Evaluation criteria are spelled out in every solicitation. One of the most critical things you can do as a potential bidder is to determine up front whether you can satisfy the evaluation criteria. If you realize that you cannot meet the criteria, the RFP will not be worth your time and resources.

Many companies believe that price is the only evaluation criteria. After all, the government is looking purchase a good or a service. However, price is not always the determining evaluation criteria, especially when the government is trying to procure a service or complex solution. Instead, the government will evaluate the totality of evaluation criteria, of which only one is price.

One of the most important evaluation criteria is method of approach or solution. How are you going to satisfy the scope of work requirements? For example, is your solution scalable or permit interfaces with other systems. Your approach is equally as important. The government wants to know how you plan to design and implement your solution. Will it cause undue disruption? Do you have sufficient project management controls and feedback mechanisms? How will you configure your solution to meet the government’s needs?

Offeror Qualifications and Experience are standard factors. For instance, be prepared to explain how your business is structured, your business focus, history in the marketplace, financial statements, as well as provide references. The government wants to know that you have done this before and that you did a satisfactory, if not, excellent job. References usually ask for other government projects. Be selective when you choose references. Choose those that are of similar scope and size.

Finally, the government will likely ask for what personnel you plan to utilize if you are awarded the contract. Often times, a RFP will ask how you plan to staff the project and include resumes of your key employees.

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