RFPs in the Security Industry
Successful Security agencies must know how to compete for security service RFPs.
Who hires Security firms? Schoolboards, airports, train stations, universities, manufacturers, retailers, condominiums, colleges and government agencies. And more! All of these organizations require security services.
Each of them use the RFP (and RFQ) process(es) to attract and qualify vendors for awarding Security service contracts.
RFP means Request for Proposal. Organizations seeking vendors to provide services – the issuers – use RFPs to let providers – bidders – know of their requirements and to solicit bids from them. The bids (responses to the RFP) formally detail how the security service provider will meet the issuers requirements and how much their services will cost.
RFQs are similar, but they focus on mainly on price.
Typically, security services contract awards are valid for 3 to 5 years, with 1 to 2 year options for renewal. There are a variety of Security contracts issued, for example:
– electronic monitoring services
– onsite security guards
– mobile patrol
– loss prevention
– emergency response
Request for Proposal Registration Portals
Issuers use the sites below (known as portals) to announce their Requests for Proposal. In most cases, they also receive the RFP responses back from suppliers through these portals. Tracking and understanding how to use these portals is critical to competing for security service RFPs. Some of the key portals are:
1) Ontario Government Jaggaer (authorized) Portal – free: https://ontariotenders.app.jaggaer.com/esop/toolkit/registration/displayAgreement.si?isOnModification=true&_ncp=1647801109663.5464-3
2) Federal Public Service and Procurement Canada – free https://buyandsell.gc.ca/
3) Bonfire – free: https://gobonfire.com/
4) Biddingo – $250/year: https://www.biddingo.com/*.main?toPage=SrBrowserReg.jsp
5) MERX: Fees $60 per solicitation or you can choose monthly plans at $25/$40/$75: https://www.merx.com/
Monitoring each portal for security service RFPs can be automated so that you receive automated emails regarding newly issued RFPs.
However, we also advise our clients to monitor the portals manually also as it is both fortuitous and surprising to find an RFP that other firms may not be aware of.
Mandatory Requirements for Bidders
Every new RFP and RFQ issued will set out a list of Mandatory Requirements that MUST be met in order for potential vendors to qualify to bid on a new contract. Meeting these mandatory requirements is vital. There is little point going through the effort to respond to an RFP if the mandatory requirements are not met. Some common mandatory criteria that could determine if you qualify for the RFP/RFQ are:
-number of years in business
-number of employees
-size of fleet
-areas of geographic coverage, etc.
Here are some other items that are frequently required with proof in the RFP, RFQ response.
- Liability Insurance and Worker Compensation proof of coverage
- A Current Health and Safety Program
- Company profile, management team, organizational structure, resumes
- Detailed processes for Customer Service, Communications, Record Keeping and Quality Control
- References (relevant to the individual RFP/RFQ)
- Hiring practices for attracting, training and retaining personnel, conducting criminal checks, verifying credentials/licenses/work experience
How to Compete and Win Security Service RFPs
The reason that so many organizations are using the RFP/RFQ process is that it’s a formal, fair process for seeking out the best vendor for a contract. ‘Best vendor’ is something the issuer decides based on the weighting they use for the criteria they have defined in the RFP. Best vendor in one case may not be best vendor in another.
This means that not every security services contract is based solely on who has the lowest price. However, pricing must be competitive in the industry. This is even more important in the case of an RFQ – where there is no question that price is the key evaluation criteria.
A common mistake many bidders make when responding to RFPs is to talk about themselves too much. It’s hard not to, right? However, the key to successfully competing with an RFP is to talk about everything in the context of what the RFP is asking for and how the issuer has defined their needs. This is about them, not us. Writing the RFP that way keeps it shorter, more focused and more relevant to the organization seeking security services.
The Boardroom Metrics RFP Writing Team
The RFP/RFQ process can initially seem difficult to navigate. However, hiring a professional RFP writer will help you cut through the confusing contractual lingo and help you develop a professional process you can re-use for responding to RFPs and RFQs in the future. At Boardroom Metrics, our team has written thousands of RFP responses. As a result, they are experts at reading RFP’s and knowing what the issuer is seeking as well as writing formal responses that stand out for meeting the needs that have been described. Here is more information on our RFP writing services. We have significant experience responding to government and commercial RFPs for security services. If you need more information, don’t hesitate to reach out.