Selecting bids for RFPs advice from Shoalwater Bay

A request for proposal (RFP) is a business document that announces a project, describes it, and solicits bids from qualified contractors to complete it. Some tribes prefer to launch their projects using RFPs to assist their broadband projects. Shoalwater Bay recently went through the process of selecting a company that responded to their RFP. They have shared their experiences with the Tribal Resource Center in hopes that other tribes going through the same process will learn from their experience.

While considering the bids offered to Shoalwater Bay Jim Schaeffer, project lead, said: “Cost was the top factor.  Our selection came in cheapest. They also responded with all information requested and we believe their level of expertise is very high.  All 5 respondents did seem good so the choice was tough. 4 of the 5 were under the $40K threshold, although 1 of the 4 was close and could have exceeded the limit.  We eliminated the one that was over $40K immediately.”

Jamie Judkins, Shoalwater Bay broadband project lead, shared her process for elimination. “I did some reference checking on one that stood out. Not necessarily red flag status, but not professional. Here is my comparison of the proposals.”

*Company names have been altered*

CompanyAmountNative Owned?Woman Owned?Native ExperienceSuccessful Surveys?LocationComments
Company A$ 32,500NJSo far, I have been unable to reach any of the references with 2 of them going to the wrong individuals. The first “Key Person” on their task list isn’t listed in their Key Personnel area.
Company B$ 38,820x   ME
Company C$ 38,000xWANot to exceed $41k?
Company D$ 32,000xxOKLike the idea of ending up with a turnkey solution. Read the last half of page 3 carefully.

For more information on RFPs click here.

For RFP Response Evaluation & Vendor Selection click here.

For How to Evaluate Responses to a Project Request for Proposal click here.