How can you alter the style and tone of your documents to ensure you are aligned with your objective? Before we get too deep, lets first talk about the difference between style and tone.
Choosing the correct voice in your proposal is important and deeply affects the reviewers confidence in your ability to deliver on your word. There are two main voices you may choose for your proposal, active and passive, and you may not even realize you have chosen the later until it is too late. A voice is different from the tone of your proposal which we have covered before but may be a good time to brush up on.
XaitPorter has been identified as one of the highest-performer Proposal Software solutions, based on its high levels of customer satisfaction and likeliness to recommend ratings from real users on G2 Crowd, the world’s leading business solutions review website.
Creating a proposal that has to be read, digested and acted upon is a challenge that every proposal manager faces. However, the real work behind creating that perfect proposal starts well before putting your pen to paper.
Think planning: Before you start writing, have the planning all laid out. Who is the owner of the proposal? Who will fill out the different sections? Will you need editors or proof-readers for each section? Do you require certain sections to be finalized before other sections? Will all the team members have access to all the information (sales figures, financial numbers)? What is the deadline?
Author Richard C. Freed offers an insightful observation in his book Writing Winning Business Proposals. He says of proposals:
“Although a few are outstanding, most aren’t. Many offend with ‘cut-and-paste’ boilerplate, miss important opportunities to provide value, suffer from poor logic and organization, and focus more on you than on me and my organization. Although some do a few things well, some don’t do much well at all.”
Many international organisations have a large part of their workforce working in alternative workplaces. A virtual team (also known as a geographically dispersed team or distributed team) is a group of individuals who work across time, space and organizational boundaries with links strengthened by webs of communication technology.
Content management is an inherently collaborative process. A critical aspect of content management is the ability to manage versions of content as it evolves. Another equally important aspect of content management involves the creation, maintenance, and application of review standards. Each member of the content creation and review process has a unique role and set of responsibilities in the development or publication of the content.
What is and should be the most important question for all document-centric industries? Improving the document production process.
Information workers waste 21.3% of an organization’s total productivity
A white paper published by IDC, estimates that information workers waste 21.3% of an organization’s total productivity. In monetary terms, this equals a whopping $19,732 / year per knowledge worker. This is a massive loss to any organization, which is often known, but not acted upon. Information workers need solutions that enables them to improve the document production process.
Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November and is for many the most fantastic time of the year.
The Thanksgiving tradition started with the Pilgrims celebrated the first harvest in the New World, and it is an excellent way of expressing gratitude towards your loved ones, get together and eat good food. The Pilgrims had to work together and collaborate to improve their harvest, just as XaitPorter allows our clients to collaborate on documents to improve the quality.
Do you have a business? Then you know that improving efficiency is an important element in running a successful business. Unfortunately, so many companies struggle with their ability to create and collaborate on their business critical documents. Check out a document creation and collaboration software called XaitPorter.
You hit Google with ‘Serial vs. Parallel Process’ and you thousands of articles talking about the study of how our mind can run both in serial and in parallel. In the white paper Serial vs. Parallel Processing: Sometimes They Look like Tweedledum and Tweedledee but They Can (And Should) be Distinguished written by James T. Townsend, it says:
Serial processing means strictly sequential, without overlap of the successive processing times on objects or distinct subsystems. In a standard type of serial system, each object takes the same average amount of time to process and the next object begins processing only when the previous one is completed. On the other hand, parallel processing signifies simultaneous processing on several objects or subsystems at the same time, although processing may finish on different objects at different time.
Effective Tenders, the Key to Success
XaitPorter is an innovative collaborative document creation and management tool specifically designed to handle large and complex documents and tenders. Our product enables contributors, authors, reviewers and approvers to simultaneously work together on the same document, increasing productivity through efficiency, quality, and security improvements.
Managing your proposal team is more than just setting deadlines and assigning tasks. While those are vital functions to a winning proposal other items such as establishing roles and responsibilities, team selection, and assigning both content and process responsibilities are critical factors in your overall success.
