Mastering the Government RFP

What is a Government RFP process?

Creating a Government RFP is a more complete process than the commercial space due to specific requirements put into place at both the state and federal levels to ensure that contracts are awarded in a fair and democratic manner. Most of these differences involve the need for you to ask for much more detail about the vendor services provided as well as hefty background checks on those potential vendors.

What are the important factors of the Government RFP process?

The primary goal of any RFP is to explain your needs for a particular product or service and allow potential vendors to bid for your business. The way you construct your RFP will determine how quickly you find the correct vendor.

It is crucial to include:

  • Clear and direct questions that explain your needs and allow for comparable answers
  • Any background information about your Government sector/area and requirements
  • Scope of work and deliverables including timeframes and objectives
  • Budget
  • Criteria for selection

Important factors of a government RFP

Keep in mind that a Government RFP will likely require a significant amount of additional information from vendors, regulatory requirements, and added security measures amongst other things. And, you will need to be able to process all of this information quickly and accurately in order to meet department mandates and strict regulations.

RFP software can assist in making this task more efficient, and also provides quantitative data for vendor selection and a full audit trail. The process can be sped up with pre-determined weighted questions— replacing essay-based answers with yes/no answers and multiple-choice responses that make the capabilities of the vendor clear. This can make comparisons among vendors a lot faster, and eliminate the impression of bias or favoritism towards a specific vendor.

The measurable benefits

Weighting answers allows you to see the true value of what a vendor is offering. We know that cost is not the only thing driving contract decisions. It is critical to keep in mind that the best use of taxpayers’ money is far more important than saving it.

Consider track record, past experience, support staff, and other tangible distinctions of a reliable vendor for both goods and services.

What challenges face Government Procurement Officers and how can we solve them?

How can we make a Government RFP easier

The state of procurement and the expectations that surround it are dictated by the technology available within the space. For this reason, ignoring innovations pertaining to the Government RFP process can hold entire departments and jurisdictions hostage, deterring the best vendors from bidding for your project.

Let’s look at some of the challenges faced by procurement professionals and how we can solve them:

1. Proof of Savings

How do we link savings and efficiencies to the work of a procurement officer? The Government RFP process should include an in-depth reporting and measurement system. The data created or received should be stored and updated in real-time to provide easy viewability.

2. Continuous Improvement

How do we satisfy the need for constant innovation? You can take the first steps and overhaul your processes to involve procurement software that is already available and choose a provider who continually changes their landscape for the better, i.e. DirectRFP®’s forthcoming AI features.

3. Collaboration

How does the right hand know what the left hand is doing? Having an open platform with instant messaging, the ability to delegate specific tasks and real-time auditing of all actions gives perfect visibility via a single-pane view to work from.

4. Technology

Isn’t this everyone’s struggle with the rapid growth in the technology sector? The government procurement sector seems hesitant to utilize the full benefits of procurement technology despite its apparent improvements to transparency, collaboration, and cost reduction.

How can we make a Government RFP easier and more thorough?

As with most things these days, bringing your entire process into an online format will solve a world of hassles. Consider some of the benefits of an online Government RFP process including:

  • Complete tracking and reporting with date stamp and ID for every task and edit
  • Easier communication — assign individual team members to tasks within the RFP process as needed and share information between departments
  • Track and measure performance — meet deadlines and departmental budget goals

Innovations such as the online management of these Government RFP processes are vital to the world of procurement. They also make the development of the RFP more efficient for both the procurement team and the vendor. By utilizing real-time reporting functionality that is expansive and customizable, information becomes clear and accessible for everyone involved.

What are the other benefits of an Online RFP Process?

If you still work with spreadsheets and electronic files, or simply use an RFP management tool that doesn’t actually help you create the RFP, you are making things unnecessarily hard for yourself. The benefits of electronic processes with a truly automated procurement software tool are far too significant to ignore:

  • Time and dollar savings
  • Expansive communication
  • Delegation and visibility across teams and departments
  • Real-time scoring and customizable weighting
  • Question library for predictive questioning
  • Auto import of existing RFPs
  • Cloning of past RFPs
  • Audit and reporting functionality
  • Real-time visibility of vendor activity within the RFP

Software such as DirectRFP® is the key to RFP management success. It takes away the pain of RFP management by making RFPs easier to develop, faster to complete, and easily measurable — avoiding most of the miseries of RFP management. Contact us today to bring these benefits into your daily workload.