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Building a Better RFP: How a DAM Can Help

Published on 21st September 2015 at 17:17 by Nikki Dever

Building a Better RFP: How a DAM Can Help

A well-crafted RFP response can be your firm’s ticket to your next major project win. And if your business is like most in your industry, you invest a significant chunk of time in creating a quality proposal—at least half of a week up to a full week or more.

No doubt, your marketing people contribute to crafting your firm’s responses. They may help finesse proposal language, ensure that key selling points about your company pop, package the proposal for a polished presentation, and even add in project images as examples of your work. If your firm has a DAM, it can enable and streamline this part of the process and potentially decrease the amount of time your marketing team spends on production-related tasks.

Research by the OpenAsset team confirms this notion. Our survey reveals that in A/E firms with a DAM, marketers’ time in the RFP process does in fact decrease, perhaps because they can fulfill their rolls more efficiently. What is interesting is that while marketers are less involved, firms with DAMs spend more time on the RFP process overall: over 50% of firms that have a digital asset management solution spend a full week or more on an RFP response compared to about a quarter of non-DAM users.

When you consider why that is—and the impact on the quality of RFPs that result because of it—it becomes clear that a DAM benefits the RFP process in more ways than one. Here’s how.

More experts mean better answers.

If marketing is less involved in crafting proposals in firms with DAMs, but those firms are spending more time on their responses overall, then it’s highly likely that executives and technical experts are weighing in. In A/E firms with DAMs, these experts are more likely to have direct access to digital image assets, and can thus play a more active role in proposal development.

According to David Kutcher of Confluent Forms LLC, one of the most effective ways to create a compelling RFP response is to incorporate relevant examples. While the image assets you include in your response (which are easier for more people to find and use, thanks to your DAM) are worth a thousand words, Kutcher says it’s still important to spell out exactly how your past project experience relates specifically to your potential new client’s needs.

And who better to explain this than the experts who actually do the work? They will know best which past projects are most relevant to the new opportunity and how what past work can directly translate into success on new projects.

In other words, if your architects and/or engineers are hands-on in crafting proposal responses—which is more likely to happen if you have a DAM—then those responses are more apt to include pertinent details that can better demonstrate your firm’s capabilities and could ultimately win you the bid.

Firm-wide involvement leads to fewer bottlenecks and less standard responses.

Another advantage of having more people involved in the RFP response process is that your marketing department is less likely to become bogged down and overburdened by the responsibility. With so many requests to handle, it can be tempting to copy and paste standard firm information from proposal to proposal, or to keep repurposing the same set of examples. Responses can get stale and over-generalized as a result.

But when you have fresh minds on the job, you’re more likely to get new thinking and more customized answers. Again, the result is richer, more precise, and more compelling material that can move your proposal to the top of the reviewers’ short list.

A DAM drives better content.

Ultimately, using a DAM can improve your proposals—and not just visually. When a firm’s leaders and technical experts have the ability to easily access and use images, they can be more hands-on in proposal development. And your firm’s proposals, project wins, and bottom line may all benefit as a result.

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Getting the Picture: How to Assess Your Firm's Digital Asset Landscape
Production vs. value tasks: Where’s your marketing team spending its time?
The bigger picture: Your firm’s brand image and how a DAM helps maintain it.

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