“98.21% of the production license applications awarded for the APA in 2016 have been entrusted to clients using XaitPorter”, says Kris Saether, CCO in Xait.
XaitPorter is the standard license round application solution in Norway, and our employees have expertise providing help with streamlining the process for oil companies. Our experienced team can help with your application document structure, as well as offer consultation services during the completion process. Higher quality documents, less overtime, and more applications are only some of the benefits that users of XaitPorter experience.
With the announcement of the APA 2017, there is expected major interest in the application rounds.
APA 2017 is the second largest expansion so far, and the largest expansion yet in the Barents Sea. This is imperative for effective resource management, says The Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Mr. Terje Søviknes.
The importance of integrity in license documentation
If a company can optimize the use of information and leverage it correctly, they can also better manage risk and ensure regulatory compliance, while operating optimally and achieving a competitive advantage. To improve a document or information centric process, one should have the ability to edit and create content by either adding new content, reviewing and approving the content, or reusing content by both copying and linking to master content, which ensures integrity across all of your documents.
In addition, features such as document automation, document assembly and high quality publishing in a secure environment not reliant on files can be key for your decision on what type of solution to elect. Policy-based document creation and workflow approval system designed to dynamically build both standard and custom configured documents based upon pre-defined business rules with the ability to change key values, while the documents and reports are instantly updated is a challenge with a file based solution.
Please contact Kris Saether to explore Xait’s approach to document production.
“On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 12 happy customers, 11 assembled sections, 10 document types, 9 integrated systems, 8 peers reviewing, 7 ways to collaborate, 6 skilled reviewers, 5 approvers approving, 4 zoomable images, 3 key texts, 2 dashboard reports and one project in XaitPorter”
As we reach the end of the 12 days, our team would like to present you with two gifts: 12 drummers drumming AND 12 happy, new customers. As you review the past 11 days of tips and hints for document production in XaitPorter, you may have already anticipated your gift on this last day.
Integrated systems and automated processes increase the number of bids, tenders or applications your team can manage throughout the year. Rights-based access, security for confidential content and collaboration tools allow qualified contributors and subject matter experts to interact dynamically and directly within the project. User-friendly document assembly, pre-built templates and structured workflows reduce production time, eliminate errors and increase efficiency for your business-critical documents.
From your initial project on day one to today’s drummers, we hope these ideas help you and your colleagues by
- reducing project stress during busy times and tight deadlines
- enabling your team to focus on your critical document content, not process or tools
- fostering collaboration and enhancing team spirit – which will motivate everyone working on the project
The result of all of your hard work? Brand-consistent, high quality documents which you can be proud to share with prospects, customers and other important company stakeholders. Those 12 drummers are playing their tune to congratulate you and your team on a job well done.
From all of us at Xait, we hope you have enjoyed our Xait-themed “12 Days of Christmas”. We wish you a happy, healthy holiday and a great start to the new year.
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“On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me 11 assembled sections, 10 document types, 9 integrated systems, 8 peers reviewing, 7 ways to collaborate, 6 skilled reviewers, 5 approvers approving, 4 zoomable images, 3 key texts, 2 dashboard reports and one project in XaitPorter”
We love the music of 11 pipers piping during the holidays. But we understand if you prefer a quiet space when assembling dozens of contributions from various stakeholders to produce complex documents for time-sensitive projects.
Typically, the least favorite task during production of complex documents is assembling sections from multiple contributors – especially if you have external or third-party writers. Have you ever received sections for a document in different fonts and layouts? And if you have multiple parties collaborating together on a large proposal or tender, brand consistency can be a nightmare. The result: a final proposal which looks like a “cut-and-paste” from five different organizations.
The solution: XaitPorter’s easy-to-use editing tools enable you to apply unified rules so you can quickly assemble each section – ensuring consistency in layout, formatting, labeling and numbering. You can maintain brand integrity and design across the entire document or apply different branding conventions to sections contributed by third parties. Finally, document assembly can be done in parallel, increasing team efficiency and reducing delivery time for your proposal or tender – for some projects by over 70%.
