RE: Help! Suddenly I'm a new RFP/proposal writer

Subject: RE: Help! Suddenly I'm a new RFP/proposal writer
From: "Ed Gregory" <ed -at- gregorynet -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 10:50:10 -0500

In my most recent RFP experience, you couldn't have a last-minute surrogate
deliver a faxed response at the final hour.

The RFP was for a seven-figure services contract for disaster recovery
services for a major facility (500+ servers and many, many terabytes of

One of the RFP requirements was that three bound copies of the proposal be
delivered personally to specific individuals in our firm by a previously
identified official contact for this proposal. We identified several
individuals authorized to take receipt of the proposals. The vendors each
identified several points of contact. NDAs were signed early in the process
by everyone from the point-of-contract through the person our lawyers felt
gave us the most binding and encompassing NDA.

There was a significant question-and-answer period for clarifications, with
all vendors fully in the loop on any question asked and any answer given.
There was little room for "additions or corrections" after the proposal was

The vendors, billion-dollar-plus companies themselves, were able and
reluctantly willing to handle the strictness of the requirements. They did
try, however, to squeeze as much wiggle room as possible out of any
perceived imprecise language of the RFP.

They also kvetched about the onerous "burden" put upon them and said they
had never seen anything so tough. However, having worked for a vendor that
provided custom security and surveillance devices for government agencies,
it seemed to me that these disaster recovery vendors were getting off pretty

Question: in the experience of others, does the strictness of the written
RFP vary with the number of zeroes in the contract amount? By the level of
interested competitors? By private versus government purchaser?

-Ed Gregory

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Re: Help! Suddenly I'm a new RPF/proposal writer: From: Nora von Gerichten

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