Marketing & Job Development

Project Ally’s Marketing module helps manage your firm’s marketing process and job development efforts.  Keep track of Contacts, Correspondence, Prospect Status, Proposal Due Dates, Success Reports, and, best of all, easily create marketing proposals (using our layouts, your customized layouts, Federal SF 330 or Commonwealth of Virginia AE Forms).

To get started, create a record for each potential project (“job prospect”) that your firm is “chasing”.  To create a new Prospect record, choose Marketing tab (your user account must be marked for marketing access. Go to Integratis > Preferences > Accounts) and select “New” at the top of your screen. A blank record will appear.  Fill in the Job Prospect Information as described below.

Proposal Detail

Proposal Info

Project Information: Proposal Information contains the heading and important facts about your prospective job. To enter the Pretitle, Project Name, and Short Description.  Some entities will specify the exact title they wish to see on your response to their Request For Proposals (RFP).  The Pretitle field is a flexible field for text that needs to come before the main title of the RFP such as “A Request For Proposals for.”  The Project Name field is the main project name for the RFP and is shown in bold text in the Job Prospect Information section.  The Short Description field is a flexible field for text that needs to come after the main title of the RFP such as describing the project as an “Addition/Renovation” or owner such as “University of Virginia”.  

Other Job Prospect Information fields include Project Location, Owner’s Project Number (frequently the RFP number), Proposal Type (Standard, Federal, etc.), Project Size (for reference), Estimated Project Cost (for reference), Due Date, Office In Charge (your firm’s office location that would handle the project), Proposal Orientation (Portrait or Landscape) and Proposal Status (typically Preparing, Lost, Waiting or Won!), Signed By and Signer’s Title (used on standardized forms).

Client Information: To enter name and mailing address of receiver of proposal, click on “plus” button and select and Contact from list (if Contact’s name is not in list, create company/contact records in Contacts section first). Click on the Name/Address field to update information, if necessary.

Mailing Information: Enter date mailed and tracking information, if desired.

Consultant Information: Lists the consultants that are proposed for the prospective job.  To add a consultant to the list, click the “plus” and select a company name from the pop-up list.  If the consultant is not in the list, be sure the information has been add to the Contacts file and be sure “Consultant” has been selected for their Company Type.

Proposal Contacts: Lists the contacts associated with the job prospect which includes the owner, consultant contacts, and others.  To add a contact to the list, click the “plus” and select a contact name from the pop-up list.  If the contact is not in the list, be sure the information has been add to the Contacts file.

Details

There are several advantages to using Project Ally’s Details component instead of using a Word or Text program.  Just type the headings of each section only once and they show up on your Table of Contents, Divider Pages, and Section Headings for example, saving time and inconsistencies.  In addition, all of your proposal components are in one place on your computer (i.e. no cover in InDesign, body of RFP in Word and Project Lists in Filemaker), making duplicating past efforts and reporting on marketing very easy.

“Details” includes the items that usually appear at the front end of a proposal before project lists and resumes such as the cover, table of contents and various text sections or chapters.

Table of Contents: Name field is for entitling your table of contents page. The Separation Symbol field should contain one symbol such as “.”, “/”, or “-” to separate the section number from the page number.  Leave the Section Number and Separation Symbol fields blank if you only wish to use page numbers and the Page Number field blank if you do not wish to use page numbers either (page numbers are discussed more in depth below).  Use the Table of Contents Notes field for making notes about your proposal. For example, because contacts used for References are not saved with the proposal, you may want to make note of which references were used for future reference.

Cover, Table of Contents and Dividers buttons:  The Cover typically (depending if you change the layout) uses the information from Job Prospect Information for a cover. The Table of Contents and Dividers uses the information listed in the Proposal Sections portal and the information in the Table of Contents Name field to create a Table of Contents or Dividers.

Proposal Sections: To add a new Proposal Section to the list, click the “+” and type in the Part Designation (either a letter or a number), the Section Title, Page Type, the Section Designation (either a letter or a number) and the Page Number.  To add text the the Proposal Section, click the Section Title, and the section will open in a new screen (choose between the block or two column format).

