We set out a number of years ago to modernize and streamline the methods used for the calling and submission of bids, tenders and RF(x)’s. We understood the pain points experienced by both the procurement professional receiving the submissions as well as the proponents. The traditional paper based process is no longer good enough and presents too many potential problems and costs for both parties.
This week we experienced one of those problems first hand. Our team had worked for several weeks to prepare a response to a Request for Proposals for an “eBidding” solution called by a major institution in Boston. We were feeling good about the response and our potential chance of success. We printed, tabulated and bound the requisite number of copies and paid the courier fees of over $140 to ship the proposal to the designated closing location. All done, right?
Wrong! The next day when checking on the delivery of the submission on the courier’s website we discovered it was still in Memphis only a couple of hours before closing time. The courier advised that the weather had been terrible and the plane with our submission aboard had not left. It would not arrive in time and weeks of work, several hundred dollars in printing and courier costs were wasted and a great opportunity was lost. From the institutions perspective they may well have lost out on a great proposal that could have yielded benefits for years to come. All of this because they did not have a modern Bid Event Management solution in place which was of course the very purpose of the RFP.
It is certainly true that we could have shipped the proposal earlier and likely avoided this issue at the expense of having less time to actually prepare the best response we could. The final conclusion of this story is that in fact the submission did arrive in time; we just did not know that. The courier company’s tracking software was “acting up” and they had given us bad information. We are happy about that but this story is not an uncommon one and many submissions have been missed due to flat tires, bad weather, broken printers and a plethora of other reasons. Now, if they only had our solution in place already we would know the answer sooner because of the efficiency we bring to the evaluation process.