Proposal Advisory and Management Services
Allan Cutler & Associates offers services from the beginning of the bid process to its completion. Starting with identifying bid opportunities, we continue with RFP analysis, preparing the proposal and beyond.
Bids by the federal government, other governments or public and private enterprises in a competitive bid environment have become more and more complex and difficult. As a result, the preparation of proposals has become more costly, difficult and onerous.
Bid evaluation has also become more difficult to understand. Every bid is different. Each proposal must be prepared and tailored to match a company’s specific capabilities to the stated requirements.
We provide an integrated or customized service tailored to the needs of a firm.
For convenience our services have been grouped in the following categories.
• On-going monitoring of bid opportunities
Many firms do not have the time or resources to monitor bid opportunities. On behalf of these firms, we monitor the various electronic bidding forums on a daily basis. All monitoring is customized to match client’s needs, capabilities and requirements. With this understanding we are able to screen opportunities for better results. Searching for opportunities can be done by regions (local, provincial, national, etc) and by specific needs.
Once identified, the opportunities are referred to our clients for assessment. If further assistance is required, we can normally obtain the appropriate RFP and forward it for a decision.
Most electronic bids require that the bidder (our client) obtain the bid directly in order to bid. If you are not already registered, we are able to assist in this.
We monitor MERX, Biddingo, Bids Canada, and provincial and territorial boards. As well, we also monitor various “stand-alone” bid boards that are used by cities, agencies, etc.
• RFP Review Services
We have an in-depth understanding of the various bid documents (Request for Proposal, Request for Standing Offer, Request for Supply Arrangment, etc) and the public sector processes involved in developing, issuing and assessing bids.
2a. Bid/No Bid Decision
The first step in reviewing the RFP is to assess the Bid/No Bid decision. This involves an examination of the evaluation criteria and the statement of work with the client. Working closely with our client, a template can be developed to help assess how well the bid matches their abilities and the probability of winning the bid.
2b. Detailed Analysis
Once a decision to proceed has been made, we commence a detailed analysis of the complete RFP. This continues throughout the bid period as amendments to the original RFP are issued. All changes, and questions and answers issued, are analyzed for clearness, consistency and understanding.
The following are some of the supporting actions:
• Proposal Analysis (Red Team) Services
Along with RFP review services, Proposal Analysis is the most in demand. It is the centre for quality control and is generically known as Red Team Services.
To ensure a high quality proposal that meets RFP evaluation criteria, the following functions are performed:
Many firms are extremely busy fulfilling on-going demands at the time that an opportunity to bid arrives. To assist, Allan Cutler & Associates offers management services from the initial conception to the final product, including printing of the proposal.
Proposal Management (may include):
• Proposal Writing and Development Services
Many firms require writing services to ensure that a quality proposal is developed. Allan Cutler & Associates can provide writers who can work closely with firms. Our clients are the subject matter experts. We provide the necessary writing skills to explain this.
Writing Services (including but not limited to):
• Negotiation and Post Contract Services
In addition to assisting with the proposal/bidding process, we also have the in-depth expertise and knowledge to aid during the post bid period. We assist in debriefings to understand how to improve on future bids. Allan Cutler & Associates also assists in negotiating contracts or amendments.
• Related Services
Allan Cutler & Associates offers a number of consulting services that relate to proposal preparation and writing.
This is a course that focuses on understanding how to prepare a response to various competitive procurement bid instruments such as an RFP, RFI, Invitation to Tender, etc The proposal process is examined in detail from both the evaluators’ viewpoint and the bidders’ viewpoint. An explanation regarding the terms used and their meaning is discussed. As well, considerable time is taken in understanding the conditions of bidding: the evaluation criteria – mandatory, rated requirements and how price can be evaluated in a proposal.
The course is normally two days in duration. It can be customized and broken into modules depending on the customer’s needs and expectations.
While every proposal evaluation criteria is different, similar elements appear in many RFPs. For firms with a continuous demand to prepare proposals, boilerplates or templates can be developed for some criteria. While customization will still be necessary, the use of boilerplates as a starting point speeds up the process. Allan Cutler & Associates can aid firms in development of these documents.
Allan Cutler & Associates is able to research business information and future opportunities for clients. As well, using ATI we are able to request background document that will help a client understand the bid rationale if they think an error has been made in bid evaluation.
Should a bid challenge be contemplated, upon request, we do a complete review of the client’s proposal and the RFP evaluation criteria. We are able to give an expert and impartial opinion regarding the issue and the probability of success.
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