Streamlining The RFP Process Through Tight Collaboration

In 1976, Jack Henry & Associates (JHA) was founded on the premise that strong relationships and sound technology go hand-in-hand. Today, with more than 10,800 customers and over 6,000 associates, they combine this idea with the pursuit of one common goal – excellence in financial services. To handle their incredible workload, they turned to a technology provider who shares their belief that sound relationships and sound technology, do, in fact, go hand-in-hand. That provider was, and is, Qvidian.

BUSINESS DRIVER

Before Qvidian, the RFP Team at JHA lacked an efficient and streamlined process. Each of the four members of the team was assigned a group of Sales Reps. Rather than working as a team, each Proposal Analyst was responsible for completing all the RFPs (Requests for Proposals) their Reps brought in, regardless of the quantity. This resulted in an imbalance in workloads and inordinate amounts of stress thrust onto a few people. The team soon recognized the need to find a solution that would streamline and balance their workloads to everyone’s benefit.

“We answer approximately 100 RFPs a year. We average around 700 questions per RFP. That’s 70,000 questions. 70,000 questions with just four people. In the past, we would send questions out to Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and they would come back to us and say ‘I’ve answered this at least once before,’ or tell us that they had too many other things going on to respond. They just didn’t have time to get us answers. It would always be last minute, hurried, rushed,” stated Elizabeth Grissom, Sr. RFP Proposal Analyst. “We knew we needed to find a better way.”

APPROACH

As the RFP Team began looking for a software solution, one of their subsidiaries introduced them to Qvidian who they were already using themselves. “Before Qvidian, we tried several different software systems, but we just couldn’t make them work. We couldn’t get user buy-in, and the systems were just too hard to get up and running.

“Once we saw how well Qvidian worked for our subsidiary, we purchased our license and jumped onboard,” proclaimed Grissom. When they first implemented Qvidian, they only transferred all of their data over from their old system without reviewing the content to make certain it was accurate and up-to-date. Not cleaning up this material meant the quality of their proposals was still limited. Once they realized this, they set about rectifying the situation. They set dates for action items and got it done.

IMPACT

The team started to benefit from Qvidian immediately through the efficiencies, process and structure they gained. They then wanted to determine how much more time they were saving with Qvidian and how they could extend that further.

The team conducted a process improvement initiative. They carved two days out of their very busy schedules and documented each and every step of their RFP process. They started with the moment they first received the RFP, timing every step they had to go through to answer the RFP and get it out the door. Then they evaluated those steps and figured out how much time Qvidian could save them. In many instances, through Qvidian, they were able to either eliminate steps altogether or streamline them so that the process was much more efficient and took less time as a result.

“As we outlined all the steps that our RFP process took, we started saying, ‘Oh, we can do that through Qvidian. We can do this through Qvidian.’ Instead of emailing out questions by copying and pasting them into emails or word documents and then sending those out to SMEs to try to get answers, it was easy to click on ‘email’ in Qvidian, grab a couple of questions, type in the person’s email address and send it off. When responses come back in from our subject matter experts, it is very easy to upload that information into Qvidian. It’s a one-stop process,” remarked Grissom.

Qvidian supports collaboration between team members and other colleagues and is making it possible for the team to manage their content effectively. “We have over 150 products that we sell to financial institutions. What we’ve done is divide that product set out amongst the four of us. Each of us is now responsible for reviewing the content records for our assigned product set and keeping those records up-to-date going forward. We’re scheduling conference calls and reviewing that information with SMEs and then having that information uploaded into the system,” commented Grissom.

Qvidian has enabled the four members of the RFP Team to divide up the work of every RFP that comes in. No longer will one proposal analyst bear the brunt of the workload. The team’s responsibilities are well balanced. Grissom explained, “It’s a lot easier to say ‘I have 150 questions to answer,’ rather than ‘I have 700 to answer and they’re due by Friday.’”

Qvidian is already freeing up a lot of everyone’s time enabling them to do the jobs they need to do. Because of Qvidian, JHA’s data is all in one place; they have a streamlined process to answer RFPs and they can get them out by the due date with a lot less stress. For the RFP Team and Subject Matter Experts at JHA, life has gotten much easier.

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