Provides significant capability to quickly identify actionable information across many documents.
What used to take hours and days of reading, tagging and extracting key / actionable information from solicitation packages now takes us just seconds or minutes. As a user for about 2 years, it is obvious that the VisibleThread team continues to release new features and improve the others at a good pace. To speed up proposal reviews and improvements - we do this using the concept tracking features to make sure we addressed all of the specific contracts' specifications, instructions and evaluation factors. We use the compliance matrix features to speed up the process of making content and review assignments to team members. We use the content grammar and readability grading feature to quickly spot areas where we can be more concise and make our proposals easier for the average reviewer to understand. We run scripts that quickly identify deliverable / CDRL requirements to support transition planning, and; once we have won a contract, we use VisibleThread to quickly prepare briefing packages for the transition/implementation teams as we move from opportunity to contract in execution. While it takes your experts to setup the system to do these things, once configured, you can have anyone on your team run the analysis to perform any of the tasks I've described. My only wish - is that more contracting officers and procurement shops were using the tool to put out better and clearer/complete solicitations to industry.
This is an experts' product that provides so many useful tools, that there is no way I can even begin to address them all in the word limit this survey allows. We continually come up with new methods to automate portions of our analytical and document preparation work with VisibleThread. We are a bid /proposal management firm supporting customers on over 100 proposal projects each year across a wide range of contract types that include construction, utility system privatization, public transit automation, security services, background investigation, and administrative services contracts with the Federal Government, and State and local governments as our primary focus areas. With VisibleThread, we have created many customizations (which are easy to implement) to specifically hone in on requirements and information specific to each type of industry and contract / bid opportunity we manage. Specifically, we can quickly breakdown information in solicitation documents and exhibits/specifications into sets of information that are directly relevant to each of the departments, operational groups and subject matter experts who are contributing to each bid / proposal effort. Examples; for construction and heavy civil projects, we breakout information IAW MasterFormat divisions to call out all Bid Items and speed up getting bid packages to estimators and subcontractors. We then use it to automatically inspect subcontractor bids and to compare them against each other (in seconds).
Proposal Manager's helper
We have it set up on an internal computer so it's available for commercial and government proposals. Our team uses it a lot.
I use Visible Thread a lot for building acronym lists. It cuts the time down significantly by showing me what is spelled out and what isn't, where it is 1st used in the text and not spelled out, duplicates, etc. I can download a report, fix the document and create the first past list. I also provide reports to authors to improve writing such as passive and long sentences.
It doesn't always catch the acronyms when they are not capitalized when spelled out which we do a lot so not to interrupt our readers concentration and retention.
The software user interface is easy to navigate and use. The features and capabilities appear robust without being overly complicated to review like other comparative software.
It takes the vision; it requires multiple customized solutions which I believe turns many users away from actively exercising the software to its full potential. More out of the box dictionary starters or external support in establishing custom solutions to meet the needs of the various users would help initial roll out and active continued use over time.
If you want to save time/money on your proposal work, VisibleThread (VT) is definitely your answer!
I am a 7-year user and have watched a wonderful evolution of VT. My work group and I have made numerous suggestions, which, to my delight, have been incorporated into VT. I feel honored and privileged that VT personnel would listen to me AND create a software update that does exactly what I suggested. I love that and feel honored. In addition, I LOVE going to the yearly VT Conferences in VA ... they are always entertaining and enlightening. It doesn't hurt, either, that the workers and [SENSITIVE CONTENT HIDDEN] of VT know me by name. That is thrilling to me.... I know someone who is IMPORTANT! Yee Haw!
I LOVE every bit of this software! Shreds take 15-20 minutes to complete instead of 2-3 weeks. Compares take 10-15 minutes, the results come back in 1 Excel document with the 2 original side-by-side ... and take less than 10 minutes to completion, instead of 2-3 weeks. Acronyms take somewhat longer due to undefined acros, but still take 30-60 minutes to complete. Readability takes less than 5 minutes to get the report. Without fail, no matter what you do in VT, uploading the documents into VT takes longer than getting any of the reports. Why? because the upload involves scrutinizing/analyzing the document as it goes into VT. I love the fact that we can now use folders inside folders. I love the "new" dashboard as you have click only to do what you need/want to do. Everything about VT is wonderful, time-saving, and FUN!
