(Charlotte & Cary, N.C.) U.S. troop level decreases in global hotspots and shrinking armed forces budgets will lead to increased competition and a change in business operations for military contractors in North Carolina and throughout the nation, according to defense industry contracting expert Lea Strickland, MBA/CMA/CFM/CBM/GMC. A more strategic and tactical approach to streamlining operational infrastructure and developing professional, properly-designed proposals to better secure contracts are two areas in focus as the new year approaches, Strickland said.

“Especially with combat operations winding-down in places like Iraq, defense spending will continue to decline in 2012 and beyond, meaning more competition for every DoD dollar,” Strickland explained, adding, “The quality of proposals for government contracting dollars is set to increase exponentially to deal with changes within the defense industry.”

Research data shows dynamic changes and expansion to contractors in the defense industry’s industrial base, in addition to a majority of DoD contract dollars awarded on a competitive basis rising faster than those awarded without competition. Commitment to pricing, cost, accounting, project management, compliance, bid and proposal processes are just some of the areas needing renewed attention, according to Strickland.

“There are more defense contractors vying for the business, fewer projects, and fewer dollars to go around,” she said, adding, “It is important to be competitive in the proposal and still be profitable. Winning the contract is the first step; executing successfully is an equally important second step.”

Strickland will be presenting on the topic of defense contracting at a February 2, 2012 class of the North Carolina Military Business Center (NCMBC) Defense Contractors Academy. “Cost Estimating & Proposal Developments” will focus on the necessary elements of developing and delivering needed support to the military beyond just having a great product.

To be held at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, the hands-on workshop will be a tactical discussion of the elements of proposals, how to develop costs, and the strategic and financial implications of becoming a government contractor.

This is the second time Strickland has been invited by the NCMBC to teach this course, having led a similar workshop in October 2011. A familiar face within NCMBC circles, Strickland is a frequent speaker on technology entrepreneurship and defense contracting at various events each year, and works with defense clients and elected officials in the U.S. House and Senate with authority over appropriations and contracts. She is also active in international strategy and competitiveness issues and a provides insights and opinions on business for publications like thestreet.com, Entrepreneur Magazine and Fox Small Business Online. Strickland also provides advisory services for other industries including medical devices, biotech, nanotech, clean energy, software, and education.

The Defense Contractor Academy offers advanced instruction and a certificate of completion to existing small business defense contractors to provide the tools needed to grow the defense contracting portion of their business portfolio. The NCMBC is a business development entity of the North Carolina Community College System, headquartered at Fayetteville Technical Community College. The mission of the NCMBC is to leverage military and other federal business opportunities for economic development and quality of life in North Carolina.

For more information on the NCMBC, visit www.ncmbc.us.

For more information on Lea Strickland, visit www.leastrickland.com. To learn about her many services for defense contractors, visit FOCUSResourcesInc.com or email lea@focusresourcesinc.com.

Lea Strickland, MBA/CMA/CFM/CBM/GMC, is an internationally renowned business strategy expert applying proven infrastructure management solutions to help businesses and organizations of all sizes build a baseline for success. She is the President of F.O.C.U.S. (TM) Resources and founder of the Technovation Entrepreneur (TM) program helping entrepreneurs take their ideas to market. Strickland is the author of books including “10 Minute Success: Goals!” (2011), “Out of the Cubicle and Into Business”, “SBIR Basics” and “One Great Idea!” and has had columns published in numerous high-profile national media outlets. Regularly leading workshops and presenting at a wide range of industry events, Lea is a sought-after public speaker, columnist, and consultant on how to effectively start and grow a business. For more information, visit www.leastrickland.com.

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