Alleviate Your Proposal Nightmares with a Proposal Library
It is that time again, another procurement knocking on the door and you and your team are already dreading the daunting data searches on the horizon. The time-consuming task of creating resumes, project descriptions, searching archives and creating new narratives can send anyone running for the hills. The answer to your proposal nightmares is simple, create a Proposal Library. Following just a few easy steps can save you and your team countless hours this year and also possibly improve your win ratio.
Creating Your Electronic Proposal Library
As proposal management specialists, we have seen it all when it comes to libraries of information. From folders with hundreds of files to overcomplicated file structures that no one knows how to navigate. While having some kind of library is better than nothing, there are some key points to creating a proposal library that will ease the stress for your team during the procurement process.
Create a simple folder organization
Keeping your file structure to 3-4 subfolders deep to ease search abilities and find information easily.
Create uniform naming methods. A few examples are shown below.
Project Title_Date of Project
Last Name_First Name_Resume_Last date it was updated
Safety Manual_year created_Last date it was updated
Create a file structure free of acronyms and shorthand
Keep in mind not everyone is familiar with acronyms, so minimizing the number of acronyms and shortened phrases can alleviate the stress of training. Use full names and titles to minimize the room for error.
Closing Out Your Proposals
The accomplishment felt when a proposal is done is one of the best feelings, but the key is to not let that be the end of the process. Closing out a proposal will allow your team to build a well-organized library and mitigate the heartache of constant searching when the next procurement drops. Here are some easy steps to start your closeout process.
Separate and save all project descriptions and Past Performance Questionnaires.
Save each new project descriptions in single file with all other descriptions for that project to streamline searches and easily access a wide variety of narratives.
Save all resumes
Keeping an updated resume of all personnel will save you time and allow your team to select the best personnel for each position.
Similar to projects, we recommend keeping all versions of an individual’s resume in a single file.
Save common procurement items such as executive summary, management plans, safety approaches and statistics, quality control procedures and other standard company information.
By saving this information your team will be able to spend a few hours tailoring previous narratives to the procurement at hand rather than days drafting new sections.
Save narratives on specific procedures.
Narratives on what your company’s daily safety meetings look like, schedule development processes and other day-to-day process narratives can allow your proposal team to go above and beyond when creating detailed narratives for the next procurement.
Regular Library Clean Up
Everyone knows the gut-wrenching feeling of opening a folder and finding 10,000 files all named differently and unorganized. Through regular maintenance of a proposal library, you will be able to significantly lower the time you spend putting together a proposal. Through these easy steps, you can quickly and regularly clean up your proposal library.
Schedule a regular time to clean up files whether it is quarterly or every 6 months. This will eliminate the hours of work during a pursuit and prevent needless opening and closing of documents trying to find the information you need.
This time could also be used to review files, archive information and make general updates.
Check file names to ensure consistency with established naming protocols.
Re-organize files under correct subfolders.
Creating subfolders to house project pictures, narratives and performance evaluations allows for easy navigation.
Be sure to name the subfolders clearly to prevent any misfiling.
Archive unused narratives and resumes for personnel that are no longer at the firm.
At Meridian West, our priority is making the proposal process easy and stress-free for our clients. Proposal libraries are just one of the solutions that allow our clients to achieve this goal. If you want to further explore the idea of creating a proposal library, read more about our content management services here or drop us a line. We pride ourselves in partnering with our clients and can help assemble a comprehensive library to support future pursuits.