June – That RFP Bugaboo Revisitied

I have just gone through several RFP processes so this topic is once again on my mind. For my prior ideas and great responses from my emailers, click here to go to the search engine on this website and look under RFPs. A few recent issues:

  1. Emails
    Bids should be allowed by email. Recent bids not only didn’t allow for email but wanted every section of the bid with tabs. Doesn’t make much sense for a 20 page bid.
  2. Notarization
    Still being required and a waste of time. Although all bids make it clear that costs in responding to the bid are not covered, in reality someone does pay and these costs are absorbed in the consultant’s overhead.
  3. Price/Budget
    Instead of playing games with the budget, simply get it out front. APA says we shouldn’t be bidding low bid anyway.
  4. Interviews
    Skype works with your kids, why not bid interviews? Also, I recently was allowed only 15 minutes for a bid presentation.
  5. Timing
    Selection one month with work due the following month. May make sense for a few selected contracts but not most.
  6. Confusion
    After going through the entire process on a recent RFP, it became clear that what the RFP requested was not really what was wanted. The RFP obviously picked up words from another unrelated RFP.

But, it’s not all bad. Recently:

  1. Questions
    Was asked to submit answers to questions prior to the interviews – good idea.
  2. No Interview
    We were recently selected for two major RFPs and selected with no interview required.
  3. Sole Source
    Given our reputation, a high percent of our contracts are sole source contracts. A recent city found a creative way to do sole source, even if the budget exceeded that normally allowed. A special section of the city’s purchasing approach allowed a sole source if the bidder had recently been selected under a similar type RFP. Very creative.

Bottom line. Most RFPs are designed to improve something. So, why not improve the RFP process?

The Management Doctor