The Bids Are Back… Now What?

If a campus has drafted a good RFP, it should receive responses from three to five qualified integrators. The next step is to compare the bids.

Heed the Warning Signs
If a bid is too high or too low, this is cause for concern. “For example, let’s say we have three bids: One for $2.3 million, one for $2.2 million and one for $1.4 million,” says Fields. “There is something wrong with the $1.4 million response. We’re going to go through it to make sure it meets our expectations. Typically, we go back to the contractor and say, ‘You put in two where you should have put in 2,000. Please give us a revised figure.’ The response needs to be within an hour of our phone call.”

When Grossman encounters outliers, he contacts the bidder and tells the company to double check its bid because it’s off the median. He does not tell the prospective contractor if the bid is high or low.

Although integrators should be encouraged to contact the campus for clarifications, if the questions are generic or the answer to it is clearly spelled out in the RFP, this is another cause for concern. “That tells me the person really isn’t paying attention or is looking to price gouge or isn’t able to provide the product we are looking for,” says Fields.

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Robin Hattersley Gray is executive editor of Campus Safety. She can be reached at

About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray

Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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