Currently in a situation where we've made the 'short list' on a FEMA funded RFP to a port shipping container site, mandatory walk through.
All of the products that were listed/suggested as acceptable fall within our wheelhouse from the VMS, wireless backhaul, cameras...so let's give it a shot.
One week ago this RFP was advertised and Friday at 3 was the submission deadline. It was a series of paragraphs written out over 4 pages and riddled with errors. For example, frame rate is to be 7-10 but the Arecont cameras listed can't pump out more than 3.5. The RFP was not put together by an engineer or architect rather the safety manager of the 65 acre site. IT manager was not there to give a network map, and changes to the RFP were made verbally and if anyone wanted information they needed to submit questions. The questions were then relayed to the bidding list, all of which were our questions.
There were the ususal suspects at the walk through including a few analog dinosaurs who I could tell wouldn't be submitting anything. About halfway through the walkthrough, one in particular bidder left and missed most of the information that was given such as which poles had fiber/power and which ones did not. You would have to know this information to give an accurate proposal. Also, the installation deadline/timeline is less than 6 weeks from date of award (tomorrow) another red flag.
So we spent quite some time putting a comprehensive proposal together and to Michael's point, were proud of the work we put in. Bid opening was at 3 decision to be announced at 4 - another major red flag, how can you make a decision on a design build RFP in 1 hour? I get a call 30 minutes after dropping it off saying we were one of the two finalists and that they would need until Monday morning to make the decision.
I firmly believe that in design build situations where decisions are subjective and I lose, it is 100% my inability to beat my competitors no doubt about it.
This situation fails the sniff test all over (there is much more questionable information that I don't have time to regurgitate), however, does anyone know the disclosure rules on FEMA funded projects? Is the grantee going to be required to disclose bid results, even if they only list bid amounts? The reason I ask is because the 'engineer's estimate was $275-$350K yet with plenty of margin we still came in at $250K with all of the unknowns taken into account or excluded.
Again, tons' of information I haven't written here but just hoping to get some advisement on how to make sure (without pissing off a potential customer if we do in fact get awarded the job tomorrow) that this a fair RFP and not rigged in some fashion?
Hopefully I'm wrong and this RFP is on the up and up...