The Request For Proposal process is outdated and does not encourage inspired solutions.
You get what you pay for
Most RFPs are almost always synonymous with a “low bid” and price-driven project. And, low bid is usually synonymous with cutting corners and producing mediocrity.
Less is not always more
Because of a low bid requirement or perception, RFPs can stifle creativity and don’t inspire an added value approach. The RFP process could actually make the best candidate look like the worst possible choice.
Because of a low bid requirement or perception, RFP respondents are likely to bury project costs in expenses, or try to recoup costs through add-ons once awarded a project.
The project ringer
Even though RFPs may attempt to level a competitive playing field, they are often drafted with a “preferred supplier” in mind, putting all other respondents at a disadvantage. The RFP process is often a formality, when the decision makers already have a project “ringer” in mind.
The RFP process has no component to truly evaluate the best candidate for a project, and in the process to respond to the RFP, there is often no opportunity to discuss and evaluate a better approach or process.
We believe the long outdated RFP process should be scrapped in favor of the RFQ process—a Request For Qualifications (RFQ). A dialog needs to be established between a potential client and potential project partners—serving as the beginning of a relationship. A direct dialog is, we believe, the only way to reach inspired solutions, and to build a strong relationship and a comfortable chemistry between project leaders and partners. The success of any important project requires qualifications to be matched with opportunities.