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Consulting: Document Design

consulting document designWhat a Professional Layout Can Do for Your Responses

  • Reflect Professionalism and Care
  • Make Reading and Navigating Easy for the Reviewer
  • Harmonise Your Content
  • Reflect Your Branding

Well-designed, brand-compliant tender responses win business. They ensure readability, harmonise your carefully written content into a cohesive whole and exude professionalism.

"An inferior proposal presented in a superior manner will often beat a superior proposal presented in an inferior manner"

High value tender responses deserve the best presentation possible. Naturally the offer itself must be compelling, and your written content should showcase benefits that satisfy prospect needs. However, decades of experience has shown that poorly presented proposals rarely make the shortlist: regardless of how attractive the offer is. 

Why Consider Using a Professionally-designed Tender Response?

Carefully designed response documents are a winning ingredient for a number of excellent reasons. They:

  • Ensure your response reflects professionalism and care.
  • Promote legibility and ease of reading.
  • Allow the reviewer to navigate around the document easily.
  • Harmonise a range of content into a consistent look and feel.
  • Reflect your organisations corporate branding, if you have it.
  • Resemble Annual Reports or Corporate Profiles, rather than internal documents.

What Goes into Professionally-Designed Tender Success Layout?

The design process begins with a careful analysis of the following important criteria:

  • The Intent of the Document: For example, a response to a Federal RFT will be very different to an unsolicited proposal to the private sector.
  • The Structure of the Response: Is it to be a slim, graphically-rich document the size of an Annual Report, or a multi-volume response containing much data?
  • Your Corporate Branding: Must colours, fonts and logos reflect existing marketing material, or can this be developed?
  • The Document Format: Is the response to be printed and bound? If electronic, must it be PDF or MS Office? Will it be read on paper or on-screen? Will electronic features need to be included?

Once these criteria are established, a stylesheet is developed which comprises carefully designed elements such as:

  • Grid-based Page Layouts: Ensuring effective use of margins and white space.
  • Typography: Typefaces and spacing are chosen to maximise legibility.
    Styles: Carefully defined styles affect character, paragraph, table and object formats.
  • Page Furniture: Page numbers and section markers aid navigation.
    Visual Styling: Text boxes, pull quotes, RFT references, Bios, graphics and figures.
  • Dynamic Elements: Sections and volumes, numbered lists, figure numbers, links etc.?

What About PDF-based Electronic Submissions?

A growing number of tenders are submitted electronically in PDF format. Designing an interactive document involves sensible design. Bookmarks and hyperlinks make navigation simple. Embedded rich media can enhance the written document. Interactive forms and calculations actively involve the reviewer in ways that paper alone cannot.

What Formats are the Documents Produced in?

We develop documents in either Adobe InDesign or Microsoft Office formats. Each submission will generally have its own requirements.

For high-value responses submitted either as PDF or on paper, we recommend using an InDesign template. This application has become industry standard within the publishing world and produces highly professional results. Once complete, the stylesheet can often be used for future response with minimal modification.

Boost Your Win Rate 

A professionally designed response usually requires a surprisingly small investment, but can have a dramatic effect on your win rate. Contact Tender Success now to discuss your requirements.

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Tender Success is a wholly Australian-owned, Australian-based consulting organisation, specialising in tenders, proposals, bids and presentations. Since 1989 our experts have helped Australian Corporations write and win tenders worth more than $20bn. Contact our tender consultants now on 02 8006 BIDS (2437) to find out how to make your next tender a success.