I wondered, as I looked through the data coming in from Barbara’s survey, whether analysing various factors in relation to the size of the proposal organisation would throw up any interesting data. Some 67% of survey respondents work in small proposal teams (for this analysis, meaning five or fewer staff); 20% are in medium-sized proposal organisations (6-10 staff), the remaining 13% in large proposal centres (over ten staff).
Why larger teams? Average response times don’t vary wildly by team size, but average document size does: 57% of small teams are typically submitting proposals of less than 100 pages, compared to only 31% of large teams. Complexity, quality, efficiency and volume may all be factors that are at play.
Bigger proposal centres are also far more likely to have outsourced printing: just over 25%, compared to 15% of medium-sized proposal teams and 10% of smaller teams. (Mimeo are running well ahead of Kinko’s as the outsourced partner of choice, by a factor of about three-to-one). This could suggests that the smaller teams are operating in “all hands to the pump” mode, with little time to step back and look at process – even if print outsourcing might be a huge help.
But perhaps the most interesting factor for me was the degree of fragmentation of proposal teams within the largest organisations. Nearly half of proposal folks in organisations of more than 50,000 employees are working in small proposal organisations of five or fewer staff. One hopes that there’s a degree of co-ordination between the multiple proposal centres that must be scattered around their businesses, but experience suggests that this is too rarely the case, even if engineering appropriate dialogue can lead to huge benefits.
Meanwhile (and part of the excuse for publishing this week’s survey findings a little later than usual!), BJ and I have been finalising our presentations for the UKAPMP conference, at which we’re both platform speakers. Well worth a look at the conference details, if you’re in or can get to Europe for the event on 10-11 October. Richard Jenkins, one of our Strategic Proposals team, has done a fantastic job pulling the speaker programme together.
I’m off to Singapore at the end of this week. I know from our site stats that we have a few readers there – if any of you fancies a coffee, it’s always fun to meet new proposal folks and swap stories!