I have no trouble with the Excel macros because I am an Excel expert .... but many people have trouble with macros simply because they do not understand or know Excel all that well. Thanks for this wonderful feature, no matter if it is somewhat difficult to use. Other than this, there is NOTHING I dislike about VT! nothing at all!!!!
Visible Thread's Unexpected Utility & Value
Absolutely amazing. It's been a huge time and effort saver - its value greatly outweighs its costs. I have convinced all of my past three employers to buy and use it, and it remains in place. So it isn't just me. It requires creativity to get the most out of it, and my investment of time devising creative uses has driven my success using the tool. It is uniquely useful in the Government Contracting field. It has made my Business Development, Capture, and Proposal Writing efforts easier, better, and much more successful. All of the big wins I brag about involved using VT to scrub teammates, to develop themes by efficiently analyzing many lengthy documents, and instantly producing error-free compliance matrixes to ensure I didn't miss anything.
Value: proposals involving a dozen staff in 2011 now involve 2 or 3. This tool makes those fewer people competitive with the output (quality and quantity). Everyone has to do more with fewer people to help. This tool helps fill that gap.
Time-saving - not all time is equal in the Gov. contracting industry, and VT saves a lot of time in critical moments: after solicitations are released and after amendments are issued. The tool allows instant creation of comprehensive compliance matrices, which can be quickly edited down. If you develop a variety of dictionaries that are specific to various things (pricing, timelines, etc.), you can instantly produce CMs for specific proposal team members. Also, you can directly compare a solicitation and its amendments, instantly identifying what was changed and immediately shifting to dealing with those changes, rather than wasting time finding them - and potentially missing one.
Flexibility: we spend hours and hours comparing all kinds of documents. If you think about that, you find all kinds of unexpected VT uses in Government contracting/proposal writing. Examples: resumes vs. requirements; teammate/company capability statements vs. contract requirements; current/past contract SOW vs. solicitation (to help you decide how to write the Past Performance summary); proposal narrative vs. proposal themes (to see where and how often you hit the customer's hot buttons); the list is endless.
You have to know who in your organization does what - they're used to doing things the hard & slow way. Your recruiter can use this to 'scrub' scores of resumes at a time against a specific requirement - but you have to know VT can do this and explain how to adopt the tool into their process. The same goes for every member of a proposal team and members of your corporate staff. In the same way that Excel does not do an accountant's job for them - it changes the nature of their work. They no longer worry about arithmetic, but they do have to worry about formulas, etc.
A Product to Save Time and Improve Quality
My overall experience has been outstanding, and I have been able to deliver quality documents to a variety of clients in less time, saving them money. Using Visible Thread's many capabilities, such as Concept Dictionaries, I have been able to pull out key concepts necessary to respond to requests for proposals and meet customer requirements. I have been able to show clients where we, as a team, needed to include additional information to help win business. Overall, Visible Thread has helped me as a small business in consultant delivering professional solutions.
Visible Thread has many features that make it an excellent tool in a writer's tool chest, particularly for proposal writing. I use its Readability feature frequently to demonstrate to technical managers that I need to edit their writing so others may understand it better. This feature also show progress as writing is improved.
I also use the Compliance Matrix to ensure I've met proposals' requirements for my sections because not all companies and proposal managers regularly use Compliance Matrices. This feature is so quick and easy to use and serves as a great second check for me before I turn in my documents.
The Acronym Checking is another good time saver and is useful for any type of document and building glossaries.
Finally, Visible Thread's Compare Docs feature is far better than MS Word's similar feature. I've also found many technical personnel prefer the Compare Docs Excel format to the Word format, and as a small business owner, I want to keep my customers happy.
I found it a little difficult to navigate at first, but then found the support personnel excellent. Visible Thread's Help documentation and videos are easy to follow, too. In the time since I first became a customer (11/2017), Visible Thread has also added many new webinars and a Visible Thread University to help clients understand the many available features and options available.
Core tool for accelerating business development, proposal and contract compliance processes
It's been a huge time saver, easy to find related content across multiple documents.
VisibleThread is perfect for shredding documents to reveal the content that is relevant to your business. Ability to create a single fully traceable view across RFx requirements, themes, partner capabilities and evaluation factors.