Correspondence

Letters, Fax, Etc. lists the correspondence that has taken place with your prospective job contacts.  To add a new correspondence to the list, click the “+” and select a contact name from the pop-up list.  If the contact is not in the list, be sure the information has been add to the Contacts file. Leave the Project Name field blank..... it will fill in with the name of the proposal on the document to print.

Resumes

Resumes contains both Staff and Consultant Resumes. To add a Staff Resume, click the “+” in the Staff Resumes section and select a staff name from the pop-up list.  If the staff member is not in the list, be sure the information has been added to the Staff file and be sure “Inactive” has NOT been check for Staff Type. If necessary, click on the triangle button on the desired staff portal row.  Notice the information below changes or is blank.  A down-turned triangle button indicates which staff member information is being viewed.  If blank, fill in desired information.

Staff Resume Information contains the Project Assignment field, % Time to Spend on Project, Description and Additional Paragraphs field.  Additional Paragraphs should be used only if you wish to separate your description data on a layout (i.e. two columns are being used).

Staff Resume Project List contains a list of projects, that you specify, that the staff person has worked on that are similar to the prospective job. Staff Resume Project List finds projects from both the firm’s project list and from the Prior Experience file (see Help Topic about Staff for more information). 

To add a project or edit your project list, click the “+” button.  If you have projects in your list, a message box will appear stating, “You have records for Resume Project List in a current found set, would  you like to clear these or add to them?” Select either Add, Clear or Cancel.  If you press Add or Cancel, a blank form will appear. Enter your search criteria.  Remember if you enter more than one criteria FileMaker performs an AND search (meaning “if this criteria AND that criteria then find project”).  To perform an OR search (“if this criteria OR that criteria then find project”), just enter the one criteria and click “Click to Continue Search” and then click the “+” to perform another search.  Remember when the message box appears to select “Add” to found set.  After you have found your desired projects, assign sort numbers.  For projects you do not wish to be in your list, select the trash can symbol. Choose the negative “-” symbol above the portal (next to the “+” symbol) to delete all projects without Sort Numbers for that staff person.

Consultant Resumes lists the consultants that are proposed for the prospective job and has an arrow button to take you to more Consultant information.  To add a consultant to the list, click the “+” and select a consultant name from the pop-up list.  If the consultant is not in the list, be sure the information has been add to the Contacts file.

Federal Forms

For all Standard Form 330 data and layouts, refer to the guidelines that come with your RFP to be sure you are filling the forms out correctly. The Federal Form tab summarizes the Standard Form 330 forms (the buttons on the left jump to the forms, the buttons to the right show corresponding tabs where indicated).  Click on the desired button to “jump” to the desired data page or layout. Some information may be filled out right on the forms (make sure you are in Browse Mode).  Other information must be selected or filled in using the corresponding tabs.

On SF 330 Part II (Page 6), it is very important that project data for the last five years be up to date in the following tabs/fields:

• Projects > Project Info tab (fill in the following fields): Client Type (Federal), Contract Date and Substantial Completion date (use the Notes field to note any information that may be an estimate instead of a firm date)

• Projects > Project Data tab > Misc. Data (fill in the following fields): Construction Start Date, Construction End Date and Gross Fees (i.e. gross revenue) 

• Projects > Project Data tab > SF 220 Question 10 (fill in the following fields): Profile Code

For SF 330 Part II (Page 6), be sure the following information is correct for Question 9:

• Staff > Staff Detail > Resume Info tab > Discipline Titles: Federal Standard Forms (chose the role that best describes each staff member)

The Discipline Info (relates to Question 9), Profile Code Info (relates to Question 10) and Revenue Info (relates to Question 11) buttons at the bottom the of the Federal Forms tab show calculation details. Be sure to use the forward/back buttons at the top right to advance through categories.

Virginia A/E Forms

For all Virginia AE Form data and layouts, refer to the guidelines that come with your RFP to be sure you are filling the forms out correctly. The Virginia tab summarizes the Virginia AE forms (the buttons on the left jump to the forms, the buttons to the right show corresponding tabs where indicated).  Click on the desired button to “jump” to the desired data page or layout. Some information may be filled out right on the forms (make sure you are in Browse Mode).  Other information must be selected or filled in using the corresponding tabs.

