VisibleThread Survey Highlights Opportunities for Winning Government and Commercial Contracts

Fergal McGovern

CEO & Founder

2 min read

Automation Conspicuously Absent Despite 89 Percent of Survey Respondents who say it would Help Improve Contract Win Rates

Baltimore, MD – August 9, 2011— VisibleThread, the leading developer of document content analysis software, today announced the findings of its survey of proposal management professionals, conducted at the 23rd Annual APMP International Conference in June 2011. Of the 102 respondents, 83 percent stated they participate in the bid response process as either bid/proposal managers, business developers, or program managers. 78 percent surveyed work for companies with more than 1,000 employees and 64 percent are focused on winning federal and state & local government business.

The survey findings revealed that despite the vast majority of respondents saying automation would help win bids (89 percent); most have none at all. Key survey findings highlighted deficiencies in win theme validation, poor levels of automated quality scans and low levels of online collaboration.

Win Theme Management

Win themes are what a proposal manager or capture planner determines to be the key criteria for a winning bid. By creating win themes and referencing them throughout all the proposal documentation, response teams have a way to consistently place priority on specific services and/or functions important to the client.

  • 84 percent surveyed indicated they use win themes to support the proposal process
  • 70 percent responded that the bid manager still manually reviews response documents and checks adherence to win themes by hand (demonstrating a lack of automation and efficiency)

Scanning and Content Analysis

  • 45 percent grade their proposal process as either bad or fair with room for improvement
  • 78 percent admit they do not use automated tools to scan for liability, credibility, or delivery issues, yet 89 percent indicate that automation would help increase their win rate
  • The majority use file shares (38 percent) or MS SharePoint (33 percent) to manage their documentation and virtually no one uses content analysis software to assist in their efforts.

Collaboration and Team Reviews

A strong proposal package directly relates to the ability to leverage the appropriate expertise in a particular topic area.

  • 42 percent indicated the most difficult aspect to get right for winning bids is managing inputs from multiple stakeholders and conducting efficient reviews
  • 98 percent surveyed indicate they work on teams that are regionally distributed
  • 73 percent of those involved in government proposals conduct reviews and create and disseminate comments by using email or traditional mail to conduct reviews

“The survey demonstrates many of the challenges facing today’s proposal professional,” said Fergal McGovern, CEO of VisibleThread. “The pressing need for automation is equally clear. As we work with our customer base, we are seeing how automated response scanning is making a profound difference to success rates.”

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About VisibleThread VisibleThread develops document content analysis software that identifies defects and streamlines document compliance. The company’s analysis software enables users to scan MS Office and PDF docs for liability concerns, automatically create compliance documents, coordinate and track changes from multiple stakeholders, and provide oversight throughout proposal development and IT delivery projects.

Today the company offers VisibleThread for contract specialists, capture managers, proposal response teams, legal reviewers and IT development teams. The identification of compliance, legal, and delivery concerns through automated scans enables proposal response teams to improve efficiency and increase their probability of winning government and commercial contracts.


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