At the end of a competitive bid process, our deliverable is a bid analysis report. We look at a number of factors, with the ultimate goal of making a vendor recommendation to our client.
We’re often putting our own reputation on the line when we do this, as our client expects us to be responsible for the outcome if they follow our recommendations. It’s not an unreasonable expectation, but it does keep us somewhat conservative in our recommendations. While we may take some chances with products from known manufacturers, often all of the bidders are unknowns to us, and we need to think carefully before going out on that limb.
Request for proposal
Most of the factors we look at are fairly good indicators of what we can expect. Throughout the bid process we note our interactions. Were they easy to work with? Did they ask a lot of questions that have absolutely no bearing on the RFP? Did they even read the RFP? You’d be surprised at how many questions we get that were already answered in the RFP.