When you are composing an RFP (request for proposals) it can be a long and daunting process if you aren’t sure what information it should contain. Here is a guide to help you through the process so your RFP will meet all of your vehicle upfitting needs.
First, ask yourself some questions to determine what information needs to be included in your RFP.
- Why do you need it? Most commonly this is to change to a different upfitting company because you are dissatisfied with your current provider or think you can get better value for your budget.
- Who are you? How would you describe your organization? What types of vehicles do you need? Are they command vehicles, emergency response vehicles, fleet vehicles, or a combination?
- What is the nature of your project? Are you upfitting an entire fleet or just certain vehicles? Are you starting from scratch, with new vehicles, or upfitting existing vehicles?
- How do you need the information? Upfit RFPs are generally in a contract form. This includes information about the contract award criteria.
- When do you need them? You’ll need to both specify a timeframe for their responses and set out your overall project deadlines.
The following key sections should be generated from your answers above:
- Statement of Purpose: Describe the extent of services/products you are seeking and the objectives of the contract.
- Background Information: This is a brief overview of your organization, its operations, and your contact information.
- Scope of Work: Number the exact items you need for your vehicle upfitting and what you expect of them. Include all upfit items (such as emergency response vehicle equipment, etc.).
- Outcome and Performance Standards: State the exact date you need for the upfits to be completed and to what standards you will hold the provider accountable. Also, list a process for implementing corrective procedures in the case of mistakes or dissatisfaction.
- Deliverables: List all products and deadlines, including dates for expected progess reports and plans of action.
- Term of Contract: Specify the start date and end date of the contract and any renewal options.
- Payments, Incentives, and Penalties: List all terms of payment, include incentives for early delivery and penalities for late delivery.
- Requirements for Proposal Preparation: list the order that you want the proposal written in so they are easy to compare to each other.
- Evaluation and Award Process: List the criteria you will use to award the final contract.
- Process Schedule: Set a time line for each exact step of your requested upfit, such as the time for the first completion, second completion, etc. or a step in the process for the entire fleet.
- Points of Contact: list all of the people to contact for RFP process and any other questions, along with their names, titles, and preferred correspondence methods.
These ideas will help you to complete the long process of wirting an RFP to meet your needs.
Skip the RFP!
However, you don’t need to write an RFP if you use the products and services on your state’s approved contract list.
When a provider is state approved, the state has already been through the very complex process of choosing an upfitter that meets every necessary criteria and performs well in its field of service. Iowa only approves a provider after it is certain that the provider is compliant with the most strigent guidelines and has performance standards that are above and beyond the call of duty.
Using a state-approved vehicle upfitter like Keltek allows you to ditch the RFPs altogether. This saves your valuable time as a fleet manager for other important items. It also allows you to take advantage of deep discounts under the Iowa state contract for upfits of all types.