It is very important that project data for the last five years be up to date in the following tabs/fields:

• Projects > Project Info tab (fill in the following fields): Client Type (Federal), Contract Date and Substantial Completion date (use the Notes field to note any information that may be an estimate instead of a firm date)

• Projects > Project Data tab > Misc. Data (fill in the following fields): Construction Start Date, Construction End Date and Gross Fees (i.e. gross revenue) 

• Projects > Project Data tab > SF 220 Question 10 (fill in the following fields): Profile Code

Be sure the following information is correct for staff:

• Staff > Staff Detail > Resume Info tab > Discipline Titles: Commonwealth of Virginia AE Forms (chose the role that best describes each staff member)

The Discipline Info (relates to Question 9), Profile Code Info (relates to Question 10) and Revenue Info (relates to Question 11) buttons at the bottom the of the Federal Forms tab show calculation details. Be sure to use the forward/back buttons at the top right to advance through categories.

Project Lists

Project Lists develops lists (determined by you) of projects that are similar to the prospective job.  Project Ally has the five most typical types of lists requested by prospective clients: similar Project Lists (descriptions), similar Project Examples (graphics), Cost Performance, Schedule History and Similar Feature (such as location or owner agency). The Project Lists tab has six buttons:  List Comparison, Project List, Project Example, Cost Performance, Schedule History and Similar Feature.  List Comparison simply shows the five lists on one page: PL for Project List, PE for Project Example, CP for Cost Performance, SH for Schedule History and SF for Similar Feature.

Project Lists has several huge advantages over Word programs: 1) information is taken from the working project database which limits the amount of data that needs to be researched by proposal preparers; 2) Search and Sort Criteria allow proposal preparers to quickly find and sort similar projects without in depth knowledge of the firm’s project history; 3) Information is quickly presented in a neat and consistent fashion, which prospective clients find to be impressive and helpful; 4) Project List Sort Orders may be reused at the click of a button and edited to quickly create the other related project lists (Project Examples, Cost Performance, Schedule History and Similar Feature).  No more going back to forth to your Project List to figure out what projects you used.  And the order and consistency WOWS CLIENTS. They think you spent a lot of time on your proposal because you really want the prospective job!

To add a project or edit your project list, click the “+” button.  If you have projects in your list, a message box will appear stating, “You have records for Project Lists in a current found set, would  you like to clear these or add to them?” Select either Add, Clear or Cancel.  If you press Add or Cancel, a blank form will appear. Enter your search criteria.  Remember if you enter more than one criteria Project Ally performs an AND search (meaning “if this criteria AND that criteria then find project”).  To perform an OR search (“if this criteria OR that criteria then find project”), just enter the one criteria and click “Click to Continue Search” and then click the “+” to perform another search.  Remember when the message box appears to select “Add” to found set.  After you have found your desired projects, assign sort numbers.  For projects you do not wish to be in your list, select the trash can symbol.

To copy the Sort Order from Project List to another list, choose Project Lists > List Comparison > choose which list you would like the Sort Order from Project List copied to and press the red arrow to the left of the initials (for example, think of red arrow as “to CP” to copy Project List’s Sort Order to Cost Performance Sort Order).  Then edit sort numbers.  On List Comparison tab, choose the negative “-” sign above the portal to delete any projects that are not being used in any of the lists.

For your information, the Project List, Project Example List, Cost Performance List, Schedule History List and the Similar Feature list actually share one record in the file per proposal.  Therefore, you may see a project listed without a sort number if it is listed with a sort number in another list.  Projects without sort numbers will not print so just ignore them in the list.  

If you need a Project List that includes projects by staff from Prior Experience (because you plan to mark them as staff experience while with other firm), make a resume of that staff person using the projects you want in your project list then recreate your Project List layout in the using a SortResumeRESUME table (which pulls both Firm and Individual Prior Experience projects together into one list).  See layout Marketing/PL_Portrait Individual Exp. for an example. There is not a scripted way to perform this type of Project List.

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