As mentioned in an earlier article there are obvious benefits of having information related to your RFP process captured in a web based tool. Once of of those being increased visibility of the RFP process inside the organization. Improved visibility allows collaboration not only between individuals within the organization but also between the property manager and services providers. Besides the obvious benefit of visibility there are other potential benefits.
As as RFP information is captured over time interesting pieces of information can be calculated. If the organization has indicated the square footage of their properties, the cost square foot for current or historic services can be determined. This information can be further grouped by category so that service category per square foot cost can be determined. This can even be further broken down by region allowing property managers to see historic prices for services categories for their area which gives them a better idea if the proposals being submitted by service providers seem reasonable.
Service provider performance feedback can also be very valuable. If a formal way of rating service providers is implemented in an organization then property managers will have another valuable piece of information they can use to choose qualified service providers. If multiple organizations are rating services providers then that information could be used to provide an aggregate rating which could be used by anyone using the same RFP tool. A property manager could look at not only their own organization's rating but possibly a cumulative rating for a service provider given by other organizations that are using the tool which may yield a potential new service provider that can be used by the property manager when sending out an RFP.
Service providers having access to all of their previously bid RFPs as well as information about regional costs per service category would allow them make better bid estimates. Also, service providers should also have access to previously bid proposals allowing them to adjust their proposals for the customer hopefully allowing them to improve the quality of their proposal and the competitiveness of their bid.
Some other features a centralized RFP bidding tool can provide are:
- A company pre-approved service providers list
- Sealed bidding, helping to prevent bid collusion with service providers
- Ability to copy a pre-existing RFP to create a new RFP.
- Management notification of work in progress RFP process steps
- Service provider questions and property manager responses captured in a single location
Many of these things would not be possible or at least made more difficult if they were to be implemented through an email RFP process. The Internet requires new ways of thinking about how work is done and those new ways are often large improvements over previous ways of doing work.