This saves a ton of time when reviewing opportunities and making bid decisions.
Content Analysis: Visible Thread is great for shredding RFP documents, analyzing all content and use of acronyms. The result is an easily consumed presentation.
Multiple Document Insight: Flexibility to discover the content you need with the click of a button across all documents within a folder.
Speed Speed Speed: The quickest way to discover information that is otherwise buried in many sources. We use Visible Thread to analyze potential targets and to generate compliant and responsive RFx responses. It serves as a "force multiplier" for our small team. We've greatly reduced the time spent assessing and responding to acquisition packages and can focus on things we can win.
You must maintain and build dictionaries in order to get the most effective results. However, Visible Thread provides community sharing (Dictionary Marketplace) to help accelerate this task.
Instant boost to your proposal efforts and p-win
We use VT for almost every RFP. It is an essential tool in our proposal response toolbox. And it's not just the software, from client services to training to support, Visible Thread the entire experience is outstanding. If you're in the business of responding to RFPs, this is a critical tool to add.
"Out of the box" incredibly easy to use and very powerful, however the ability to customize features adds a next level to its' capabilities. With VT Docs, we can rip an RFP and create a draft compliance matrix and responsibility matrix in minutes versus days. The Compare Docs feature is essential to detecting changes from one version to another, especially when RFP amendments without changes noted are released. The Readability features allow for voicing and grammar checking in minutes.
We don't have any "Cons" to report. The software is easy to use and performs as expected.
A Persuasive - Accurate - Complete Proposal
VisibleThread is a software program is a that takes a programmatic approach with helping Business Development, Capture Management, and Proposals produce a Persuasive Proposal. Thereby minimizing the customer's risk of picking your company. More importantly it is performed Quickly and with a touch of a button.
Beginning with parsing through PWS, RFP, SOW documents in minutes - Establishing your Capability Matrix to help identify your Gaps - Establish Teams with companies who truly fill those Gaps, and focusing the content for your [proposed Teaming Agreement(s).
Preparing the Response in advance of the RFP actually dropping by using the Capability Matrix as the foundation for the Annotated Outline Document to organize the Why, the How, and the What based upon each task line item. Allowing everyone involved to provide bullets, graphics, and Past Performance/Discriminators well before the RFP is released.
Before Pink/Red/Gold run your response through VisibleThread to simplify and ensure readability.
A minor, but albeit an issue, the Capability Matrix and Annotated Outlines do require a bit of a touch-up to make pretty.
Amazing feature set
VisibleThread is perfect for breaking work bid documents and highlighting the content that is relevant to your business.
This saves a ton of time when needing to review a bid and decide if it should be bid upon or not.
While the most mentioned features are great, some of the more overlooked features are real time savers.
The comparison tool for both PDF/Word and Excel are the best I have ever used. They provide a fast and outstanding overview of the changes to a document version.
Also the acronym checker is excellent to help you verify that you have defined all your acronyms in your document.
The time is takes to reload the folder structure, since all changes to th folder list or folder content forces a refresh. And with hundreds of folders, this can take some time.
Proposal Team Productivity Greatly Enhanced With Visible Thread
We have spent the last year integrating Visible Thread into our proposal workflow and as a result we will never want to work without it. We have no pre-post statistics to offer, but we know we've cut as many as 4-5 days off preparation time using all of the different product features. To begin, the first thing we do when we receive an RFP is to shred the document using the Compliance Matrix feature. This saves at least a day since we can have a draft matrix in about 15 minutes. The next step is to use Discovery to determine the subject content of the document and to derive a dictionary of customer terms we will use at a later date to test our proposal document content. We use the dictionary feature to identify past performance options and to identify key personnel candidates from our internal databases. We also use dictionaries to identify win themes and hot buttons or the lack thereof in the proposal text. One of the best uses is to track content over multi-volumes to make sure we are using the same terminology throughout. This used to be a two-person weekend task and now it takes a good dictionary and about three to four hours. With the increasing scrutiny over acronyms, we enjoy the acronym extraction feature and have significantly shortened the time for the acronym list preparation by at least half. We've also created our own acronym dictionary which we can use to generate a Quality Report. The Clear Language feature helps us maintain law and order in the Proposal Room. We used to have finger pointing, name calling brawls over content editing. Now we hand the authors a Clear Language analysis of their document and ask them to make the indicated corrections. They do not argue with a computerized analysis of their writing style and they know what to do to improve. As a result, we spend at least a day less on technical editing and have a much better product as a result. Use of Visible Thread is limited only by the imagination and we've used it for many aspects of our work beyond proposal preparation. We simply can't live without it.
