Success Stories From 3 Leading Organizations

How Airbus, Boeing, and small business BVTI use VT Docs and VT Writer to increase efficiency and win billion-dollar contracts.
Aoife Keane

Customer Marketing Specialist

5 min read
Blog - Success Stories From Leading Organizations

Below we’ve shared 3 case studies explaining how using VT Docs and VT Writer has enabled these companies to:

  • Drive major efficiency in the Bid review cycle,
  • Win billion-dollar contracts,
  • Gain a competitive edge,
  • Increase their Probability of Winning (PWIN), and
  • Submit high-quality and compliant proposals on time.

1. How AIRBUS use VisibleThread in their proposal process

AIRBUS Defence & Space use VisibleThread across Program Mgmt., Commercial Contracts, Legal, Engineering, Bid & Quality Teams.

In this webinar with AIRBUS, André Zobolski, Head of Commercial & Contracts for Space Systems, discusses the impact of VisibleThread. He shares the challenges faced as a team working on 2,000 proposals each year.

André solved these challenges by incorporating VisibleThread into their existing processes. Airbus uses VT Docs for shredding RFPs, assessing contract risk, and driving higher quality proposals. They use VT Writer for internal proofreading, bringing these activities in-house and saving significant cost on each proposal cycle. VT Writer has been especially effective as their team comprises many non-native English speakers.

André assessed the business value of adopting VisibleThread after just 3 months. In that period, the team saved 14 days analyzing customer requirements, with the bid core team saving 4 hours per week. AIRBUS experienced a 100% cost reduction on external proofreading. They had a team efficiency gain of 480 hours per month.

“AIRBUS saves between $50 – $100k per bid in the final proofreading stage of Proposal Responses”

André Zobolski, Head of Commercial & Contracts for Space Systems at AIRBUS

2. How Boeing improves proposal quality through automation & metrics

In this webinar, Dawn Francis, Sr. Manager, Capture Tools & Processes at Boeing discusses the benefits of VisibleThread.

Quality is one of the top priorities at Boeing. Both readability & credibility are key to their proposal process. Boeing uses VisibleThread in proposal quality because it automates the proposal managers’ analysis efforts. This allows them more time to focus on other important areas in creating winning proposals.

Boeing use multiple VisibleThread capabilities during their 5 step proposal process.

  1. Solicitation – Risk Check, Compliance Matrix & Acronym Preparation
  2. Planning – Discovery & Concept Tracking to identify themes
  3. Writing Draft (Pink Team)– Readability & Quality
  4. Revising Draft (Red Team) – Readability/Quality & Concept Tracking
  5. Final (Gold Team) – Readability/Quality, Discovery/Concepts & Acronyms

When it comes to readability and maintaining single-tone-of-voice, Boeing aims for a Flesch Reading Ease score of between 30-60. As they create highly technical content, they set their readability score threshold to account for this.

VisibleThread reports provide Boeing with objective rather than subjective feedback. This allows authors and subject-matter-experts to measure readability to improve their proposal quality.

Dawn’s team looks at Readability from three levels, VisibleThread – Folder Level, Document Level, and Home Level. In this webinar, Dawn uses the Declaration of Independence to check its readability score in the solution. When it comes to quality metrics, they scan their proposal for 4 key areas:

  1. Credibility,
  2. Deliverability,
  3. Liability and Contract Risk.
  4. Clichés and Professionalism

“With the starter compliance matrix, the concept tracking, the document compare, the readability reports, the quality reports and the acronym reports – there is a 15% savings in total hours on every proposal. The metrics from the solution help us guide the quality improvements in each proposal

Dawn Francis, Senior Manager of Capture Tools & Processes at Boeing

3. Small business success story – Best Value Tech Inc (BVTI)

In this presentation, Cheryl & Jessica show how BVTI, a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB), uses VisibleThread.

BVTI have a small team of three in Business Development and add a consultant proposal manager on loan as needed. Cheryl’s team wears multiple hats such as capture and proposal management as well as writing, editing, and training.

They adopted VisibleThread to enable them to compete with larger corporations for big contracts. As the company’s change agent, Cheryl trained the operations team on how to use VisibleThread. The focus was to improve the quality review process, automating manual steps and improve their business writing.

“After one year of using VisibleThread for bidding on three proposals, BVTI won all three.” 

Cheryl Warner, BVTI

In this video, Cheryl and Jessica cite a highly strategic bid example for BVTI. And she and Jessica both attribute their success to VisibleThread. Without which they would not have been able to make the deadline. Here’s the story:

2017, a rare and big commitment contract came up that the team had been warming up for 10+ years. This was a must-win bid as this opportunity would not arise again for another 10 to 20 years. After an initial assessment, it was estimated as a 50–70-million-dollar deal.

They were working off the draft solicitation for over a year. When the final solicitation was released, they were able to use the compare feature within VisibleThread to size the material amendments in days. And adjust their technical solution and pricing quickly.

The original RFP had 357 pages however, the final revised RFP had an additional 59 pages. There was only 10 days to work on it.

The government also wanted a change log of any adjustments to their proposal. Thanks to VisibleThread Compare, they were able to provide comprehensive reports to the agency showing all changes, both in terms of their own proposal and indeed the governments changes too.

“There’s just so many ways that VisibleThread for us was a no brainer. And the bottom line is that it’s helps us as a small business compete at higher weight levels than you normally would be able to. We’re fighting above our weight class”

Cheryl Warner, BVTI

On January 2nd, BVTI received the final request for proposal (FRP). This contained strategic challenges and additions required by the 8th of January in person. Jessica realized that their team was already set up for success. They had used

VisibleThread for the initial part of the process. But now it was essential to generate compliant and detailed ‘changes reference matrices’ for each FRP volume, as newly requested.

Using the compare document feature, they could easily compare their final and original versions. Jessica noted the solution had more than half the work done for her. She was then able to delete identical entries. While she carried out the formatting to add and highlight volume sections, volume subsections, pages and/or paragraphs.
They knew that the evaluators were looking for deficiencies and challenging them. They were presenting an almost next-to-impossible feat to test their ability to undertake this contract.

After submitting, Jessica was curious to see how she would have gone about this task manually without VisibleThread.

  • Using VisibleThread, it took 10 hours to create to create 4 cross-reference matrices.
  • By hand, using MS Word Compare would have involved a line-by-line comparison and taken days. This would have generated a basic ‘C grade’ level table that would do the bare minimum of meeting the requirements.

VisibleThread enabled BVIT to take this to the next level. They can produce an ‘A grade’ level document, by showing the actual content comparison side by side. Highlighting the type of changes made, paragraphs, and page numbers. This document acted as a precise recap of one volume to the next.

In terms of cost savings, BVTI saved over 18 hours on this bid. More importantly, VisibleThread provided 100% accuracy due to no human errors. This enabled the BVTI team to have complete confidence in the proposal they submitted.

Most importantly of all, BVTI had a compliant, on-time submission that would not have been possible without VisibleThread.

“If we didn’t use VisibleThread, it would have been impossible to have a compliant, on-time submission”

Jessica Mansilla, BVTI


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