You’ve spent the time and resources to develop a project from design through requesting offers. Don’t squander those efforts by shorting yourself during the proposal review process. Contractors have taken the time to carefully read your request for offers (RFO) and to put together a package that details how they are the best fit for your project.
Here are a few ways in which you can maximize the value of your proposal review process:
- Give yourself adequate time for the review – If you have 10 proposals and you’ve allowed a maximum of 200 pages per proposal you’ll need lots of time for review. Take into account the size of your proposal team, their individual bandwidth, as well as the details you included in the original RFO. You’ve made it this far in the life cycle of your project, reviewing proposals is not the stage to be thrifty with time.
- Set some solid guidelines for your review scoring criteria. Make sure your review team understands these criteria and adheres to them. It’s not a bad idea to elect a review team leader who can lead the team in keeping reviews consistent and fair.
- Don’t hesitate to ask questions of individual contractors. If they’ve left something out or there’s a possible misunderstanding, it’s worth getting clarification before making your final decision for award.
- We all know cost is a big factor in bid award. However, long term value is largely a result of project quality as well as a contractor who understands your needs and provides good customer service. Consider giving these two areas a higher value in your scoring criteria.
- Lastly, bringing in a third party consultant and/or subject matter expert(s) is a great way to add value to your proposal review team and also helps when your team is short on bandwidth.
If you see a trend in offers not hitting the mark perhaps it’s time to review your RFO language and make some adjustments to alter the quality of proposals you receive. Another way to increase the quality of offers is to debrief those contractors who didn’t win the award. Spend some time developing these relationships and let the contractor know where they fell short and how they can improve. Having a solid relationship with multiple highly qualified contractors can only be a benefit to you in the future. How is your proposal review process working? When your project is complete do you feel like the final product is in line with what the winning proposal offered?