Case Study: Integrated Capture and Proposal Management System
Customer: $30-million, 200-person Federal Contractor
This $30-million, 200-person Federal Contractor has graduated from the 8(a) program and is fully graduating out of the Small Business category this year. It needs to prepare itself to compete in the full and open market. It started by hiring executives and managers from larger organizations. A key objective was to determine what the Business Development (BD) system would be moving forward. The new execs were familiar with larger company systems based on legacy approaches to proposal management and CRM. The organization was currently using Alfresco content management and file shares to manage proposals, but did not have many other formal systems.
The organization was looking for the next generation of BD Operations systems. It wanted a system that would provide an integrated Capture and Proposal Management environment. It had a proprietary process based on a modified Shipley Stage-Phase-Step process it wanted “embedded” in the new system. It also wanted a system that was flexible so it could be right-sized for today’s operations, but easy to customize and extend to meet future needs as the organization grows and matures.
The organization surveyed the market, initially looking at legacy proposal management systems. It then found CorasWorks and its Capture and Proposal Management solution, which runs on Microsoft SharePoint. The organization selected the CorasWorks solution over the competition based on price, breadth of the feature set, and industry leading flexibility.
Key features of the CorasWorks solution that differentiated it from competitors were:
- Support for an end-to-end Capture and Proposal Management process
- Ability to configure the C&P process to unique specifications
- Integrated Opportunity/Proposal Working Sites (where the core work is done), including high-end CorasWorks features, such as All Documents, Fetch, Color Reviews, Gate Review, Writer Assignments, User Task Automation and Workflow, and Request Management
- Integrated Proposal Asset Libraries and features to put these resources at the fingertips of users when working on proposals
- Master Calendaring across Proposal Sites for all events and Color Review and Gate Reviews
- Integrated Partner Console to allow teaming partners to see, contribute and act on information from “outside” of the system
- Extensive and configurable reporting
- Easy-to-use, wizard-driven configuration making it easy to custom tailor the system to specific needs during implementation and for the business users to modify and enhance the solution after implementation.
The complete solution was implemented over the course of 5 weeks. It was a soup-to-nuts implementation that included:
- Deployment of a new SharePoint infrastructure
- Implementation of the base CorasWorks Capture and Proposal Management v2.1 solution
- Customization of the base solution to meet specific needs
- Migration of legacy proposal information from Alfresco and file shares to the new system
- Real-time “Workouts” to train and test the solution with business users and tweak it to specific needs
- Training to empower the business users to customize and enhance the solution.
Over the course of the 5-week implementation the full system was brought into production. The project was driven by Business Users with IT serving a supporting role for the infrastructure. The implementation included the migration of data from 300 proposals from Alfresco and file shares, all active proposals brought into the capture and proposal management process, and the population of the Proposal Asset Libraries. The system is highly tailored to incorporate their proprietary Capture and Proposal Process (CPP) baseline of Stages-Phases-Steps and the supporting standards for Capture activities, Proposal Development activities, Color Reviews, Gate Reviews, and Reporting. It is a fully integrated system providing the customer with top-down visibility of the full lifecycle of capture and proposal development along with the detailed automation of capture and proposal development activities.
A key part of the success of the solution is that by the end of the project, the business users had been fully empowered to customize the solution. This was possible because of the easy-to-use configuration wizards of the CorasWorks solution. This was made possible by the CorasWorks “Workout” implementation approach and formal CorasWorks training. Within a week of the completion of the implementation, the business users had 1) customized the solution to incorporate new requirements from BD executives, 2) made additional changes determined by the core team, and 3) extended the solution to incorporate marketing activities.
The organization now has a best-of-breed system to meet the needs of its current business development operations and is also empowered to grow and evolve the solution to optimize its competitive position at minimal cost.