5 Tips for Writing Effective RFPs
When a campus has a large electronic security project, a request for proposal (RFP) can help the institution select the best integrators for the job. These suggestions will you help you craft an RFP that delivers results.
1. Hiring a Consultant Might Help
The process of putting together an RFP can be a complicated one. If a campus police chief, security director, IT manager, facilities director, architect or engineer doesn’t have the specific technical know-how regarding electronic security, it might be wise to hire a consultant to assess campus security needs and create the RFP.
“The best RFPs that come out are done by consultants,” says Dan Budinoff, president of Security Specialists, which is an electronic security integrator. “The worst ones are those that ask for a system worth $750,000 but then you find they only have a budget of $25,000.” Budinoff says consultants provide campuses with reality checks.
Robert Grossman, president of R. Grossman and Associatesadds that campus users generally don’t know what they need. “They get their information from press releases and the Internet, which skews people towards the gee-whiz technology,” he says. “It might or might not be as proven or cost effective as they would like.”
For example, IP video is getting a lot of exposure in the media right now (see Making the Leap to IP Video a Safer Bet), but analog cameras might be the most appropriate technology for a particular application. Because analog cameras are not new, however, they can be easily overlooked by newcomers to the electronic security realm. A good consultant who is well versed in this field and IT will remember to incorporate analog technology.