Part 4

Yes, there are plenty of challenges when generating a RFP and the objective of this series is on How to Improve your RFP and how can we make this task easier for you as the Buyer? Sorry, there is no easy answer with the exception of hiring a third party professional. Yes, you can hire someone to create or write your RFP’s. Sign me up right, as I for one am not a big fan of writing them from scratch, which is why we started offering our forms to Buyers and Suppliers that have similar sentiments. First – few companies have the budget to hire professionals, second – it does defeats the purpose of educating yourself on how to improve your RFP skills (some call it your professional development) and last – your boss might ask what you were hired for…not good!

You can improve your RFP by improving your Read the rest of this entry

Part Three

In part one and part two of this series we covered the importance of providing a clear, concise and detailed proposal. In part three, we will touch on the remaining components or make-up, the presentation and on responsibilities for your RFP document.

Lets start with some good news — quite often another department like engineering or your technical group is responsible for providing the scope or the technical component of the RFP. They are responsible for putting together the guts of the proposal and the reason why you are issuing the proposal in the first place. You have heard the term “garbage in, garbage out”. Well, if you put garbage in your proposal, it is likely you will receive garbage in response.

As a buyer, you are typically responsible for incorporating this scope or detailed specification into the document. You need to construct or put the proposal together in a manner that makes sense to the bidder. Other areas you need to focus on are the table of contents, the commercial terms, conditions, dates, site visits, meetings and ultimately putting together the evaluation and recommendation from all of the bids received. It is at this point you need to be cognizant of insurance, environmental, regulatory requirements and little things like payment terms.

What are some of the practices you can do to improve presentation and more importantly simplify this task?

  1. Much of a previous RFP Read the rest of this entry

Part Two

In part one, we touched on areas on how to improve your request for proposal. We mentioned mitigating risks, improving bid responses and clarity. In part two, we will provide further amplification to these three areas.

Mitigating Risks: To reduce risk or to reduce liability against your organization we strongly recommend you involve legal counsel prior to issuing any formal RFP or RFQ documentation. Be sensible, if the proposal is budgeted for $5000 you might wish to pass on the legal counsel review, however, if the proposal has a considerably larger value and or risk then you should consider this option. Having provided this caveat, we are also assuming you are using a quality template that has been reviewed and approved by your organization in the first place.

Other ways to limit liability is to ensure your instructions to bidders are consistent and do not contradict within the proposal. An example, would be a technical specification being at odds in two different areas of your bid. Another example is an extension to the submission date. If you indicate the tenders or proposals must be received by 3:00 PM PST on August 4, 2012, then you are legally bound to stick to this timeline. Many organizations date and time-stamp proposals at time of receipt. This log and control function is a form of mitigating risk in the event they are challenged. If you issue an addendum or extension to a deadline then this must be provided to all bidders.

Risks and liabilities are a very dry topic and we could spend a considerable amount of time on this subject alone but we hope the above gives you some sense on how to avoid getting embroiled in a legal challenge. Lets move on to improving your bid responses. Read the rest of this entry