RFP, RFQ, request for proposal, legal, 3rd party vendors, political questions,Linkedin

 In the past, the sole function of an RFP was to engage with the best supplier with the best pricing.  

Today, it isn’t just about functionality and price; the pandemic raised awareness around financial stability and diversity qualifications that should be included when it comes to the down selection process.

Is your company classified as any of the following?

  • Small Business
  • Small Disadvantage Business (SDB)
  • Women Owned Small Business (WOSB)
  • Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB)
  • Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB)
  • Hub Zone Small Business (Hub Zone)

    Then there are now additional “legal” questions being presented in RFP’s

  • Is your company involved currently in litigation with any company or entity?
  • Does your company have any debarment by governments or any regulatory bodies?
  • Is your company a subsidiary of another company? If yes, what company?

 Beyond the signed NDA or MNDA prior to the RFP release, there now the trend of questions/requirements in the RFP re:

    3rd Party vendors

Proof that there is an NDA between the Potential Supplier and the 3rd party vendor which includes a clause to cover confidentiality regarding work performed for any client of the Potential Suppler. 

  • Proof of any required licenses
  • Proof of insurances

 The RFP should clearly state if 3rd party vendors are allowed or not allowed to be part of the installation and or support of the product or service.  The RFP should be clear if 3rd party vendors are acceptable that they report to, are the responsibility of and paid by the contracted Supplier… there should never be invoices received directly from the 3rd party vendor.

    RFP “Company Questions” around internal employee volunteerism:

  • Does your company promote volunteering? 
  • Does your company allow employees paid time to volunteer?  If yes, how much time each year?
  • Does your company support any non-profits and if yes, which ones?

    Then there are the political related RFP questions:

  • Does your company support any political party? 
  • How does your company provide support?
  • Does your company publicly advertise your support?

     And don’t forget the company stability questions:

  • What us your company’s employee turnover rate? 
  • What has been the employee growth or decline as it relates to revenue?
  • How many acquisitions has your company been part of in the past 5 years?
  • Is your company private or publicly traded? (If public read the stock news/releases.)
  • What is your D&B (Dun and Bradstreet) number? (check it)

    Miscellaneous items to investigate about the Potential Supplier:

  • YouTube content
  • Facebook Page
  • LinkedIn Company page
  • LinkedIn page for representative, and upper management (is there a lot of company hopping by the folks that will be connected to your account?)

Depending on the type of service, you might also want to check their on-line reviews

 I had a client years ago who didn’t do this type of due diligence, signed the engagement with the supplier to only discover during roll-out their insurance policies had lapsed AND all the vendor employees on site were actually subcontractors/3rd party providers.

 When writing an RFP, the above information which has nothing to do with the service or product being sourced is of value.  No stakeholder wants to be called to the rug for a preventable situation.

If you have questions or are interested in having an RFP Sourced please contact me, twankoff@corcentric.com.




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Tami Wankoff - Procurement Consultant

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