automate processes to ensure your data aligns with the FAR framework. This helps you seamlessly blend financial management, human resource management, and sales operations into an integrated system that's as compliant as it is efficient.  

The project at hand: Data that serves a mission 

In the world of government contracting, projects aren't simple jobs—they're missions. Each has its own requirements, allocations, and milestones that demand meticulous management. Purpose-built software provides tailored project tracking capabilities that generic software can't match.  

The right software should be built around project-based data, which is fundamentally different from the day-to-day operations of your typical business. It allows you to plan, execute, and manage projects while taking into account reimbursement methods, indirect cost pools, provisional rate, and billing rate agreements—critical components of government contracting often missed by generic tools.  

Mobilizing efficiency: The modern workforce's need 

In government contracting, time is money—quite literally. Contractors must be able to track time and expenses accurately, often across varied projects and locations. To meet this demand, mobile applications are an essential tool in today's market. From remote job sites to the halls of various agency headquarters, robust mobile apps ensure consistent and efficient time and expense tracking.  

An intuitive, purpose-built app ensures that your workforce can easily log time, track expenses, and submit their reports with just a few taps on their devices. Add in user-friendly design, and you’ll have a tool that fosters adoption and ensures compliance without a cumbersome process that breeds inefficiency and errors. Bonus points if the mobile data can be stored offline without a connect and then sync in real time when a network is available. 

Unified intelligence: A central, single source of truth 

The beauty of purpose-built software is the centralization of data. GovCons need a single source of truth that can generate any report, answer any question, and ensure every stakeholder is working from the same set of data.  

Having a unified database means your contract information, resources, time, costs, and people are all housed in one location, easily accessed and analyzed. It's this kind of integrated approach that simplifies your system while rigging it for the complexities that federal contracts often entail.  

Ensuring your future: A close eye on utilization and performance 

The capabilities of purpose-built software extend to the ability to forecast and understand not just the present but also the future. Contractors need to be able to predict future utilization and staffing needs, as well as understand past project performance to bid successfully on new contracts.  

With advanced analytics and reporting tools, businesses can make data-driven decisions that align with their strategic goals and the government's evolving landscape. Such forward-thinking is often out of reach for those using generic software stuck in the present without any eye to the future.   

Purpose-built software’s capacity for tailored management, compliance-ready operation, and future-focused intelligence positions it as a facilitator for efficiency in a sector that demands nothing less.  

Gaining an advantage with the right solution 

You’ll want to find a software provider with a proven track record as a trusted partner for GovCons. With a focus on intuitive design and customizable functionality, it should enable your business to reach new heights of efficiency and preparedness. For GovCons – whether small, medium, or an enterprise organization – transitioning to a purpose-built system is an investment in success, not simply in software.  

If you're ready to elevate your government contracting operations, Unanet can be the difference-maker. Contact us to discover how purpose-built software can revolutionize the way you approach government contracts.