Always Looking for an Edge to Serve Members
NRTC staff perform a number of routine tasks every day in the course of doing business. It’s always a plus to find practices that improve efficiency because anything that makes our tasks more efficient usually ends up benefiting our members. Take, for example, preparing a response to a member Request for Proposal (RFP). NRTC recently began using Loopio, a software application that will help respond to members more thoroughly than ever.
NRTC devotes less time on the Q&A part of the RFP, and more time working on the pricing and design information. “We spend more time on the things that are specific to an RFP and giving our best product to the member, “said NRTC Operations Manager Eve Tapscott, who compiles information for RFPs.
Loopio software allows the user to maintain a library of RFPs to quickly research the answers to similar questions in previous projects. RFPs often require responding to hundreds of questions and hunting down thousands of details. Q&A sections that once took weeks to gather now take less than a day. The time NRTC saves allows it to dig deeper into member-specific details and provide a more complete report.
Multiple NRTC staffers have access to electronic versions of the RFP in a networked setting for fast review and collaboration while compiling the response. “I also can go in and assign specific tasks to individual people,” Tapscott said.
Overall, an RFP response remains a weeks-long process with NRTC’s Smart Grid and Broadband divisions always researching the most recent and relevant technical details to fit the members’ specifications. But with smoother, more automatic data organization, NRTC staff spends a greater amount of time on the substance of the report.
Improving the member experience from the RFP phase through technology deployment and operations remains one of NRTC’s primary goals.