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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Help! I've got an RFP

Help! I've got an RFP

Step 1: Read the RFP

Read the RFP and understand what is required, if you have a solution and if you can win it.

Step 2: Engage The Technical Resources

Engage your Systems Engineer , Design Engineering resources and product specialists. Provide them with a brief overview and your thoughts on the bid response.

Step 3: Complete the Mandatory Bid Review Form

If your bid response requires to go through a formal process then start right now and schedule a conversation with the bid review team. Ensure you complete the document fully and provide a better response than “we need to win this and must win this”. If that is the actual case then provide facts to back up your requests.

Step 4: Request Additional Support if Needed

If you have access to a bid response team then engage them right now. It is easier to cancel their need after the bid review decision than ask them to help later based on scheduling.

Step 5: Engage Your Support Organizations For...

Determine what additional resources are required to complete your response, such as:
  • References
  • Professional Services
  • Special Bids
  • Maintenance / Services
  • Account Manager
  • Contracts
  • Unique deliverables

Step 6: Proposal Manager

If a Proposal Manager is assigned, that person will read through the RFP but is concerned about deliverables and time frames as they will not be providing content or pricing. Their task is to ensure the different participants are delivering their inputs on time.

You should be prepared to help the Proposal Manager complete the Bid Assessment by analyzing factors such as:

  • the bid timeframe
  • the scope of the proposed solution
  • the potential revenue
  • the positioning and probability of win
  • your strategy for winning strategic
  • our value of the customer
  • our competition
  • the incumbent vendor

Step 7: Kickoff Call and Task Assignment

If the decision is to proceed with Bid response, then a Kickoff Call will be arranged. The resources that you have engaged to support the opportunity should be present or represented on the kickoff call if possible. You should be prepared to discuss the customer opportunity, the strategy for winning, and your proposed design. The project timeline will be established and agreed upon and the Proposal Manager will analyze the bid and make task assignments during this call.

Step 8: Answer the Bid

The Proposal Team typically does not provide responses to all of the questions. It is the Sales Team's responsibility to secure the resources to answer the RFP. This is not where a sales executive tosses the RFP off to a team of people and walks away. Sales owns the response.

Step 9: Final Production and Delivery

The Sales Account Team  will be responsible for delivery of the final hard copy (and/or electronic if requested) document to the customer including printing, assembly and binding of the required number of copies, burning CDs, emailing, hand delivering, and/or final shipping.

You must allow time for the production process, which can be extensive depending upon the size and complexity of the RFP response, number of copies, etc.

Good Luck and Good Selling!

Toronto TTC Apps to make the Commute Easier

While in San Francisco and Tokyo, I found some transit apps to be highly useful as a tourist in navigating the city. Back home, I am not a daily user of TTC as I live in the suburbs but I having been enjoying discovering Toronto via walkable and transitable options but waiting and waiting for a streetcar to show up had me wondering that there must be apps for  Well Yeah there is Red Rocketeers and Blue Busers out there.

Transit App

Its endorsed by the TTC and works on my iPhone and on my Note 3 (sorry no Playbook edition). There are a lot of features on this app with the easy one showing the closest routes available. You can save your favourites, scroll around the map and it also shows all the transit types available including Uber.


This one has been out for a while and I love the Near Me feature which shows the arrival time of the next buses at my transit stop. This is a clumsier app and refreshes seems to be slow and more cluttered to use and does have ads at the bottom of the screen. Upgrade and they will be removed.


This is a great app for the GTA commuter because it includes maps and info on the other transit systems out there. I found the trip planner to be very easy to use. I think this app handles service alerts a lot better.

What could be interesting is how location based adverts can be useful to the commuter. While waiting 15 minutes at a stop could mean that a local small business may want to push out a coupon to you to entice you to discover or shop their store. If someone wants to give me a half price espresso while waiting for the 504 streetcar then why not save a buck or two?