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How is Digitalisation and Industry 4.0 Impacting the Proposal World?

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Kris Sæther



3 min

As headline sponsors for BPC Europe 2022 in Amsterdam, the Xait team and I were excited to explore the industry’s best education, networking, and information from across Europe. Now more than ever, considering the challenges we all face and the opportunities we all have, this is an important event.

Learn how Industry 4.0 (IR 4.0) and digitalisation are reshaping the proposal world.


Digitalisation goes beyond mere digitization, making data available in a digital format, to create a digital environment people and technology can act on.
For example, a ‘smart fridge’ analyzes the contents of your refrigerator and assesses what’s running low (i.e. a pint of milk). Because it’s connected to the Internet, it automatically adds that item to your online grocery basket.

To understand how IR 4.0 (the fourth industrial revolution) and digitalisation are impacting the proposal world, let’s first examine the capital goods space, an industry that also relies on human resources to thrive and grow.

Force Multiplier Effect

Previous revolutions focused on replacing the human element with technology to increase productivity. IR 4.0 and digitalisation focuses on improving the relationship between people and technology to increase productivity.

Imagine a capital goods business interconnects their various systems, such as CRM, design, production line, and logistics software with production process sensors. Sensors automatically log data, such as operating time, freeing engineers to focus on data analysis. Add artificial intelligence (AI) to the mix and now engineers can focus on problem-solving. For example, forecasting maintenance to avoid production delays and increase process speed.

In this way, IR 4.0 and digitalisation are a force multiplier for the capital goods space. An example that is highly transferable to the proposal world.
When proposal teams interconnect their content creator, content library, team collaboration, and design tools, they remove the manual tasks that slow down the process. For example, proposal managers automatically enforce formatting and contributors move seamlessly between Tasks, content and team collaboration. Together they save more time for the team to write, review and revise.
In the capital goods space, businesses are leveraging the force multiplier effect to reduce the time spent on complex proposals by 50%.

Thought-Leaders in the Capital Goods Space are Embracing IR 4.0

Fitch Ratings puts capital goods thought-leaders, such as ABB and Siemens, in the best position to take advantage of IR 4.0 and digitalisation for several reasons:

Thought Leaders. Both are actively seeking to get ahead of the curve. ABB’s Ability Initiatives formed in 2017 and Siemens’ Vision 2020+ formed a couple of years back.

Technical Advantages. Both are actively seeking to diversify with a wider array of in-house technical expertise and a full suite of services, i.e. support software and ongoing maintenance services.

Tools 4.0. They are also shopping. Siemens acquired two businesses with software expertise to bolster their suite of offerings.

Proposal Thought-Leaders are Taking Notice

I’ve only been in the sales and proposal space for a relatively short time. Yet, I’m surprised at just how many businesses I speak with who are still creating bids and proposals the same way they have for the past decade, manually.

To remain competitive, today’s proposal thought-leaders are challenging the status quo. They know it’s no longer good enough to have the best proposal team. The best proposal team must also have the best tools. Only together can they achieve the force multiplier effect for their business.

There is no ‘one-shoe-fits-all’ approach to digitalisation. But here at Xait, our team is ready to help you and your team explore your proposal process digitalisation goals and realize the winning benefits.

Related article: Work Smarter, Not Harder - Part 2: One Solution and Automation

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Kris Sæther

Kris Sæther is Chief Commercial Officer of Xait. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Media Studies, and has worked in financial communication in London and Frankfurt prior to joining Xait. He has 20+ years experience from the information management industry. Kris is an avid runner and skier, and a passionate fan of the world’s coolest soccer team, Tottenham. If he is not working or running you will find him cheering for his two daughters on the handball court.

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