How to Write Bid Specs

  1. When to issue an RFP
  2. Benefits of using an RFP
    1. Helps meet Organizational Needs
    2. Provides transparency and accountability
    3. Ensures project success
  3. Steps in RFP Process
    1. Discovery
      1. What would go into creating the RFP. Establish project boundaries, develop a realistic timeline, and include an estimated budget.
      2. Who will manage and execute the RFP process. These individuals should have both the organizational knowledge and project-specific knowledge needed to draft a detailed RFP and to adequately evaluate submitted proposals.
      3. What could be affected by the purchasing decision. This one is more open-ended, but consider how the decision might affect ongoing projects, your organizational budget, and even your relationships with internal teams and other third-party vendors.
      4. In this meeting, talk about broad business goals that could be met with this project and what your estimated budget would be. You will also need to decide on how you will evaluate different bidders and what categories are a top priority for your needs, such as security, speed to implementation, project functionality, etc.
    2. Draft and Issue RFP
      1. Experts assert that a well-drafted RFP should include:
      2. The purpose of the RFP
      3. A clear description of project goals and results
      4. A rubric or criteria that will be used to evaluate submitted proposals
      5. A “wish list.” Some experts argue that in addition to including the non-negotiable aspects of a project, it’s helpful to include a list of things that your organization would like to see included in a proposal or throughout the project.
      6. A timeline for the project including a proposal deadline, an evaluation window, a selection date, a date to notify vendors that were not selected, and a completion date for the entire project.
    3. Using a Template
      1. To help guide your organization through the process, ensuring that all essential components are included, it can be helpful to start with an RFP template. Further, there are a number of resources available to help make this process as easy as possible, including tips and advice on how to write an effective RFP and ways to more effectively prepare an RFP.
      2. With the template and draft decided, develop the scoring criteria, which could be a rubric or scoring matrix. An easy way to do this is using a weighted number range between 1 and 10 that helps you quantify categories based on importance. For instance, this matrix could be as simple as three columns:
        1. Requirements listed
        2. Scores
        3. Weight of the requirement
      3. After determining what type of vendors you want to reach—based on industry, location, organization type, and other relevant factors—there are a number of resources that can help to ensure that you share your RFP in such a way that you connect with the right vendors. (Most industries have one or several standard venues for posting an RFP.)
    4. Score and Shortlist Proposal
      1. As you receive responses, use your scoring matrix to begin evaluating vendors, eliminating those that don’t meet your non-negotiables. Begin to identify strong points among vendors, and shortlist those that have the highest scores.
      2. You don’t need to respond to the vendors until you’ve made a decision.
    5. Select and Contact Winner
      1. Once the response window closes, compare your shortlisted vendors in order to make a decision. Check all their contact references and reviews, ensuring that you see consistency between what they shared and what their other clients say. Reach out to vendors if you think additional meetings or materials will help in choosing.
      2. Once you narrow it down to two or more leading bidders, negotiate between them, locking in a price and contract with your final choice.
      3. In the end, take time to notify the vendors you did not choose and let them know why you made that decision.
    6. What to Include in an RFP
      1. Background information
      2. Detailed description of the project
      3. Specific requirements about preferred systems, tools, materials, or products
      4. Project deadline along with explicit dates and milestones
      5. Any questions you would like the potential vendors to answer or materials to submit
      6. Evaluation criteria
      7. Possible roadblocks
      8. Guidelines for submitting the proposal
    7. A good template Example

How to Write a Bid Proposal

    1. Elements of a Bids Proposal
      1. Client’s Contact Information
      2. Contractors Contact information
      3. Job Name
      4. Purpose of the proposal and project
      5. Services or products that would be provided
      6. Pricing information
      7. Additional terms and conditions of the agreement
      8. Estimated project timeline
      9. Signature of both parties
    2. How to write a bid proposal
      1. Get an in-depth understanding of the project
        1. Before drafting a bid proposal, make sure you understand exactly what the project entails and what the client is hoping to accomplish. You can often do this by reading the job description, but asl the client for additional information if you feel that you need more details.
      2. Research the client
        1. Learning a bit about the client can help you write a bid proposal that both impresses them and communicates that your company is ideal for the job. If the client is another organization, research the company and explore its website so that you can evaluate their challenges and values.
      3. Evaluate the competition
        1. Regardless of the project, there are likely other companies and individuals competing for the opportunity to offer their goods and/or services. By conducting a competitor analysis, you can create a bid proposal that helps your company stand out.
      4. Consider offering an additional good or service
        1. In order to make sure that your company is able to set itself apart from the competition, you could include an additional service or product in your bid proposal, free of charge.
      5. Include relevant information
        1. Its often helpful to include things like samples of your company’s work or even reviews from satisfied customers to demonstrate that your company is qualified to complete the project effectively and efficiently
      6. Proofread your proposal
        1. As with any professional correspondence, it’s vital that you double-check your work. Look for grammatical, spelling or formatting errors, as well as any wording that is awkward or unclear.
    3. Bid Proposal Template (Here’s a template that you can use as your own bid proposal:)
  • Client Information
        1. [Name]
        2. [Address]
        3. [Phone Number]
        4. [Email Address]
  • Contractor Information
      1. [Name]
      2. [Address]
      3. [Phone Number]
      4. [Email Address]
    1. Job Name: [Name of Project]
    2. Job Summary: [Brief overview of the project and how your company plans to provide its expertise to complete it.]
    3. [List of the tasks that your company would perform, including key deliverables.]
    4. Proposed project budget: [Estimated cost of the project, including details that could alter it.]
    5. Terms and Conditions:[Details about expectations, variables that could affect the proposal and additional responsibilities.]
    6. Project timeline:[You can either list the start and completion date for the project or provide a general timeframe for once an agreement has been reached.]
    7. Client Signature:[Leave a space for the client to sign and date.]

Contractor Signature: [Leave a space for the company representative to sign and date.]

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