The Importance of an RFP and The Bid-Leveling Process

Putting work out to bid can save you financial and emotional strain throughout the duration of any construction project. You’ll need to procure vendors in order to complete the scope of work laid out, and you want to ensure you’re getting the most value for your money. This process must be done with the utmost care, because without the proper due-diligence you could be paying a lot more for less than what you need.

Issuing RFPS:
Vendor procurement can take weeks, if not months, and is a necessary component to any project. To begin, you will first issue an RFP (request for proposal) to a list of potential vendors for each discipline: architecture, construction, security, cabling, MEP, etc. Each discipline will have its own individual RFP requesting specific information from each firm about their experience, their firm history and, of course, their pricing. The RFP will outline the specific details of your project while highlighting the milestone dates and the scope of services that are needed. All vendors per discipline will be issued the exact same copy of the proposal so as to avoid any discrepancies in their responses.

Bid Leveling:
Once each vendor submits their proposal these bids need to be leveled. Leveling is the process of taking each response and organizing all of the information for the client to view and easily understand. During this process, discrepancies between bids will be identified, a high and low bid will be identified, and the overall experience of each firm will be discussed. Leveling the bids makes it easier to make a decision as to which firm is best for your project.  Rather than having to sort through four or five proposals separately, the client is able to view one platform displaying all responses side-by-side broken down by category so as to avoid any manipulation by any one vendor that may give them an upper-hand over the rest.

The Benefits of Bid Leveling:
The bid leveling process has been shown to save clients 8-10% of the bottom-line cost. This process requires time, due diligence and experience with each discipline. The RFP and leveling process makes a huge impact on the likelihood of the project staying on time and within budget. When you go into your next project it’s essential that you understand the exact services you’ll be provided, how long they’ll take, and at what cost.

Sam McGoven
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