OnFrontiers is helping Bland & Associates build intelligence and achieve scale

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22 January 2021
“Whether you look at our bench strength, knowledge network, or our digital capabilities, OnFrontiers has helped us grow.”

– Garrett Gilbert, Senior Director of Strategy

Bland & Associates P.C. is an accounting, auditing, and consulting firm specializing in assurance, tax, strategic planning, and auditing for businesses, individuals, local and Federal Governments. Bland’s engagement with the US Government started in the 90s mostly in an auditing capacity, which has grown into compliance oversight, data analysis, and consulting.

Bland is most recognized for its work with The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (the Innovation Center) within the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). For CMMI, Bland performs audit, compliance oversight, performance monitoring, and implementation for value-based care models, which involves a deep understanding of the contemporary healthcare models to better healthcare outcomes and cost of care in the country.

We recently connected with Garrett Gilbert, Senior Director of Strategy at the firm to learn more about how this long-time federal contractor is working to remain competitive, build intelligence and achieve scale.

As a smaller federal contractor, what are some of the key challenges you face when competing for new business?

The inherent challenge with government contracting is that each year, we are pushed to perform better for cheaper. To meet that demand, we are constantly finding new ways to create value and new markets to provide our services. As a small business, we need to be very tactical about our new business pursuits, which means assessing each opportunity and questioning how it aligns with our broader mission and vision. OnFrontiers is a critical part of our process for creating an information advantage by speaking with relevant experts.

After we thoroughly vet an opportunity and compare that information with data we gather through our competitive intelligence tools, we reach out to OnFrontiers with an Expert Request to connect with an expert who can either challenge our hypothesis or bolster it to maximize value. These conversations have led to follow-up meetings where they may review our technical proposal or make new connections that can help us refine our solution.

Can you share an example of a time an expert has really helped shape your approach or understanding of a client?

Across the federal landscape, each agency is at a different stage in its technology transformation journey. As a result, when doing internal controls assessments, we need to be cognizant about where an agency may be on that scale of technological maturity. By pulling in different professionals into our compliance and audit teams when needed through OnFrontiers, we have managed to improve our bench strength and respond to agencies that have varying technological needs with customized solutions attuned to their infrastructure and maturity. This is essential for developing actionable corrective action planning and unlocking performance insights. Through the process of involving OnFrontiers, we often assess the history and context of a customer’s pain point. The challenge can span multiple years, and understanding the various factors enabling the issue to persist enables us to deliver effective solutions that address the root cause of the challenge.

At a broader level, how is the company about digital transformation and automation?

We are on a digital transformation journey. Across our industry, there is a strong emphasis on robotic process automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, and we have invested in these technologies to find new ways to create value and build capabilities for our customers.  For example, by automating our sampling procedures we can algorithmically identify areas of noncompliance, moving away from human error and judgment while analyzing massive data sets. Simultaneously, we are improving our digital infrastructure, both for security and to improve the user experience. We have adopted low-code platforms, enabling our subject matter experts to automate workflows without having to learn a new computer language. This enables our subject matter experts to engage with the data throughout its lifecycle, creating new opportunities for curating insights, developing visualizations, and reducing single points of failure.

OnFrontiers has been a positive force for our digital transformation efforts, introducing us to experts who can help refine our business processes, and understand digital strategies used within our industry. This insight helps us deliver the right personnel and technology to exceed our customer’s expectations and solve complicated challenges.

Whether you look at our bench strength, knowledge network, or our digital capabilities, OnFrontiers has helped us grow. At Bland, we are committed to bringing the right personnel, technology, and solution to our customers to give them the best value, and collaborating with OnFrontiers helps us deliver on our commitment.