Review from a user who is fairly new to VT Docs
We mainly use VT Docs for RFP shredding and creation of compliance matrices. It's been a huge time saver for those two aspects alone, but I know we could be using more of the tools such as those to confirm compliance in a completed proposal. That's our next step in using this tool...
Visible Thread is great for shredding RFP documents and analyzing use of acronyms. The system is speedy, and technical support is fantastic. The software produces nice excel outputs that are easy to manipulate, and I like that the user may upload as many files and folders necessary. There doesn't seem to be a limit to how much data the system will hold and analyze. I appreciate this feature because I don't ever have to clean up or manage the files that I have uploaded.
I get a little lost in all of the available features, but that's more of my own problem in not taking time to better understand the tools available. I was handed the account from a predecessor, so I am unclear how things were set-up. I don't understand how dictionaries are defined and set-up, and the user interface isn't intuitive at first glance. Again, it's probably a user error in that I need to spend the time educating myself on how the tools are used.
Core tool for business development, proposal production, and contract compliance processes
VisibleThread is incredibly versatile and easy to use. The tools available in the VisibleThread Doc suite instantaneously create actionable compliance matrices and document readability reports. We now use it as a core tool in our business development, proposal production, and contract compliance processes. Our primary uses include evaluating potential opportunities with the Discovery tool, generating requirement matrices for new solicitations with the Compliance Matrix tool, and improving our proposal content with the Clear Language report. We also use the Responsibility Matrix feature to quickly analyze new awards and create documentation for contract kick-off. Bottom line VT has saved us tremendous amounts of time, given us the capability to analyze documents in ways that are not humanly possible, and helped us find the real information in all of the words.
Another significant bonus is the incredible customer service VT offers. I have had numerous questions and the support is always timely and helpful.
The versatility of the tool is incredible and it is so easy to use.
Great tool! Time Saver! Quality Improver!
Bottom line this tool saves money by speeding up the process of RFx reviews and increases quality. Documentation comparison is a time, money and quality saver as well.
Rapidly parse RFx documentation
Theme and concept discovery
Quick compliance and teaming matrix
Quality checking and readability
Document version comparison
Flexibility to discover what you need multiple documents to reveal to you
Customer support and training is top notch
Best value proposal productivity tool out there, supported by a highly responsive service team
Visible Thread can be used for more than just proposals. Great for everything from checking writing flow/voice to examining and comparing policy documents to identify friction areas. I like the website crawling feature that allows me to identify and compare firm capabilities as well. Generally easy to use after a couple training hours - dashboard is straightforward. If I cannot figure something out, the customer service and training team is readily accessible. Versatile tool.
Some data exports are in an older version of MS Excel that I must open with my current version of MS Excel
Really useful tool for Proposal Development
More than anything else, it saves me time.
It's really easy to use: Even with minimal training, you can use the most basic functions.
It saves time: It significantly reduces the amount of time spent on developing compliance matrices and generating acronym lists.
It improves the overall quality of your documents: It evaluates readability, passive voice, acronym usage, etc., making it easier for writers and editors to identify areas for improvement.
It supports in-depth document analysis: When set up correctly, the tool can help with detailed document analysis.
It has a bit of a learning curve, and the analysis results can be a little confusing sometimes. However, with sufficient training and regular usage, it becomes easier to use.
I use the VT for contracts reviews and RFP compliance matrix creation. It is exactly what I needed.
Saves me tons of time!
Good for contractors and people reviewing complex documents.
It has other feature for proposal readability, but I have not used those.
Ease of Use
High quality useful output
Cloud services architecture
Good support from VT
Lots of best practice sharing and a good product development plan
For some reason is says it will run slower if there are a lot of files in the folder. Not sure why this would be but rather than taking a chance, I move the files into spare folders.