XaitPorter gives the gift of quicker assembly time, better brand consistency and less overall stress in managing your project – so turn up the volume on the Christmas music and enjoy those 11 pipers piping.
Schedule demo of XaitPorter
Learn more about how your company can improve document assembly.Schedule Demo
“On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 10 document types, 9 integrated systems, 8 peers reviewing, 7 ways to collaborate, 6 skilled reviewers, 5 approvers approving, 4 zoomable images, 3 key texts, 2 dashboard reports and one project in XaitPorter”
Those 10 lords a-leaping probably are pretty energetic and agile. However, I would place a wager that most bid and project managers would prefer instead an agile, robust platform which is able to produce ten – or better, 100 – different types of documents.
Many companies struggle with too many platforms for producing documents – requiring different systems for creating proposals, another one for contracts, a third for marketing collateral, and so on. Other collaboration and production platforms are limited to bare-bones functionality: they have a “do it yourself” approach and typically require add-on apps or software plug-ins. And forget about integration to CRM systems or other databases – it’s just too complex.
Our philosophy is to allow our customers to create document types or templates directly within XaitPorter and automate as much of the production process as possible. Therefore, once you create a template for your first proposal, annual report or application, the template is immediately available for the next project. And an added benefit for IT and business: XaitPorter can produce documents for any department in your organization – commercial, executive, marketing, contracts, finance, services, HR.
With thousands of users across the globe, we don’t really know exactly HOW many types of documents our customers are producing in their XaitPorter platform. But here is a (short) list of the top 10, and a longer list with many more.
- Sales Proposals
- Tender and Bid Responses
- Annual and Quarterly Reports
- Corporate Sustainability Reports
- Licensing Applications
- Geographical Studies
- Ship Design Specifications
- Regulatory Manuals and Documentation
- Product Manuals and Brochures
And also Financial reports, Marketing Reports, Research Trials and Reports, Sales Specifications, Clinical Research Papers, ISO Documentation, Ship Stability Books, FEED Agreements and ITTs, Fact Sheets, Research Grant Applications, IPO Offerings, Sales Reports, Stakeholder Reports, White Papers and many more…
And although we haven’t seen it yet, we guess you could also create a musical arrangement in XaitPorter for those 10 lords.
“On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 9 integrated systems, 8 peers reviewing, 7 ways to collaborate, 6 skilled reviewers, 5 approvers approving, 4 zoomable images, 3 key texts, 2 dashboard reports and one project in XaitPorter”
In the classic version of “12 Days of Christmas”, the receiver is given the gift of 9 ladies dancing. Xait proposes a different present, but one which might get you dancing nonetheless.
Time is rarely on the side of a bid manager, project coordinator, sales executive or contract manager. Bid managers need to manage a pipeline of tenders, often with finite resources. Sales executives are usually under pressure to maintain a healthy funnel of offers or proposals. Project coordinators and contract managers may be requested to quickly react to customer requests for NDAs, contract addendums or SOWs. When a proposal, contract or a SOW is requested at short notice, other activities are usually postponed to gather information from multiple systems and resources across the organization. Results: deadlines for other projects slip, important tasks or activities are postponed.
XaitPorter helps you automate this process by integrating with other systems, including CRM (ie. Salesforce), contract management, ERP or project systems. Information in the form of metadata – such as pricing, design, customer information, company, product boilerplates – is pushed from the core system into XaitPorter. The metadata populates the pre-built document templates in XaitPorter, with pre-defined processes governing the information flow to automate the selection of data required for the tender, NDA, contract, proposal, application or other template. The system data is added to the template, which is also populated with the correct boilerplates and standard information. No cut and paste, no typos or errors transferring data from its originating system to your document. No need to stretch resources, call in favors or postpone projects.
With XaitPorter’s integration capabilities and automated processes, you can generate a completed proposal or NDA based on the pre-approved information from the originating system – and it’s almost as simple as a single click. We hope you think this is something to dance about.