This article is the final part of a three-part series focusing on how to put together an effective Request for Proposal (RFP) – in this instance for your organisation’s security needs. By managing this process effectively, you will ensure a successful and cost efficient outcome.
The first two articles focused on the importance of planning and preparation in the RFP process. This article will examine how to assess the bids and select the most appropriate vendor.
If you have prepared a clear, accurate and comprehensive RFP, you will have provided potential vendors a format and template in which to respond. The importance of getting this right is to ensure the submissions to you can be properly compared and evaluated, and also provide you (or those responsible for reviewing and assessing the bids) clearly defined rationale, so that the submission will correspond with your checklist of requirements.
For the financial submission (either in the same proposal or as a separate document) it should be a fairly straight forward process to list the bids in order from highest to lowest. You will need to ensure however that the prices offered do include all of the necessary requirements outlined in the RFP.
I have seen quite a few proposals that look good on the surface but have missed out some critical elements and therefore they cannot be compared equally to the other submissions. Ensure you have a checklist for the financials that cover all of the salient areas, including VAT!
The technical submission and assessment should not only include the details of the products/services and how the vendor will deliver or implement the project, but also evaluate the credibility, capability and capacity of the company itself, and even the management team that run it.
From experience, the products and services that are eventually selected are only as good as the team that are in charge. A company that does not have an operationally effective and local presence will find it difficult to overcome the regular and persistent issues that will undoubtedly arise, and those who lack capacity may struggle operationally, economically and administratively throughout the project’s implementation period.
You may also want to consider a marking/points system for the technical and financial elements of the bid. There are a number of ways to do this, and they can vary in complexity – from using mathematical formulas, to a simple ‘traffic light’ system which in most cases is more than adequate and keeps the assessment process easy to implement. The traffic light system provides a number for each result i.e. Green - Fully Compliant = 2; Amber - Partially Compliant = 1; Red - Not Compliant = 0. Make sure that each item is properly weighted for its importance.
Successfully selecting a vendor should be the easy part if the preparation and planning stages of the RFP have been done properly!
Le Beck CEO Anthony Tesar can be reached on [email protected]