'Do It Yourself' RFP Problems

Author: Ben Wood, Published on Jul 25, 2013

What's worse than having a crappy consultant prepare your RFP? Perhaps doing it yourself, as this case shows.

Everyone thinks end users should be more educated and more proactive about spec-ing equipment for surveillance projects. "They should do their research," people say. A small community in Arizona took this to heart designed their own surveillance project through Internet research, advice from integrators and online templates. But just days after the 48-page invitation for bids was drafted and published it was rescinded, and the project was cancelled. In this note, we talked to the director of the project and review this invitation for bids and explain how the IT department got put in charge. 

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Comments (3)

There's an old axiom for end user companies: Don't let the vendor define your needs. Do your homework, define your expectations, and let the providers define a solution that WILL WORK. Its more often the case a company will cruise publications and Web pages, pluck disconnected brands, platforms & performance spec (marketing hype?) to build a system specification for publication which integrators just look at and moan.

I love working with clients who know what they want to do or want to see and ask us to propose a solution. They're not all that rare. We have to speak directly to the issues when we interact with the potential client. A reputation for excellence and willingness to walk away from an impossible RFP will serve far longer than taking a project doomed to fail in the end! Sometimes you just have to ask "What were you smoking when you wrote this?"!

If hope my IT brothers and sisters do actually do their research, AND consult with a professional who is actually experianced in surveillance, or alas, it will be another Cisco Surveillance system installed.

Jack Sink: There's an old axiom for end user companies: Don't let the vendor define your needs. Do your homework, define your expectations, and let the providers define a solution that WILL WORK.

I agree.

Then, ask the providers why they choose that brand, technology, devices distribution, etc. And totally valid to ask "why if we change this"...

I think customers should explain what they need and providers how they will try to give a solution in order to obtain the better system possible for each case in a given time.

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