Saves us an incredible amount of time
We strongly recommend this to our clients, particularly those in the procurement and legal fields as it significantly reduces the amount of time reviewing documents and gives you confidence that no changes between contract versions have been missed.
The versatility of it is incredible. It can be used to:
- Pull out all of the obligations in a contract
- Check whether anything's changed between contract versions without the need for track changes
- Quickly seeing what documents are likely to be when moving to a paperless office
- Review CVs for keywords
- Review tender responses to see that they've addressed key evaluation criteria
Would like the ability to do scanned docs (images) too
VT @ BId Management
VT as a package is at the moment the only place where I have a complete set of tools which is required for my daily business in Bid Management. Shredding docs in minutes, creating responsibility matrices in Excel based on the results of the VT doc examination and the ability for Word and Excel comparisons without an additional set of tools is fantastic.
This software is what I am looking for since my life started as a Bid Manager. It holds all tools that you really need in one place.
Creating document responsibility matrices and doing acronym searching with a click instead of searching documents manually save dramatically my time doing more important things like Bid Story shaping etc..
Except the fact that it is a cloud based solution which can led to problems especially in public tenders I have no other cons at the moment.
Response from VisibleThread
Thank you for your review, Kai! It's great to hear VT Docs is making your life easier.
For anyone considering VT docs who needs an on-premise solution:
We understand that a cloud-based solution can be an issue for some businesses. VT Docs is available as on-premise deployment to any organization which requires it.
Very effective in improving the quality of documents.
Takes out a lot of costly editing, proofing, etc. Also good for a quick-and-dirty request for proposal shred.
Sometimes the answers are too good, and we need to prioritize responding to the results. For example, we have prepared a list of "avoidance words" for proposal documents, and we'll often see several hundred recommended repairs.
This product helps me produce compliant documents is less than 1/2 the time!
I have more time to work on multiple projects, knowing I have the capabilities to ensure each project it 100% compliant!
1. Compliance Matrix ( with in minutes)
2. Comparison Feature ( I use this on RFP Amendments, NDAs, TAs, RFP vs Prop)
3. Acronym Finder (such a blessing)
Creating Dictionaries (but that's the only con) The dictionaries are key for comparison features. There are tricks that I'm finding to make it quicker and easier!
True to its commitment - Increases pWin rates & productivity of proposal professionals
It was a complete package for any proposal management team. Ideally reduces the time taken to analyze the quality of a proposal and shred the documents. Biggest benefit is that it increases the productivity of a proposal professional. Neverthless its a onestop shop for producing a quality proposal
Instant shredding of complex documents was an awesome feature for proposal managers.
Swift preparation of the starting compliance matrix, responsibility matrix is definitely VT Docs' USP.
Dictonaries were industry standard and customizable to every proposal team / organization
Win Theme / Concept Analaysis / Readability / Compare docs & excel are some of the best complete
There is a scope for continuous improvement of some features like dictonaries, customize the whitelists, etc.
Using the VT Solution in a Compliance Department Environment
Our department uploads new RFPs to VisibleThread to highlight compliance risk. We run concept scans, searching for key terms that potentially indicate a high level compliance, financial or operational risk and exposure. These critical reports are generated efficiently in a matter of minutes, creating a significant costs savings in terms of labor output and productivity. Our department also utilizes the VisibleThread compliance checklist capability to report on contract risk factors. It has increased our review efficiency and flags risk much sooner.
Response from VisibleThread
Thanks Jesse for taking the time to review. Really appreciate it.
The VisibleThread Team.
VisibleThread will help improve the quality and readability of your documents. It saves editing time and helps to flag problem areas quickly.
VisibleThread lives up to all its claims. The Plan Language, Win Theme, Bad Language, and Quality scans provide an effecient and effective way to improve the readabiity and language in proposal documents. The software is user-friendly and works well on Word and pdf files.
More integration with SharePoint would be helpful.
Visible Thread Saves Time
Great value, excellent support from the vendor. Try it online.
We use VT to analyze potential targets and to generate compliant and responsive RFI and RFP/RFQ responses. It works and works well. It serves as a "force multiplier" for our small company. We've greatly reduced the time spent wading thru acquisition packages and can focus on things we can win.