A Request for Proposals (RFP) is a public, formal announcement issued by either the federal government or a private organization for all interested contractors. By law, government agencies are required to make public calls for services to prevent unfair commercial favoritism. This public invitation stimulates competition.
Essentially, an RFP is used to locate vendors who meet evaluation criteria to perform a cost-effective project or service. RFPs demand detailed specifications, much skill, cost-effectiveness, and strict compliance.
The contractors respond by submitting solution proposals, which describe what they can provide and at what price for the requesting government agency or private organization.
These solution proposals then need to be reviewed and evaluated to identify the best candidates for the shortlisting. Rejection notifications need to be given to those many who were not chosen.
But this should be performed with a strategy and not haphazardly. This strategy asks for certain key RFP requirements that will help streamline your decision-making and also certain steps for the rejection process.
Below are some important decision-making tips to help with the selection process:
Which Bidders Were Compliant?
You can expedite the RFP effort by searching only for compliant proposals. Ask these things:
· The main question is whether the bidders have fully answered all the project requirements in a satisfactory way?
· Do the bidders have adequate qualifications for what is being asked?
· Is the asking price somewhere with the budget?
· You should also consider whether your budget falls within their capabilities before making any final decisions about hiring someone.
It is important to show a bidder the same respect that they have shown you during your application process. They have respectfully attempted to fulfill all the formatting requirements in their response proposals.
Bidders will not be happy if their hard work is just disregarded by marking red Xs. Write down reasons why it was rejected to share with them later in conversations with them. So, take your time while reviewing documentation as well.
When you have assessed the many bidders who do not qualify for the project, move on to evaluate the remaining few who have been shortlisted. Use your entire proposal team to carefully assess every requirement stated in the RFP that has been fully answered by the shortlist of candidates.
Responding To Respondents
Eventually, your team selects the most qualified candidate or candidates. Then there are negotiations, documents to sign, timelines, and contracts to discuss and finalize. There is also the need to respectfully send rejection notifications to those who were not chosen. Here are tips for these final days:
· Leave a window of time to ensure the actual acceptance by the selected candidate or candidates for the project. You may need to accept another bidder option.
· Prepare to give the winning candidates an expectation schedule and contract negotiations.
· Give some time for the winners to formally accept the contract. When they do, prepare to discuss the project commencement.
· Be sure to thank all the bidders by name for their hard work in respectfully complying with the formatted responses. Do this in a personalized way, if possible.
Small businesses and new ideas are encouraged to apply for the RFP projects. They demand appealing proposals to win the government contracts. Appealing bids and proposals must be adequate and compliant according to the project requisition.
A robust software application that can analyze a written proposal would prove useful for successful bidding. The Proposal & Contracts Suite, an out-of-the-box solution, developed by Scion Analytics. It can effectively check a proposal document’s data content for the full compliance that gains the award of a contract.