Congratulations on arriving at your last step in the proposal writing process. At the present time, you have finished writing your proposal. There are multiple ways that you can submit your bid. Some of them are U.S. Mail, UPS, FedEx or hand deliver to name a few. Remember, the U.S. Post Office is the only carrier that the government will recognize for consideration of a late bid. As a matter of fact, you may want remember the USPS when determining your bid submission method.
Before we submit our proposal there is one more thing that we need to do. That is, we must review our proposal. That is today’s objective. We need a process in place to ensure that we have met the requirements in the solicitation and have provided the best response to the solicitation.
Next, we will review questions that should be considered when developing our proposal checklist.
Final Proposal Checklist
We need to develop a process to review our proposals prior to submitting them to the government. This process, whether it is a checklist or some other method needs to answer a number of questions.
For this purpose, let’s review a list of questions that we need to ask ourselves to evaluate whether or not we have a complete proposal.
Reviewing the Solicitation
- Is your name on the bidder’s list for supplies, and/or services that you are qualified to provide? What does this mean? It means have you went to your SAM registration page and filled out off the fields.
- Did you read the solicitation carefully? We discussed this in detail in earlier episodes. Remember you may find out that the packaging costs are higher than the unit cost. How do you plan on handling that?
- Have you carefully read the specifications and standards that apply to this contract? Remember, it is your responsibility to find and obtain the specifications PRIOR to bidding on the project. Did you obtain the technical package?
- Bidding On-Line? Did you check your bid information before hitting the submit button? Did you remember to check all the fields?
Using Different Parts than Government Requested?
- Were the parts that you bid on the same parts that the buyer is looking for and do you propose to furnish material in the EXACT accordance with the specifications, drawings and description? If you elected to deviate, then you need to propose to the Government how these products will meet their needs. Bidding with an exception requires you to explain to the government why and how this will benefit them.
Did you Obtain QPL approval?
- Does the product require qualification approval (QPL)? Have you made sure that the approval number entered on your proposal is correct? Is it current and listed to the plant location where the product will be produced?
- Did you review all packaging and marking requirements? This maybe different or not required in the commercial sector however, you need to meet the government’s requirements. Remember packaging costs may exceed the unit product cost. Did you take that into consideration?
- Did you check and verify the unit prices for the contract? Verify your match. You don’t want to lose money because of a simple math error.
- Does your bid delivery in exact accordance with the delivery requirements specified in the solicitation?
Any Time Constraints?
- Does your acceptance time conform to what is required in the solicitation?
- Did you remember to clarify any information that were not clear to you? Have you received them in writing? Remember, the government must respond to you in writing not just to you but everyone company wanting to bid on the solicitation.
- Did you properly complete the “Representations, certifications, and acknowledgements” portions of the proposal?
- Have you entered any discounts? Did you enter the discounts correctly and verified them?
Sign the proposal?
- Did you Sign the Proposal? Is the person that signed authorized to do so?
- A Little late now but have you read the WHOLE contract? How many times have you read it? Make sure to read it a minimum of three times.
Did you remember to address the evaluation factors? Is your proposal reflecting what the buyer is looking for? Is the buyer more interested in how the product will made or they just want the lowest price?
Address Proposal Evaluation Factors
- Did you explain how you will do what is required? Did you walk through your processes? Are there any equipment issues and how will you solve them?
- Did you remember to acknowledge all amendments on the bid? You don’t want to be kicked out of the bidding selection process because of a simple oversight.
- Did you include any conditions in your proposal that may modify the requirements? Be careful of any transmittal or cover letters that may contain a statement about terms, price, delivery time or anything else that goes into the body of the bid.
Copies of Proposals
- Do you have the number of copies of your proposal that the government required you to submit? How many copies of the proposal did the government request? Do they match? Did you verify that all the pages are in the proposal? Are all the pages in sequence? Is the proposal collated correctly? Did you remember to keep a copy for yourself?
- If sending your proposal by US mail did you make sure to have enough postage on the package?
- When submitting a “Sealed Bid”, did you place the “Sealed Bid” label on the envelope and not on the proposal?
- Have you given yourself enough time to mail or overnight the bid to the buying office? UPS and FedEx are not US mail and if they are received late will not be considered for the solicitation. Remember anything other the USPS does not qualify for late considerations. The Government will only consider USPS if it is received late.
Proposal – In Summary
Great now let’s get that proposal sent to the government. It is important to have checklists or systems in place to verify that you have met the governments expectations on your proposal package. One simple mistake can eliminate the government from reviewing your proposal. All the weeks of hard work would be for nothing and we don’t want that. However, you elect to double check your work is up to you. Just make sure that you have a system in place!