In an industry that continues to grow and expect fast completion of projects, it is important to have a well-defined procurement process to entice the most qualified AEC firms.
Well-written requests for qualifications and proposals (RFQ/Ps) and clear procurement processes can send the right message to the AEC industry and demonstrate the need for strong partnerships to deliver important projects.
Those in the AEC industry are better prepared to respond when owners place a high value on qualifications and their planned technical approach. Well-planned RFQ/Ps protect an owner’s interest in receiving proposals aligned with the project scope and budget expectations. Bidding professional services without a customized scope sends the message that owners are commoditizing the work.
A two-step process can help establish the most qualified firms from those that respond to an RFQ/P. In the first step, owners shortlist two or three firms based on proposed qualifications. Those shortlisted firms are then asked to submit price proposals and/or participate in an interview. This interview is the second step and allows the client to interact with each firm. While cost is always a factor, it should be weighed alongside other criteria, such as schedule, team and experience.
If the project size and complexity warrant it, one-on-one meetings with the shortlisted firms ahead of the technical and price proposal can help narrow the scope and identify the true needs of the owner. This also allows for a more informal interaction to “test” how well the team works with the owner and other stakeholders. Most importantly, it is the relationships and ability to work together that have the greatest impact on the success of a project.