This case study documents how ~80% of our client's revenue was awarded in one swoop.
Well, actually, it was an assorted mix of mini-swoops starting at the capture of the opportunity and ending at the contracting table.
$4,532,790.00 was allocated to Execushield in October 2021, only to be awarded $1.5M (by a separate department) two months later without much of a competitive process. The add-on was merely an amendment, an early Christmas gift you could say.
The original scope of this awarded contract included the following:
- Account Manager
- Geolocation tracking software
- Security services
- Account documentation
- Additional services
Guard services are typically billed with the above factored into one bill rate. This is known as blending... And TKS knows this cost play quite well.
Highest Price Proposal
We intentionally encouraged a higher price due to the nature of the narrative requirements, the evaluation criteria, and the general pre-bid feeling of optimism having operations staff from the area. Going in, and based on historical benchmarking, we knew that the bill rate would be highest by mere pennies per hour. This was okay because...
The technical aspect won the day and justified the high price.
This was ultimately great foresight, as staffing quality security guard talent now requires a slightly higher guard rate (pushing the bill rate higher). This flexibility is immensely important in the physical guard space, and is very rarely provided after an award has been made unless it's the standard 3% per annum.
This was not without a certain amount of risky maneuvering, which we made up with our County-specific edge.
More Like an MPA (Master Purchase Agreement)
This RFP for county-wide services was originally captured knowing that different departments would require security services soon... We knew that other agreements were expiring around 2021 and that this procurement would service more than the Sheriff's Office.
This consequently influenced the bid decision, and proposal development stayed as department-agnostic as possible to encourage fit throughout the adjacent agencies.
San Mateo consistently wins in various metrics related to household income, number of parks, beaches, community colleges, etc. It represents the best of CA, if you can afford to live there. While the scope expansions and long-term nature of this contract are nice, my team is focused on leveraging this sizable win for other comparator agencies of a similar size/demographic.
No purchasing team is created equal, and contracts can suddenly end, get modified, or change in unexpected ways due to external forces in the market. It is best to continue onwards and not get too comfortable... After all, you have dozens of equally-fit companies chasing business in sophisticated ways, honing their strengths, and learning from each loss.
Running at a standing position is recommended while staffing something like San Mateo.
Ultimately, this case study clearly shows:
- Holding negative or reactionary views towards RFPs or the competitive bidding process is a losing position.
- Certain treatments re: the pricing, solution, etc. are details to be fine-tuned in the narrative. If your pricing is deemed "too high" - proper pricing justification didn't take place. Looking ahead, focus on finding the right team for solution development through the various phases (e.g., proposal, interview, BAFO), not so much getting in lower than your competition.
- There is a path ahead where the procurement is such a strong/suitable opportunity and fit that the agency uses you across other departments/organizational segments.
- Outside expertise can positively shape futures once you follow the prescribed winning process; just hope they have one.