Research Proposal


REDUCING THE TIME AND EXPENSE CREATING PROPOSALS
PRESENTED TO:
Jill Marhefka
Professor of Business Research, BSAD 400
.
Tracy E. Baker
October 11th, 1999
TABLE OF CONTENTS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1
BACK GROUND INFORMATION 2
PROBLEM AND OBJECTIVES 3
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 4
ESTIMATES OF COST AND SCHEDULE 6
QUALIFICATION OF REASEACHER 8
APPENDIX 9
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
AUTOMATING TO MEET THE NEEDS OF XYZ CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
Proposals are extremely important tools in construction, sales and marketing efforts but they also pose some serious challenges. These are some of the specific problems our company is facing:
¨ Inefficient delivery of information where and when it’s needed
¨ Lack of tools to help construction sales people to work productively
¨ Difficulty in completing and delivering quality proposals quickly
¨ Construction sales people are experiencing too much desk time and not enough face time as they wrestle with the challenge of preparing proactive proposals
¨ Inconsistent looking proposals that contain conflicting and sometimes incorrect information
The main goal of this project is to research a specific need expressed by members of the Proposal Development Group and Sales Department, that is the need for an industry specific Proposal Software Program. As outlined in the proposal, this is to be accomplished through significant interaction between the researchers, Information Management department and experts in the Proposal Development Group and Sales Department. This type of cooperative agreement is seen as fundamental to the success of all projects.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
THE POSITIVE IMPACT OF A PROPOSAL WRITER PROGRAM ON XYZ COMPANY
XYZ Company has generated 1,000 proposals (of which 30 percent are less complex; 70 percent more complex) during FY 1999. Members of the XYZ’s Proposal Group have spent approximately 46,000 hours in proposal writing! This however, does not include revisions made due to addendums to R.F.P.s. Below is a summary of cost incurred by the XYZ Company through FY 1999. It should be noted that XYZ Company has generated hard copies of every proposal written for not only the clientele but also our Sales Executives, in order to keep them abreast of changes. This was to ensure that the Sales Executive could respond to all questions as concisely and efficiently as possible.
Proposals Written Proposal Addendums
Time to write one proposal 16 hours—less complex 60 hours—complex Approximately 1 hour less complex 12 hours complex
Overhead charge rate for a proposal writer\'s time $45.00/hr $45.00/hr
Number of proposals / addendums written each year 300 less complex 700 complex 200— Per 1000 proposals
Approximate total costs $2,160,000.00+ $391,500.00
PROBLEM AND OBJECTIVES
THE POSITIVE IMPACT OF A PROPOSAL WRITER PROGRAM ON XYZ COMPANY
Problem Statement
The proposal processes in the construction industry is intensive. Many tasks are highly repetitive, and may require significant F.T.E. (full time equivalent) man-hours to produce. Many jobs require numerous revisions when posed with addendums to the RFP by owners who are uncertain of their wants and needs.
The Management Problem Is As Stated Below:
Can we develop a software package that will meet the guidelines of the Proposal Development group and the Sales department?
Objectives:
(1.0) To ensure the potential system will function with the data structures used within our system.
(2.0) To develop a software program which will formulate faster responses to R.F.P.s.
(3.0) To create a well-designed system which is easy to learn.
(4.0) To determine if a pricing engine is needed within the data structure.
(5.0) To asses the need for a sales and marketing database.
(6.0) To evaluate the need to develop a clientele database.
(7.0) To investigate the potential of reduction of overall paper usage.
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
THE POSITIVE IMPACT OF A PROPOSAL WRITER PROGRAM ON XYZ COMPANY
Research Design
The Information Gathered will be representative of the Information Management group, the Proposal Development group, and the Sales Executives. The Information management group will be surveyed independently from the Proposal Development group and the Sales Executives, however, there will be a set of questions on each of the two surveys that are identical. This will be detailed in the Proposed Data Collection section.
All information Gathered will be utilized in the evaluation of the potential for the development and or feasibility of development concerning the afore mentioned proposal software.
Proposed Data Collection Procedures
To ensure the potential system will function with the data structures used within our system, and to create a well-designed system, which is easy to learn, Information management will be surveyed independently of the Proposal Development group and the Sales Executives.
To determine if a pricing engine is needed within the data structure, asses the need for