For many facility managers, purchasing a software subscription for automating facility management or maintenance can seem like a daunting task. Considering every option available is a large investment that requires time and research, and sometimes it can take months (or years!) to fully identify what solution best fits your team needs.
One of the best ways to streamline the procurement process is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP). If you’ve looked into issuing an RFP, there are dozens of templates available online for requesting bids for facility software. However, most - if not all - of these templates leave out a number of critical requirements that an exceptional facility management software should contain.
We’ve broken down the RFP process for you into four steps and compiled tips on best practices for your facility software RFP. By issuing the right request for a proposal (click here to jump to an easy-to-use template we made for you!) you can kickstart the procurement process and be on your way to becoming proactive.
Do I need an RFP?
It’s important to understand whether an RFP is required for your purchasing process. Smaller organizations are often able to avoid the bidding process, while more sizable institutions have more layers of approval and stakeholders to sign off. Consult with your purchasing department to develop a procurement strategy that fulfills all of your organizational requirements.
How do I write an RFP For Facility Management Software?
1. Identify current pain points for your facilities team
Inaccurate space data (or no space data at all) on facilities and assets
Absence of a work order system or preventative maintenance scheduling system
Missing a designated portal for occupant service requests
Little to no reporting on organizational facility operations
Lack of tools for organizational capital planning
Ineffective means of communication for building teams
These pain points need to be clearly articulated within your RFP.
2. Develop an outline for your RFP
Now that you have a clear understanding of your needs, create an outline of your RFP.
Here's an example of an outline to work from:
Company overview with capacity to perform
Explanation of technical capabilities
Information on the software solution, data collection services and training
Detailed timeline with milestones
Products and services quote
Step 3: Sharpen your pencil and build out the details of your RFP
Once your outline is complete, begin to detail out your specific needs and expectations for each section. You will quickly see your RFP take shape.
Step 4: Establish ground rules for submissions
Now that you have an RFP, you need to put parameters around the submission.
What is the deadline for the submission?
Do you prefer paper or electronic submissions?
Will you take questions? If yes, when are they due by?
How should I evaluate vendor RFP responses?
Once proposal responses start coming in, identify the ones that closely align with your specific needs. Keep an eye out for complicated modules, hidden fees, limited support offerings and tiered pricing. These can often be hidden within the document. Consider designing a rubric that denotes award criteria to simplify the evaluation process.
Award criteria can be customized depending on your specific objectives, but it's important to remember two things. First, computerized maintenance management software doesn't just have to be about digitizing work orders and service requests. Facility software like AkitaBox not only has preventative maintenance modules built in to automate maintenance tasks for future work that needs to be completed, but it also has a visual floor plan that contains a map of space and assets for facility managers, technicians and staff like custodians and contractors.
Second, it's important to remember that it can be a huge advantage if your software vendor can offer services to help collect your facility data within a short timeline (we recommend 90 days or less) and provide it in your facility software as a turnkey solution with supplemental training to you and your team. You have the right to expect all this as a building manager, and solutions like this exist.
Is there an RFP Template for Facility Software?
Yes! We’ve got you covered with an easy-to-use downloadable RFP template.
Questions? Feel free to reach out to us any time! We’re happy to provide free consultation on RFP best practices to guarantee you find a solution that fits your facility needs.