WHY ARE PROPOSALS SO IMPORTANT?
21 Jun 2022
Proposals are a critical part of a business because they are the starting point in the business’s evolution from concept to reality. Without knowing how to prepare and write proposals, the business will never be able to get off the ground successfully. While this is true for many industries, it is particularly relevant for a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) serving the biopharma market. A successful CDMO begins with the ability to deliver a winning proposal.
What, exactly, is a proposal?
Simply speaking, a proposal is a document that describes a proposed program with the plan and resources required to deliver the objectives. Furthermore, a proposal has two goals. The first goal is to sell the services or products to a prospective client. The second goal is to create a roadmap to successfully deliver the project as per the plan and resources. Therefore, a proposal serves both commercial and technical purposes. In the CDMO world, a proposal is a sales document that persuades the stakeholders and the decision-makers that the partner CDMO has the right people, skillset and capacity required to solve their problems and to meet their requirements.
A well-structured proposal has the following key elements:
Strategy – This section is often called the executive summary. What is the overall game plan to solve the problems and execute the program to meet the objectives, fulfilling the client’s need? What are the budget and timeline to successfully complete the program? Are there any unique solutions offered that are creative and can differentiate the service provider from its competitors? Without going too deeply into the details of the proposal, the executive summary should present a clear and crisp picture about the service provider and the offering to the decision-maker.
Scope – This section describes the plan, the blueprint and the step-by-step approach to reach the final destination of the program. It describes the work details in a logical manner, through various stages, to achieve the objectives. It includes a deep dive into the relevant technical information and program details, showcasing the CDMO’s knowledge and experience. Included in it are the deliverables, including documents, products, etc. However, it is critical to properly define the project’s “scope,” because this has a direct impact on the budget and timeline presented in the proposal.
Schedule and budget – How long will it take to complete the project and how much is the financial commitment requested from the customer? This is one of the key elements in the proposal that determines whether the service provider will win or to lose. The timeline and the budget have to be “just right.” If the timeline is too aggressive and/or the budget is too low, the proposal may seem implausible, decreasing the chances of winning the business.
Supposition – Ultimately, the entire proposal is built on the assumptions that whatever information the customer has provided is accurate and credible. It’s imperative to clearly define what the boundaries are for the scope in order to deliver on the promises of time and budget.
Proposals require orchestrated efforts collaborated between the commercial and technical teams, and need to be prepared and delivered within a short timeframe. It is an art based on science, with a single purpose, to bring a win-win solution to both the customer and the provider.
Global Head – Proposal Management
Piramal Pharma Solutions