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Q: Creating a Web Based Business Application/Database Continued (for answerguru-ga) ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Creating a Web Based Business Application/Database Continued (for answerguru-ga)
Category: Computers > Programming
Asked by: mike36-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 16 Mar 2006 11:04 PST
Expires: 15 Apr 2006 12:04 PDT
Question ID: 708040
Part 2 of an earlier question, intended for "answerguru-ga":

3.	Who can I call (preferrably in my local neighborhood of Vancouver
but not absolutely necessary) who does this sort of consulting work
and what might the cost be for the project?
4.      Is there a standard type of Request for Proposal or Request
for Quote I can use to get price indications for this project so I can
begin the process of hiring someone if that is the route you
Subject: Re: Creating a Web Based Business Application/Database Continued (for answerguru-ga)
Answered By: answerguru-ga on 18 Mar 2006 17:01 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Mike,

Based on the scenario provided in your original question, I have
provided answers to your questions #3 and #4 below. The questions
themselves have been rephrased slightly so that they can correctly
frame the answer provided.

Question #3 - Can you suggest some established consulting firms with
operations in the Vancouver area who I can approach with a Request for
Proposal (RFP)?

The "ballpark size" of your project often determines who you should
approach with an RFP. There are countless small players that fall
under the "web design" category, but their accountability and
financial picture often makes them unsuitable for a project beyond a
certain point (my magic number for this is around $10K). From our
previous question, I mentioned that the price tag for what you are
considering could easily reach $100K or more. If I were in your shoes,
I would want a medium/large firm with a solid footprint and reputation
among the IT community. They should also have local operations to ease
the challenges of a long-distance contractual relationship.

Based on the criteria above, I can recommend that you approach the
following firms who operate in the Vancouver market. Listed in
alphabetical order to eliminate any bias.

2650-1075 W Georgia St
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6E 3C9  
Phone: 604 646-5000

Annex Consulting Group Inc.
Suite 900, Two Bentall Centre
555 Burrard Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
V7X 1M8
Phone: 604-443-5036

Fujitsu Consulting
595 Burrard Street
3 Bentall Centre Suite 423
Vancouver, BC
V7X 1J1
Phone: 604.669.9077 

Habanero Consulting Group
510-1111 Melville Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6E 3V6
Phone: 604.709.6201

Sierra Systems
1177 West Hastings Street, Suite 2500    
Vancouver, British Columbia  
V6E 2K3
Phone (main): 604.688.1371
Phone (client services): 604.891.6226

Keep in mind that it would be reasonable to approach several firms since:
(i) Some firms may feel it's not worth their while to submit a
proposal (this is more common than you may think)
(ii) The IT industry is buzzing in this region and qualified personnel
are in short supply
(ii) Firms may feel unqualified because of their lack of experience in
your line of business or the technical solutions you are looking for

Question #4 - What type of information should Is there a standard type
of Request for Proposal or Request for Quote I can use to get price
indications for this project so I can begin the process of hiring
someone if that is the route you recommend?

In actual fact there is no single format for an RFP; I have seen
everything from a 2-page problem description to a 500-page monster.
However, every RFP should have some basic information.

Below is a sample structure - each element has a brief description of
what should be included.

SECTION I - Notice to Proponents

This section is used to make the actual request for proposals, and
outline the parameters for doing so. It generally includes the
following major sections:

a. Delivery requirements
b. Deadline for submission
c. Copies to include (and what format to send them)
d. Method of transmission (registered mail, email, etc.)
e. Point of contact for enquiries
f. Process for requesting clarification
g. Selection process
h. Reservation of rights to withdraw from or cancel process

SECTION II - Business Context

This section is used to give proponents information regarding your
industry, company, and information around the problem at hand. This is
extremely useful for them as it frames the problem they are being
asked to solve. Furthermore, it allows firms to determine whether they
are capable of putting in a competitive bid (in terms of cost and
quality deliverables). Here are the main sections to include:

a. Introduction to operating industry
b. Overview of your company
c. Description of the "current scenario" (emphasis on challenges faced)
d. Strategic direction and/or IT strategy of the company

SECTION III - Scope of work

You now need to focus in on the specific issues that need to be
resolved by any proposed solution. The intention of this section is to
prevent proposals being sent which either solve a bigger problem than
what you require, or don't address all of the key issues. Talk in
terms of the challenges your firm is facing and be very generic about
your ideas for a solution. This will allow the 'experts' to come up
with solutions that you may not come up with yourself.

Here are some of the things you should include in this section:

a. What needs to be done
b. What doesn't need to be done
c. Main objectives/goals to be fulfilled
d. Metrics for measuring a successful implementation

SECTION IV - Proposal evaluation

It is important for firms bidding on projects to understand the
evaluation process. The way proposals are written can vary
dramatically in language, content, and approach based on whether it is
going to be evaluated by a CIO, end user group, or third party
strategic consultant.

You are more likely to receive more suitable proposals if you can
identify (in anonymous terms) who will be involved in evaluation, how
the proposals will be evaluated, and as much detail as you can
regarding the process from the time the proposals are submitted to the
time when the winning firm is selected (assuming there is one). If
there are multiple rounds of evaluation where certain bids are
eliminated each time around, this should be indicated. You should also
express your opinion on the idea of a joint bid (where two firms
decide they can provide a more competitive bid if they leverage each
others strengths).

Here are some of the main areas to include in this section of the proposal:

a. Who will be involved in the evaluation of proposals
b. When will evaluation begin
c. What decision criteria will be used to assess proposals
d. When will proponents receive a response
e. How will proponents be contacted
f. Details regarding oral presentations

SECTION V - Proposal layout and structure

In this section you can essentially spell out the table of contents
for any proposal you do receive. This is extremely helpful upon
evaluation because it allows you to compare apples to apples when
considering specific elements of different proposals. It also makes
clear to proponents that you need all of the following information in
order to consider the proposal.

It is also helpful because it gives the proponents a good idea of what
you are expecting. A table of contents essentially gives you the right
amount of information from everyone bidding.

You will notice that items 11-14 have little to do with your project -
they are intended to get an idea of what this company has done, what
problems they may have had (financial or legal), and what their
expectations are pertaining to ownership. Ownership is an interesting
one for consulting firms because they often try to license the
solution to you at a reduced cost if they believe other clients in the
future may want something similar.

Here is an example of what you can ask for:

1. Executive Summary
2. Vendor Contact Information
3. Phases offered
4. Pricing
5. Methodology and Project Plan
6. Timelines (for major deliverables)
7. Design (with specific elements of design as subsections)
8. Hardware Architecture
9. Software Architecture
10. Development platform, Methodology, and Toolset
11. Qualifications and Experience
	(a) Proposed project staff resumes
	(b) Client references (preferably for similar projects)
12. Disclosures
	(a) Previous/current litigation
	(b) Prior project terminations 
13. Ownership Issues - who owns the final product(s)?
	(a) Data
	(b) Intellectual Property
	(c) Source Code
	(d) Ownership of Work Products
14. Financial Stability
15. Appendices

I hope you find the above information to be useful - if you need any
clarification please post a clarification. Also, since this process is
just beginning for you, I want you to know that you are welcome direct
any future questions you may have to me here at Google Answers. Just
place my name in the subject of your question as you did here. Good
luck with the RFP process - it can be tedious but well worth it to get
the appropriate vendor at the end of the day :)

mike36-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks for this information, very useful.

There are no comments at this time.

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