Proposal Evaluation Services
There are many situations where a facility owner does not have a budget for full system design and specification services, or where the system requirements are adequately clear and well understood that a specification seem excessively complicated. Often the owner just wants to ask several contractors for a proposal to provide a design-build system for their needs. This is a completely reasonable practice, and it happens everyday. Where the owner has a high degree of confidence in the contractors proposing systems, and the owner has an adequate understanding of the system details to evaluate several competing proposals, this can be an efficient method of doing business.
In many of these situations, the owner may find that the proposals vary significantly in price and technical approach, while all claiming to provide equivalent solutions. It is a characteristic of humankind that "to a man with a hammer, all problems look like nails" so often contractors develop favorite solutions to problems. Sometimes these approaches are the most technically appropriate, and sometimes they are not. Sometimes these solutions are the most cost effective and sometimes they are not.
One of the services we provide on a regular basis is proposal evaluation. Our involvement can include writing an RFP (Request for Proposal) that the client issues as a basis of receiving design-build proposals, and reviewing the proposal responses to the RFP. We also are involved at the level of reviewing design-build proposals based entirely on the various contractors' understanding of the requirements and their approach to the optimum solution. In this role, we become the "rented expert" for the client, filtering through the marketing information and helping the client decide on the proposal that offers the best value for their capital investment.
It is always easier and neater to evaluate proposals that are all based on an RFP, as it is possible to specify the basic system criteria and the support material that must accompany the proposal. This helps eliminate or identify the "back-of-the-envelope-with-a-stubby-pencil" designs that are based on available products and not the optimum solutions. It's always nice to know that the proposed system solutions were developed with some analysis of suitability of product and not just the price sheet in the catalog.
We've successfully saved clients several times our fee for this "rented expert" service, while improving the likelihood of the client getting a system that is both cost effective and effective in performance.
The big difference between this simple proposal evaluation service and a detailed design and specification is that the final performance of the design-build proposal system still relies on the technical rigor and thoroughness of the systems contractor, whereas the detailed design and specification approach also specifies testing and performance criteria that must be met and demonstrated at the completion of the project (prior to payment). Where the owner's comfort level with the contractor is high, and the business relationship a good one, this design-build approach can be a satisfactory one.
Mc Squared System Design Group, Inc
323 - 901 West 3rd Street, North Vancouver, BC. V7P 3P9 Ph 604-986-8181