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Topics: Consulting, Government, Risk Management
What criteria do Consultant’s use for determining to pursue advertised Requests For Proposal (RFP)?

Deciding to respond to RFPs requires consultant’s to commit to expanding financial resources and manpower to develop proposal documents, presentation materials and to participate in the client’s process in order to compete for award of the contract for services. When the RFP is advertised, a consultant reviews the RFP and determines if the expenses can produce a high probably to achieve a contract award. There are varied criteria used by consultants, but the majority include:
– Meeting or exceeding the RFP selection criteria
– Identifying competitors and their discriminator attributes
– Assessing past experience on contracts similar in size and scope
– Reviewing available talent from in-house and teaming partners
– Proposing key personnel with unique qualifications
– Evaluating cost and duration of the contract
– Estimating the gross profit and potential growth in scope of services
– Matching the work location and home location of key personnel
– Assessing the potential value of future work with client
So when and where does the consultant assess the risks from past experience with the client? If the client is difficult, what allocations will the consultant include to off-set risk?
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Henry -

The assessment of client risk happens at two points - before the decision to respond to the RFP is made and second, during the definition of the response.

The first decision point could cause the consulting firm to NOT respond based on poor past experiences, potential reputational and financial damage and other concerns.

The second decision point would be an exercise in both reserve definition as part of the bid amount and specification of T's and C's.


Thanks Kiron. Responding to an RFP can be costly and time consuming for consultants pursing work. From large projects to small projects, clients can require mulitple copies and ditribution of elaborate proposals that include comprehensive Project Management Plans, detailed descriptions of deliverables and work schedules, samples of consultant's proposed deliverables or products from previous work, oral presentations, interviews with key personnel, and multiple Best and Final Offers.

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