In June 1993, Kombs Engineering had grown to a company with $25 million in sales. The business base consisted of two contracts with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), one for $15 million and one for $ 8 million. The remaining $2 million consisted of a variety of smaller jobs for $15,000 to $50,000 each. The larger contract with DOE was a five-year contract for $15 million per year. The contract was awarded in 1988 and was up for renewal in 1993. DOE had made it clear that, although they were very pleased with the technical performance of Kombs, the follow-on contract must go through competitive bidding by law. Marketing intelligence indicated that DOE intended to spend $10 million per year for five years on the follow-on contract with a tentative award date of October 1993. On June 21, 1993, the solicitation for proposal was received at Kombs. The technical requirements of the proposal request were not considered to a problem for Kombs. There was a question in anyone’s mind that on technical merit alone, Kombs would win the contract. The more serious problem was that DOE required a separate section in the proposal on how Kombs would manage the $10 million/year project as well as a complete description of how the project management system at Kombs functioned. When Kombs won the original bid in 1988, there was no project management requirement. All projects at Kombs were accomplished through the traditional organizational structure. Line managers acted as project leaders. In July 1993, Kombs hired a consultant to train the entire organization in project management. The consultant also worked closely within the proposed team in responding to the DOE project management requirements. The proposal was submitted to DOE during the second week of August. In September 1993, DOE provided Kombs with a list of questions concerning its proposal. Kombs responded to all questions. In October 1993, Kombs received notification that it would not be...
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