A request for proposal, or RFP, is a document that helps find reliable contractors to complete a project for your company. How do you go about writing an effective RFP for snow removal that has no loopholes and provides a precise scope for your necessities? Here are a few general tips to make the writing, bidding, and completion of your snow removal needs easy.
Be Concise, But All-Encompassing
The first step to any good RFP for snow removal consists of three basic parts: the introduction and company information, the requirements for the vendor’s job, and timelines. For example, you need to know the size of the lots that need plowing, how often you want them done, and the expectations that the vendor upholds. From there, it’s up to you to decide the best fit. Many companies offer more than just snow removal services, such as General Services Corporation, which also provides trash removal, carpet cleaning, and others. Take that into consideration, as giving them the job leads to a strong business relationship in the future, should you have more projects.
Make Your Pricing Legitimate
Don’t expect vendors to bend over backwards just to get a job, especially if your pricing isn’t exactly fair. There are tons of great ways to estimate your pricing for an RFP if vendors’ bids are reasonable. Calling local snow removal businesses or checking online estimators usually suffices.
Do Your Homework
Perhaps the most crucial aspect of creating an effective RFP is making a rubric to grade potential bidders. It’s difficult to take a company at their word, especially if you’ve never worked with them in the past. Check several sources, including colleagues, other businesses, and online reviews of the company. If others aren’t happy with their service, chances are you won’t like the results either. Also, make sure to meet with the vendor to discuss the project and get a feel for their professionalism.
Make Sure the Vendor Has the Resources
While ensuring a vendor has a reliable history, it isn’t always enough. In your RFP, make sure to list the equipment necessary for the snow removal. If you have a lot of ground to cover, than you certainly want the vendor to have enough trucks, ice melt, and drivers for the season. Some vendors may try to bid on the contract, even with a lack of resources, just to pick up a bid.
Creating a Contract
Once you’ve found the right vendor for the project, have an attorney create a contract that outlines all the specific aspects of the snow removal. The contract needs to consist of pricing, frequency of removal, inclement weather alternatives, and details of termination of the contract. The more air-tight the contract is, the less chance for miscommunication.
No matter how you decide to write your RFP, make sure that there’s enough information in the proposal to get the most reputable contractor at the best value. After that, sit back and watch the snow disappear, knowing you got the best deal you could’ve hoped for.