A Polite Request to RFP Writers (#2)
When you want data, not narrative, give bidders a form to complete.
Forms can be as simple as Word tables: there’s no need to go to the trouble of setting up interactive forms.
They’re super useful for experience data: project names and locations, dates and durations, contract values and types, client reference information, lists of services provided, awards . . .
For you, they make it easier and faster to assess the response.
For bidders, they short-circuit a lot of marketing angst about how best to present this information, since ease of marking often conflicts with marketing impact. They also expedite the gathering of data, since a blank spot on a form makes it obvious that something is missing.
Why do you care about bidders? Two reasons. First, making it cheaper to put together bids will drive prices lower. Second, making it easier to put together bids might encourage more bidders to participate, which will really drive prices lower.