We Asked a Few Clients For Feedback and while this is specific to CA we feel it sits well with our last blog as to Purchasing!
Since you asked for feedback, I’ll be happy to provide some:
Your company and your system are amazing. Your emails and your website are accurate, professional, and industry-best. I have absolutely zero concerns or complaints about your product or services.
Our concern is with integrity of the municipalities that are posing the opportunities. Early on, we had good success bidding on jobs, averaging about 20% of the jobs that we submitted for. We found that to be remarkably successful and we loved that process. However, we have now received only 3 offers from the last 42 opportunities where we submitted. Here’s my disappointment with the directions that the CA (primarily) municipalities have taken:
--The SOQs to their RFPs have become very complicated, often requiring 20-30 effort hours per response
--Most of the municipalities are now requiring multiple (typically 5) copies of bound, tabbed, and indexed responses (often several hundreds of dollars to create)
--Many of the municipalities are requiring licenses and additional insurance in order to accept the SOQ (they require proof in the SOQ), and we have spent hundreds of dollars obtaining licenses in cities where we ultimately haven’t received an awarded contract (City in CA required that we spend over $1,000 in order to submit, others charge us fees for documents that they require that we download in order to submit the SOQ)
--Most disappointing, a high percentage of municipalities have already selected the firm that they plan to use, but are required by law to send out RFPs. In those cases, the cost and effort are completely wasted, as the chance for them to consider our SOQ was never real. I’ve actually benefitted from that, where a municipality decided to hire us based on our reputation, but stated that they had to wait until they completed an RFP so that they could move forward with our work. Once I realized this, I found that this was a fairly common practice, and it’s not a fair playing field.
So while I want to be very clear that I love your service and think that you have an extremely professional product, I have decided to redirect my CA team to focus that effort and cost to other forms of business development.
While this is one person's reaction to what may be happening in more than just CA, it further stresses the fact that it is up to vendors to prevent these negatives from permeating the process!