Proposal Document Management has come a long way over the years. If you are a Proposal Manager, the subject of proposal document management is not one that you take lightly. On a large proposal, one that is significant to the health of your company, there are a lot of documents involved. All these documents, if electronic, must be handled and stored in a DFARS/NIST-compliant environment. Besides adhering to NIST-compliant proposal storage, you simply want to keep your information safe from the eyes of competitors – a somewhat daunting task considering that your competitor is often your teammate.
Let’s define the documents that are part of proposal document management:
- Solicitation related documents – Government RFPs, RFI/Sources Sought notices, pre-solicitation and industry day announcements, and amendments.
- Responses – includes your submissions to RFI/Sources Sought and government RFPs
- Research data – whether you mine data for an opportunity using Google, a search engine such as Capture2Proposal (C2P), or you scan in a document, you want to find this information when you need it
- Data Calls – on a major capture, these may date back months or even more than a year prior to the government RFP as you reach out to teammates to position yourself for the win
- Resumes – these, too, can cover quite a span of time and on a big opportunity, you may have many of them from within your own company and from multiple teammates
In today’s Government contracting industry, you need to be able to collaborate with a dispersed team using virtual proposal centers. If your proposal document management system consists of copying from your inbox and pasting into a folder on your PC, you may agree that leaves room for improvement. This is especially true if you have more than one person receiving and storing documents. If you have been doing this long enough, you’ve likely lost valuable time through all the cumulative effort spent receiving, managing, and storing documents.
Proposal Document Management Checklist
If that’s the case, you need a proposal document management system, which begs the question, what does a good proposal document management system look like? Here are some thoughts on what to look for:
- Ease of use – Have you been on a team that used a portal, which took multiple attempts and conversations with their IT guys to get in? The process needs to be easy for you and those contributing to your proposal.
- Secure Proposal Collaboration – This is a “must have” for two reasons. First, DFARS/NIST requires it. Second, business development and proposal documents are your intellectual property – protect them!
- Beneficial – Does the Proposal Tracking Software provide some type of benefit(s) that makes proposal document management easier? It should! The benefits should be enhanced organization that results in time being saved. Together, these will result in a better proposal.
- End-to-End Integration – You don’t want several products that are not talking to each other or require manual import/export of data between systems. A superb proposal document management system should be fully integrated with your company’s pipeline, capture process, scheduling, writing assignments, color team reviews, etc.
- Right Price – Business Development, Capture and Proposal costs must be carefully measured to make sure that you get a solid return on investment (ROI). Look for a product that gives you everything in one package at a reasonable price.
Proposal software reviews can take time, so try to pick the top ones to evaluate and see what they offer. Capture2Proposal meets each of the above criteria and a lot more:
- Search for, identify, and add opportunities to your pipeline
- Easily monitor and report on your pipeline
- Add customizable fields to enhance your pipeline management
- Add and track opportunity related contacts and activities
- Allows visibility and management of NDAs and TAs
- Calculate and monitor PWin for each opportunity
- Automatically receive all government documents for an opportunity
- Instant notification of changes to pipeline opportunities
- Create the proposal schedule and create related meetings, data calls and proposal reviews
- Securely manage data calls and proposal reviews through an easy to use, NIST/DFARS compliant portal
- All data calls and proposal reviews are securely uploaded through the portal and visible on the Task Management dashboard
- Merge proposal review documents in minutes
- Pay one price for everything – don’t worry about shelling nickels and dimes for extras