How would you describe your current proposal management process? Do you use color-team vernacular; pink, red, gold, etc? Do you have a capture planning stage? Maybe you use a Shipley process or some variation. Now when you think about your process, how much of the work is automated?
If you’re not yet using automation in this process, then I’ll bet the following words/phrases may resonate. Time-consuming. Tedious. Herding cats. Frustrating. Resource-heavy. It’s clear that, for many, the proposal process is far from ideal. Proposal Managers in Bid Centers often work long hours carrying out repetitive, manual tasks. Examples of these tasks include:
- Creating a compliance matrix by hand.
- Checking for correctly defined acronyms.
- Deleting or defining industry terms and jargon.
- Editing what a technical colleague has written. Or re-writing it so it’s more understandable, with a single tone of voice.
- Identifying compliance gaps in the proposal.
- Aligning win themes, and making sure the proposal complies with the requirements.
- Finding and making sure you’re compliant with FAR / DFAR clauses.
- Correcting factual errors.
- Checking if we’ve addressed similar requirements in the past?
- Making sure we have the right resumes and capabilities bundled in our response.
- Finding the best teaming partners.
Does any of the above sound familiar?
No doubt you could expand the list with your own examples. Basically, “cut and paste” is the Proposal Manager’s best friend. And simple search in MS Word and PDFs. Or these may be your worst enemy if you think about how much time you spend doing them. Do you ever wonder if your skills could be put to better use? If your time could be better spent?
And the challenge here is even greater if your organization doesn’t have huge staff numbers. It is, after all, a numbers game. The more staff members, the more hours you have to dedicate to the process. For many, it’s the difference between winning and losing. Currently, the human investment in proposal creation is so substantial that larger organizations have a clear advantage. But even in larger organizations, the scope for optimizing the process, and driving higher efficiency and improved pWIN is huge. In fact, we have seen efficiency savings of 80% across the proposal cycle and increased pWIN rates of 7%+. There is a different way.
Beating the numbers game
Smart organizations working in Bid Centers use automation to take the strain off. For example, VT Docs is document analysis software for proposal and contract teams. It helps automate many of the tedious steps within the proposal process. From bid/no-bid to compliance matrix generation and FAR/DFAR compliance.
Before you even get started, the decision of whether to respond to an RFP can drain your resources. And the wrong decision can be costly. VT Docs helps by shredding RFPs and creating compliance matrices in minutes. It also creates responsibility matrices (similar to RACIs). This is a real game-changer. Consider how much time your organization spends creating compliance and RACI matrices. Imagine if it could be done with the click of a button. You’d be able to easily, and quickly, see whether your organization is a good fit.
How it works…