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Missouri government officials often struggle with the RFP process. The problem is many organizations do not have a process for writing RFPs and many of the steps necessary to attract vendors through the RFP process are not clear. Ultimately, they also struggle to find qualified vendors who can provide the services that will be beneficial to their organizations.

A Request for Proposals is a document that requests information from suppliers or contractors to evaluate their suitability to provide goods or services to your organization. The RFP usually specifies what is required, what will be supplied by the vendor, and any criteria by which suppliers will be evaluated. Midwest Computech has visited with a lot of government agencies in Missouri throughout the years and annually at conferences such as MML, MSBA, MASA, MoASBO, and various Chambers of Commerce. Many stakeholders have expressed concerns about this process being difficult and struggling for results.

RFPs are a terrific way to find the best IT support and other vendor services for your city, school, or county if you do not already have a quality partner like Midwest Computech. They allow you to solicit bids from a number of vendors, compare their offerings, and choose the company that best meets your needs.

The following are some steps you can follow when writing an RFP:

The first step in writing an RFP is to identify what you need. You should start by listing all the services that you require and then narrow down your list based on the available budget and timeline. Include non-negotiables like your budget, timeline, and any specific requirements.

The next step is to create a list of questions that will help you assess each vendor’s capabilities. These questions should be specific enough so that they can be answered with either yes or no without much ambiguity.

While some government officials find it difficult to produce the right words for an RFP, our detailed RFP planning guide can help your city, county, school, or organization save time, write the RFP faster, and get the results you need. The RFP process is an overly complicated and time-consuming process if you do not have a lot of expertise or a guide to help you during the planning process.

Tip - DO NOT list complicated items that might scare vendors off from bidding on your RFP.

Don't scare off high-quality vendors by asking for things you really do not need. For example, 24/7/365 support may not be needed if the vendor agrees to be responsible in case of an emergency. Many vendors operate within the same hours that you do and typically 8 AM -5 PM Monday through Friday. Requiring weekend support is typically rare. This should be something you discuss during the interview process. Many vendors have good alternatives to assist clients during off hours but often do not broadcast these specifics.

Confusion about IT support is a common phenomenon. IT support vendors may not manage all technology solutions like physical security, phone systems, radio systems, and cybersecurity needs. Be specific on what relationships you already have with other vendors for these types of services. The IT Support vendor may only need to coordinate with the phone system company for instances.

IT Support is not just about computers. It includes a wide range of technologies and solutions.

To get the best IT support for your organization, you need to know what your needs are and what you need from an IT provider.

You should consider all these things before you decide on which IT provider to go with:

  • What kind of technology solutions do they provide?
  • What kind of service do they provide?
  • How much will it cost? Going with the low bid may end up costing you more in the end. Get the specifics.
  • How long will it take them to complete a task?
  • Do they offer other services and solutions if you want to expand the relationship later?
  • Is the company dependable and trustworthy?
  • How long have they been in business?

We will help you address all these topics in this in our NEW RFP Planning Guide.

Thank you for putting your trust in Midwest Computech. We are committed to providing you with the best IT service and Cybersecurity solutions in the industry. With over 40 years of experience right here in Missouri, we know what it takes to keep your government agency running smoothly and securely.

Download our RFP Planning Guide Here!