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  • How to Write an Effective Security Systems RFP

    I have posted a new article on my website that describes how to write an effective RFP for the procurement of security and surveillance systems.

    http://silvaconsultants.com/joomla1/...ty-systems.htm

    Please contact me directly if you have any comments or questions.
    Michael A. Silva
    Silva Consultants

  • #2
    Originally posted by Silva Consultants View Post
    I have posted a new article on my website that describes how to write an effective RFP for the procurement of security and surveillance systems.

    http://silvaconsultants.com/joomla1/...ty-systems.htm

    Please contact me directly if you have any comments or questions.
    A very good overview, Michael. If you'll forgive me for adding one point that you might have thought would be self-serving, it's this: Know when the best approach to procurement is to seek the advice and services of a consultant, whether he advises on the "front end" to prepare effective specifications, evaluates proposals and vendor qualifications to make award recommendations, or provides project management all the way through to the successful completion of the contract.

    The domain of security systems, equipment and services is more complex today than ever, and a security director or facility manager, whose focus is understandably on the daily performance of the security program, departmental budgets, personnel issues, hiring and training, corporate meetings, etc. can be reasonably excused if he's not also able to keep current on the universe of technical developments, new products, laws, regulations, standards, best practices, court decisions, vendor performance history, etc. that could (or should) impact procurement decisions. The procurement process itself does NOT bring these critical considerations to light!

    On the other hand, this is exactly what the consultant does, and where his focus lies. It's been said before many times, but it bears repeating, that a good consultant will pay his own fee, sometimes many times over, by steering you away from unnecessary or unwise expenditures, by minimizing the risk of vendor performance failures, and by maximizing the return on your procurement dollar.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 06-07-2013, 11:31 AM.
    "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

    "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

    "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

    "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

    Comment


    • #3
      SecTrainer:

      Thanks for the kind comments. Yes, I obviously agree that the right consultant can add value to a project and can often actually save more than the cost of his or her consulting fees.

      Nonetheless, many security managers are reluctant to bring in a consultant, often feeling that this would show a lack of ability on their part and make them look bad in the eyes of their boss. Still others feel that the procurement of a new security system (along with out of town trips to look at equipment) is a nice diversion from their regular duties and don't want a consultant to come in and spoil their fun.

      I try to tell security managers that bringing in a consultant is a sign of strength, not weakness, but this is a tough sell in many quarters. Facilities managers are much more comfortable working with consultants and so I have had much more success in working with them during my 25+ years of being in the consulting business.

      The article was intended for those who do chose to "go it alone", perhaps also showing that there is a great deal more to the procurement process than they may have imagined, possibly encouraging them to think again about bringing in a consultant.
      Michael A. Silva
      Silva Consultants

      Comment


      • #4
        yeah, seems like a lot of paperwork. makes me want to just sign THEIR contract that their 'sales consultant' packaged for me after reviewing my site.

        Reminds me of who a typical door is installed on big commercial project.

        Architect and door company bouncing back 'proposals', each mostly boiler plate but very confusing and seemingly 'over wrought' for just some standard door frame and door getting slapped up by yours truly.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Squid View Post
          yeah, seems like a lot of paperwork. makes me want to just sign THEIR contract that their 'sales consultant' packaged for me after reviewing my site.

          Reminds me of who a typical door is installed on big commercial project.

          Architect and door company bouncing back 'proposals', each mostly boiler plate but very confusing and seemingly 'over wrought' for just some standard door frame and door getting slapped up by yours truly.
          Squid,

          Believe it or not, a door is a big deal - or can be - and there are probably a dozen ways or more that you can screw up what seems like something so simple. There are fire and building codes to consider, life safety codes in some cases, the Americans with Disabilities Act to consider, security aspects (locks, etc.), hardware type and reliability, placement of the hinges, materials it's made with, even aesthetic/design considerations - and I could go on.

          A door ain't "just" a door.
          "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

          "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

          "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

          "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Silva Consultants View Post
            SecTrainer:

            Thanks for the kind comments. Yes, I obviously agree that the right consultant can add value to a project and can often actually save more than the cost of his or her consulting fees.

            Nonetheless, many security managers are reluctant to bring in a consultant, often feeling that this would show a lack of ability on their part and make them look bad in the eyes of their boss. Still others feel that the procurement of a new security system (along with out of town trips to look at equipment) is a nice diversion from their regular duties and don't want a consultant to come in and spoil their fun.

            I try to tell security managers that bringing in a consultant is a sign of strength, not weakness, but this is a tough sell in many quarters. Facilities managers are much more comfortable working with consultants and so I have had much more success in working with them during my 25+ years of being in the consulting business.

            The article was intended for those who do chose to "go it alone", perhaps also showing that there is a great deal more to the procurement process than they may have imagined, possibly encouraging them to think again about bringing in a consultant.
            Michael,

            When I went through contract management, I quite clearly recall that writing RFPs (that would satisfy the instructor) was absolutely the most grisly part of the program. I wrote them...and rewrote them...and then tore them up and started all over again. Just getting stakeholder buy-in was an exercise in herding cats (we had detailed requirements from all of them that had to be reconciled according to a scoring system).

            Everything else - even the curves he threw into the project management - was easy by comparison.

            One thing I almost forgot. During the award phase, we analyzed and ranked 10 proposals, with detailed information about each vendor, including their simulated D&B's for 3 years. You got a big fat zero on the assignment if you didn't notice that although each vendor met the minimum financials specified by the RFP, two of them were trending downward. You had two chances to pick this up - either on your own hook, or by reading a consultant's report from a previous procurement project that was included in the materials but was never mentioned by the instructor. Most of us thought it was provided just as an example of what a consultant might bring to the table and glanced over it without noticing that it contained information that was relevant to the current situation. Sometimes a consultant's reach extends beyond the project he's hired for - and I call that extra value. Professional procurement departments become very adept at capturing historical information and cataloging it so that it can be referred to for future acquisitions.
            Last edited by SecTrainer; 06-08-2013, 04:27 AM.
            "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

            "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

            "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

            "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

            Comment


            • #7
              SecTrainer.....oh I know, about 1/2 my time installing commercial doors, frames and hardware has been "corrections" of one kind or another on what seem to be otherwise "perfectly good doors", including lots that were very recently designed/spec by some architect.

              Then quite a bit of "customer requests" to do something "out of the ordinary" that some other guy will be coming along to 'correct' in good time.

              Comment

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