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Understanding the Request for Proposal (RFP) evaluation process

Updated: Apr 10


Proposal assessor

Crafting the perfect proposal takes patience and expertise. Learn more about what goes into the RFP or RFT (Request for Tender) evaluation process and how to make sure that you stand out from the crowd when you are writing proposals.


Answer the questions


It may seem obvious, but this is frequently missed when writing proposals. Each RFP has a unique set of questions, and therefore the responses cannot simply be a 'copy and paste' of previous submissions, as this will often lead to missing crucial information the assessors are seeking during their assessment against the evaluation criteria.


Evaluation criteria


The first step evaluators take is assessing the proposal against the evaluation criteria, usually based on technical specifications, delivery timelines, pricing, quality standards, innovations, and added value. The evaluators will use these criteria to score and rank each proposal based on their ability to meet these requirements. It is important to refer back to the evaluation criteria during the proposal drafting process to ensure these are addressed.


Caliber of the team


A proposal's team composition is a vital factor for evaluators. While evaluating RFPs, many evaluators consider the caliber of the vendor or supplier's team members, their experience, qualifications, and past projects to ensure they can effectively deliver the proposed solution. The evaluators assess the team structure and interaction within the team to determine if they can work cohesively.


References and track record


Evaluators typically contact the vendor's or supplier's prior clients or references to gather additional information. This helps them assess the reputation of those vendors or suppliers, their level of professionalism, and the quality of their work. Evaluators often research the vendor or supplier and review their track record to assess if they have successfully delivered similar projects in the past. Providing previous case studies can significantly bolster your proposal.


Financial evaluation


After reviewing the technical requirements, the evaluators assess the financial aspects of the proposal, such as the cost of goods or services, payment terms, and the overall budget. The team of evaluators checks if the proposed pricing aligns with their budget and value for the money.


Scoring and ranking proposals


Evaluators will typically assign a numerical score to each proposal based on how well it meets the evaluation criteria. Higher scores indicate a better fit with the organisation's needs and requirements. Once all proposals have been scored, evaluators will rank them according to their overall scores. This ranking will be used to determine who will be shortlisted for further reviews.


Ensuring fairness and objectivity


Evaluators take the evaluation process seriously to ensure it is fair and objective. This means that all proposals are evaluated using the same criteria and that evaluators are free from biases or conflicts of interest. Organisations may also involve third-party evaluators to ensure the process is unbiased and transparent.


Evaluating RFPs is a complex process that requires careful consideration and analysis. Organisations can improve their chances of being the chosen candidate by understanding the questions, evaluation criteria, scoring and ranking proposals, and ensuring fairness and objectivity.


Let us help you navigate the world of RFP and Ts. Contact us today.

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