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The RFP: How to Manage the Process. Bob Yecke Assistant Director, University Unions University of Michigan Ann Arbor. Use the Right Tool. Request for Information (RFI) Request for Quotation (RFQ) Request for Proposal (RFP). When to Use the RFP.

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the rfp how to manage the process

The RFP: How to Manage the Process

Bob Yecke

Assistant Director, University Unions

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor

use the right tool
Use the Right Tool
  • Request for Information (RFI)
  • Request for Quotation (RFQ)
  • Request for Proposal (RFP)
when to use the rfp
When to Use the RFP
  • Multiple suppliers can provide the same solution
  • You seek to determine the best value of the supplier’s solutions
  • Products for the project can not be clearly specified
  • Lowest pricing is not the determining criterion for awarding the contract
  • Final pricing structure is negotiated with the supplier

Porter-Roth, 2002, p. 2

use to secure the following services
Use to Secure the Following Services:
  • Food Service operations
  • Retail operations (bookstore, travel agency, banking service, etc.)
  • Point of sale systems
  • Consultant services
form the rfp committee
Form the RFP Committee
  • Select individuals appropriate to the needs of the RFP
  • Orient the committee as to their roles and responsibilities
establish the timeline
Establish the Timeline


  • Don’t underestimate the amount of time it will take to complete the process
  • Take into consideration your campus calendar
  • Strive to ensure that service to the campus will be seamless

Adjust to fit project requirements

  • Obtain Committee buy in to the timeline
  • Monitor progress periodically
  • Adjust as required
develop the rfp document
Develop the RFP Document


  • Work with your Procurement office to develop the RFP
  • Is there institutional language that must be included?
  • Is there a boilerplate RFP that can be used?
sections of the rfp
Sections of the RFP

1) Introduction

  • Define who, what, where, when
sections of the rfp1
Sections of the RFP

2) Operating Standards

  • Define your expectations

Sections of the RFP

3) Financial

  • Are you seeking the highest return to the college union or the lowest prices for your customers?
  • Define who is responsible for what initial costs
  • Define ongoing obligations
sections of the rfp2
Sections of the RFP

4) Proposal requirements & award criteria

  • Define how the proposal should be structured
  • Define the criteria that will be used to analyze the proposal
sections of the rfp3
Sections of the RFP

5) Attachments

  • Sample lease or agreement
  • Historical data
  • Long range planning documents
  • Campus & building maps
the letter of invitation
The Letter of Invitation
  • Develop your invitation mailing list
  • Advertise in your local newspaper
  • Pre-proposal meeting:
    • Mandatory or Optional
  • Keep it simple
  • Request an RSVP
  • Establish a web site with pertinent information
the pre proposal meeting
The Pre-proposal Meeting


  • Face-to-face communication
  • Find out who is really interested
  • Review highlights of information packet
  • Tour the available space
    • Don’t forget to coordinate the tour with the current occupant!
  • Allows you to tell prospective suppliers your story
the pre proposal meeting1
The Pre-proposal Meeting
  • All questions and answers should be shared with the group both verbally and in writing
  • All questions after the pre-proposal meeting should be submitted in writing and answers sent to all attendees
  • The more information you can provide to prospective suppliers, the better they can respond
reviewing the proposals
Reviewing the Proposals
  • Proposals should be sent directly to the Procurement office
  • Evaluate the proposals against the

pre-established criteria

      • Operational Expertise
      • Services (i.e. menu)
      • Customer Needs
      • Financial Proposal
      • Advertising/Marketing/Merchandising
      • Project Personnel
      • Presented Approach
      • Creativity/Flexibility
reviewing the proposals1
Reviewing the Proposals
  • Presentations by finalists
  • Reference checks
  • Site visits
  • Write justification for selected supplier
negotiate the lease
Negotiate the Lease
  • Legal agreement between supplier and institution
  • Partner with Procurement
  • Seek assistance and input
    • Risk Management
    • Legal Counsel
    • Health & Safety
  • Signing authority
  • Distribution of copies
road to opening
Road to Opening
  • Approval of construction documents
  • Move out of current occupant
  • Construction
  • Meet with key operating representatives
  • The GRAND opening
we have only just begun managing the lease
We have only just begun… Managing the Lease
  • A new member of your team
  • Creating a harmonious working relationship – the Partnership
  • Ongoing communication
  • Willingness to share information
  • Desire for all parties to succeed
bob yecke 734 647 7463 yecker@umich edu
Bob Yecke


Additional Information and Reference Materials:


Sample Pre-proposal letter

Sample RFP

Sample Lease

RFP article: March 2004 ACUI Bulletin