Run Faster, Achieve More with Qvidian

Can technology truly help you run faster and achieve more? According to a senior proposal writer, if it’s Qvidian, the answer is a resounding “Yes”. Through Qvidian, the company has not only achieved increased productivity, but also a process that helps them run faster and achieve higher efficiencies and quality in their proposal efforts. When your company is responsible for ensuring and facilitating the health and productivity of over 20,000 clients and their employee populations, you need to run fast. This company successfully manages consulting and administration services relating to health and welfare programs, pension plans, and EFAP (employee and family assistance programs) services for companies across Canada and around the world. They credit Qvidian for being a catalyst motivating them to truly look at their processes and strive to make them as effective as possible.

BUSINESS DRIVER

In 2008, there was an acquisition between two Canadian companies. Prior to the acquisition, both companies had a similar approach to RFP (requests for proposals) responses. The proposal teams at each of these companies consisted of 3 proposal writers in one office. They each handled an average 100-150 RFPs per year.

Each RFP response team was struggling, spending a disproportionate amount of their time obtaining answers to RFP questions, which resulted in limited opportunities to see how well the responses addressed the business needs of the customer. The proposal writers would often resort to sending their initial drafts with significant gaps to the subject matter experts asking them to provide the content necessary to fill those gaps. The process was manageable at that point because once they received information it was easy enough to share between a team of only three all in the same office. Still, it was problematic because the company did not have an effective central repository. Content frequently wound up being carried forward from one proposal to the next without the writers knowing when or if it had been updated. Then, depending upon which version of information was used, two writers could easily go down two divergent paths, leading to inconsistent messaging.

It was clear help was needed, and that need amplified as the company grew. The acquisition nearly doubled the size of the company overnight, up to a company with annual revenues exceeding $300M. Two proposal teams were merged into one. In the years that followed, the initial team of 3 grew to become a team of 16 spread over 6 locations covering 3 time zones and the number of RFPs grew to 450 per year. There was a great deal of new information to share between proposal managers and writers who were no longer in the same location. The complexities of this growth had them yearning for a better way.

APPROACH

The senior proposal writer discovered a better way through Qvidian’s proposal automation software. As with any and all process changes inside a corporation, executive buy-in and sponsorship would be needed to engage Qvidian. The writer had been suggesting opportunities for process improvements for some time, with little success, until there was a change in executive leadership.

An internal shuffling of responsibilities landed a new member of the executive team to be tasked with oversight of the organization’s marketing efforts. The executive came in and took the time to personally call each member of the team to introduce himself and get to know them. He asked each team member if there were any improvements needed. The writer replied, “I’ve been recommending this for a long time, but haven’t been able to convince anyone to take a look at it. Qvidian is ABSOLUTELY what we need.” The executive came back to him and asked him to do some research to truly identify the best solution. Through this executive’s willingness to ask questions and listen to the responses and through the leadership of the company creating an environment open to sharing, they were able to secure Qvidian as the provider of the solution they had needed for so long.

IMPACT

Qvidian has had a truly positive impact on the company. Responding to over 450 proposals per year, across 11 lines of business, they needed a robust solution, and through Qvidian, they are experiencing many benefits. “We have made significant improvements to the caliber of our content and we receive great feedback on our enhancements to our content,” stated the senior proposal writer. “The greatest benefit is the library, having a centralized location for all our content,” he continued, “and because of the time savings we realize through Qvidian, we are now able to spend significantly more of our time making sure we are responding in the best way possible, incorporating visuals and focusing on our value proposition. We are able to focus on improving our language and our positioning relative to our clients’ needs and the competitive marketplace,” he went on to say.

This company found a lot more in Qvidian than just proposal automation and a central repository. “What means the most to me,” he remarked, “is how Qvidian facilitates the question, ‘Is this the best way we can do this?’ When you are a Qvidian customer, you are part of the Qvidian family. You become part of a network of people and companies who face the same challenges you do. You are able to share ideas, tips and insights making everything you do better. Qvidian gives you access to product development, strives to continue to enhance their product and involves its customers in the process,” he stated. “As Qvidian’s products continue to grow, we continue to ask ourselves, ‘Are we leveraging Qvidian to its fullest? Could it benefit other areas of our company?’ Qvidian inspires us to ask these important questions, and the Qvidian community helps us find the answers,” he remarked.

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