College Services - Summer 2017 - 32

FEATURE

Vendor Advice on the RFP Process

What
vendors
wish
we knew
BY CINDY MCCLANAHAN, CASP

T

he Request for Proposal (RFP) and bid process can sometimes seem
to pit vendors and universities against one another, neither side
wanting to give away too much at the start of a new relationship. This
perspective can lead to lose-lose situations. We asked business partners
from various industries what advice they would give Auxiliary Services
professionals who are about to put out an RFP.

GIVE YOURSELF PLENTY OF TIME
Short turnaround times can lead to incomplete bids. Business partners
recommend allowing sufficient time for research, plan development and
even shipping when developing a timeline and making an estimated
timeline part of the solicitation.
"I cannot tell you the number of RFP's I have been involved with that
only provide a very short window to respond. It seems that if the evaluation process were really important to the client, they would allow
a reasonable amount of time to respond (at least a month or so)."
- Pat Barger, VP of Sales for Five Star Food Service.

"Because schools often wait until the last minute, they frequently send
out an old RFP or ITN from years past and the technology/services they
are looking at have been discontinued."
- Rhonda Myers, Southeast Regional Manager, Academics, CSC Service Works 

"Universities and Colleges should allow approximately two weeks
advance notice regarding a bid conference. There should also be a
minimum of three weeks from the time questions are returned to when
the proposal is due. A contract service provider usually needs up to one
week to print their proposal and ship (you cannot depend on overnight
delivery services especially in the south during storm season or the
northeast during the winter months). Within the last year, I have personally had two public universities who returned the answers to questions two days before the proposal was due. There is no way to amend
your offer when you commonly ship the package two days in advance."
- Rich Katzman, Senior Director of Business Development for Sodexo.

32

CO LLEGE SERVI CE S | SUM M E R 2017

BE CLEAR AND KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT THE PROCESS
Every institution or state has a different process for submitting proposals. As Auxiliary Services professionals you can add value to any RFP
process by clearly outlining who will be involved in the review process
and what metrics will be used to evaluate the information. In addition, it's
essential to confirm that your institution's RFP response system will allow
for all necessary forms of responses. For example, if you require a video,
be certain your system will allow a video file to be uploaded. Lastly, be
aware of your own institutional and state policies regarding procurement.
"The on-line system is a bit cumbersome. Unless a provider/supplier uses it frequently, it is a continual learning process. The capability of the system does not always match the requests in the RFP."
- Lamar Rocker, Director - On Premise Business Development, Coca-Cola

"The University / Auxiliary Services needs to be clear about what they
hope to achieve through the RFP process. For example, do student
surveys indicate a need for specific national brands or categories OR a
desire to have a top performing brand and thus be able to show industry
position in terms of revenues on campuses, proven growth over time etc."
- Allen DuPont, Manager, New Restaurant Growth, Licensing, Chick-fil-A, Inc.

DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS
Auxiliary Services professionals can sometimes release an intentionally
vague RFP in the hope that competition among vendors will spur better
bids. However, providing details in an RFP can help business partners
develop stronger, more accurate bids and give you the ability to compare
like services.
"There have been instances where RFPs didn't provide enough
description about the desired program and/or the required services that are to be provided by an architect/engineer team. Ideally,
all project-specific information and services should be included
and described."
- Tom Wiley, Principal, WTW Architects



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of College Services - Summer 2017

Opening Remarks: Presidential Perspective
Future-proofing your organization’s leadership
Perspectives on strong campus housing partnerships from both sides of the table
Achieving institutional excellence through collaborative sustainability efforts
New partners for new ventures
Corporate Partnerships: Focus on university partnership
Partnerships and possibilities: Working together to bring a food truck to campus
What vendors wish we knew
Partnerships key to addressing food insecurity at WSU
Student Author Contest winners
Partnership at its core: Arizona State University's Sun Devil Fitness Complex and the Downtown YMCA
In Closing Executive Summary
Professional Development Calendar
Advertisers Index/Advertisers.com
College Services - Summer 2017 - intro
College Services - Summer 2017 - belly1
College Services - Summer 2017 - belly2
College Services - Summer 2017 - cover1
College Services - Summer 2017 - cover2
College Services - Summer 2017 - 3
College Services - Summer 2017 - 4
College Services - Summer 2017 - 5
College Services - Summer 2017 - Opening Remarks: Presidential Perspective
College Services - Summer 2017 - 7
College Services - Summer 2017 - 8
College Services - Summer 2017 - 9
College Services - Summer 2017 - Future-proofing your organization’s leadership
College Services - Summer 2017 - 11
College Services - Summer 2017 - Perspectives on strong campus housing partnerships from both sides of the table
College Services - Summer 2017 - 13
College Services - Summer 2017 - 14
College Services - Summer 2017 - 15
College Services - Summer 2017 - 16
College Services - Summer 2017 - 17
College Services - Summer 2017 - 18
College Services - Summer 2017 - Achieving institutional excellence through collaborative sustainability efforts
College Services - Summer 2017 - 20
College Services - Summer 2017 - 21
College Services - Summer 2017 - 22
College Services - Summer 2017 - New partners for new ventures
College Services - Summer 2017 - 24
College Services - Summer 2017 - 25
College Services - Summer 2017 - 26
College Services - Summer 2017 - 27
College Services - Summer 2017 - Corporate Partnerships: Focus on university partnership
College Services - Summer 2017 - 29
College Services - Summer 2017 - Partnerships and possibilities: Working together to bring a food truck to campus
College Services - Summer 2017 - 31
College Services - Summer 2017 - What vendors wish we knew
College Services - Summer 2017 - 33
College Services - Summer 2017 - 34
College Services - Summer 2017 - Partnerships key to addressing food insecurity at WSU
College Services - Summer 2017 - 36
College Services - Summer 2017 - 37
College Services - Summer 2017 - Student Author Contest winners
College Services - Summer 2017 - 39
College Services - Summer 2017 - 40
College Services - Summer 2017 - 41
College Services - Summer 2017 - 42
College Services - Summer 2017 - 43
College Services - Summer 2017 - 44
College Services - Summer 2017 - Partnership at its core: Arizona State University's Sun Devil Fitness Complex and the Downtown YMCA
College Services - Summer 2017 - 46
College Services - Summer 2017 - In Closing Executive Summary
College Services - Summer 2017 - 48
College Services - Summer 2017 - Professional Development Calendar
College Services - Summer 2017 - Advertisers Index/Advertisers.com
College Services - Summer 2017 - cover3
College Services - Summer 2017 - cover4
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