How Do I Select and Contract Specialists and Services?

Procurement is the process by which a good or service is acquired for a project, and is useful to select and contract specialists and services. This process usually involves a bidding stage for the selection of the best candidate to provide the good or service. The procurement process can range from a single-step process for straightforward procurement opportunities to a multi-stage process for more complex opportunities.
How Do I Select and Contract Specialists and Services
For certain projects with few requirements, a simple Request for Qualifications (RFQ) can be issued, calling for short, simple responses. As requirements increase in complexity and cost, the procurement process becomes more complex and may demand either a detailed Request for Proposals (RFP) or a multi-stage procurement process.

Stages of the Procurement Process:
A multi-stage procurement process usually consists of:
1) Information Gathering
2) Pre-Qualification
3) Bidding

1) Information Gathering
Information gathering activities are processes used to obtain information on the availability of goods or services and the level of interest in the opportunity. These activities are not competitive processes as they are not requesting quotes or proposals. A Request for Expression of Interest (REOI) or a Request for Ideas (RFI) is a commonly used information-gathering tool. A response to an REOI or an RFI does not pre-qualify a potential contractor and does not influence their chances of being the successful bidder/proponent on any subsequent opportunity. Rather, the information gathered will help organizations plan a fair and cost-effective solicitation process, define the requirements for the solicitation documents or identify whether there are interested suppliers.

At Artscape an REOI is typically used in the pre-project development phase to stimulate and assess interest in a project.

2) Pre-Qualification
Pre-qualification activities use a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process to pre-qualify proponents for an opportunity. Only those proponents who successfully respond to the RFQ and meet the qualification criteria will be included in the subsequent RFP solicitation process. This stage streamlines the solicitation process by screening potential suppliers based on qualification criteria.

3) Bidding
The Request for Proposals (RFP) solicitation method is the most commonly used when an organization wants to select the best candidate for a business opportunity. This might include hiring an architect or engineer, contractor or specialist business consultant to play a major role in your project’s development. The RFP document provides proponents with an overview of the perceived or expected requirements. It does not give a detailed project plan, as it is expected that this is what the proponent will develop and explain in their response to the RFP. The proposal is then evaluated to determine if the proponent has the necessary understanding of the organization’s needs so as to deliver a completed project in accordance with such needs. The evaluation is based on several criteria, including price. Other criteria are used to evaluate additional aspects of the proposal, such as the quality of the proposed solution and the qualifications of the proposed team.

Following this procurement process allows an organization to select the appropriate candidate to drive the project forward.

NOTE: The term “proponent” is used to describe an individual, company, or society that submits, or intends to submit, a proposal.

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