How to Write an RFP for Facility Management Software

You should do your homework if you plan to buy facility maintenance scheduling software. You must have done your research, watched demos and spoken with salespeople. You have narrowed the field to your top vendors. It is time to put out a Request for Proposal (RFP).

We have seen many RFPs as software vendors over the years. So let us go over three best practices for writing an excellent request. In addition, we have created an easy-to-use RFP for facility management software template that includes the critical FM software requirements. By issuing a solid recommendation for a proposal, you can jumpstart the procurement process and be on your way to better facilities management.

Three RFP Writing Tips for Facility Management Software

1. Determine the problems that new software must address

Ask yourself, “What do I need my FM software to do that my current solution isn’t providing?”

  • Inadequate (or non-existent) space data on facilities and assets
  • There is no work order system or preventive maintenance scheduling system in place.
  • Ineffective communication methods among construction teams
  • There is no dedicated portal for occupant service requests.
  • inability to supervise and coordinate multiple locations
  • There is little to no reporting on the operations of organizational facilities.
  • Tools for corporate capital planning are lacking.
  • There is no way to track inspections or confirm compliance.
  • Processes that are overly complicated or unwieldy
  • Inability to establish and monitor KPIs

After you have identified your pain points, rank them in order of importance to your business. This helps software vendors understand your priorities and serves as a standard for evaluating RFP responses.

2. Create an outline for your RFP

If the thought of writing a large RFP all at once makes you sweat, start with a basic outline. Once you have outlined all of the core components of the RFP, you can go back through and flesh out any areas that require more detail.

An RFP for Facility Management software should include the following items:

Details about your company

  • A list of your structures
  • Each building’s square footage
  • A general overview of the assets you have
  • Count of locations
  • Employees’ number
  • The more information you provide about your business, the more accurate and specific the responses will be.

The more information you provide about your business, the more accurate and specific the responses will be.

The software’s functional requirements that you expect

Make a list of what your facilities team requires the software to do (work order management, asset management, service request portal, etc.). For assistance, consult your list of pain points.

IT necessities

What requirements does your company’s IT department have for enterprise software? Is it, for example, required to be a web-based application? Should it be single sign-on compliant?

Vendor assistance

Learn more about your partnership with this vendor. Possible questions to include are:

  • What exactly is the on boarding procedure?
  • How are users educated about the software?
  • What does post-on boarding assistance entail?
  • What is the process for asking questions and requesting assistance after on boarding?
  • When we have questions, who will be my main point of contact at the vendor?
  • What credentials and experience do the vendor team have?

Criteria for evaluation

Tell the vendor how you intend to evaluate their RFP response. Remember that prioritized list of pain points you made? That can serve as the foundation for your evaluation criteria.

List your criteria in ascending order of importance, or assign each a percentage or point value. This communicates to the vendor what is most important to you.

Weighted evaluation criteria examples:

  • 45 points for software features, capabilities, and implementation
  • 30 points for the cost
  • 25 points for supplier support, responsiveness, and expertise

Another option would be to provide a checklist. We have seen some RFPs include a spreadsheet list of all criteria that the vendor can check “yes” or “no” to. Once you have received your responses, you can compare the checklists to see how they differ.

3. Establish submission guidelines.

Now that you have an RFP, you must define the parameters for the submission. A detailed timeline with milestones is one of the most important.

Timeline example:

Submission deadline – a standard response time is 30 days

Questions from vendors must be submitted by the end of the first week.

Date by which answers will be given to vendors – usually by the end of the second week

Consider the following additional guidelines:

  • Do you prefer paper submissions or electronic submissions?
  • Do you require client references? How many are there?

How to Assess RFP Responses from Vendors

In a nutshell, it all boils down to how each vendor addresses your most pressing issues. You have already created a prioritized list of your main criteria for facility maintenance scheduling software as part of putting together your RFP. That list will now serve as a yardstick for determining how close each RFP response is to your ideal.

Is your company more concerned with software capabilities and features? Alternatively, are you more concerned with price? Knowing this will allow you to begin ranking the responses.

Of course, not all software is created equal, so be prepared to make comparisons between apples and oranges. One software may be more expensive, but it provides all of the functionality you require. Another software could be $10,000 less but lacks four of the ten features you need. Some vendors may provide everything you require but are missing a cool, nice-to-have feature that another software provider offers.

Ultimately, it comes down to choosing a software solution that is as close to what you want in terms of functionality, vendor support, cost, and so on. Finally, consider these two points as you review your RFP responses. For starters, collaborating with data collection firms can significantly benefit you. These data collection specialists assist you in gathering your facility data in a short period (we recommend 90 days or less) and provide it to you as a turnkey solution already loaded into the facility software.

Second, look for software vendors with a transformational mind-set – businesses committed to continuously improving and transforming facilities management. Look for software that does more than just digitize or automate existing processes if you want a long-term Facility Management solution. Sure, these solutions take you from paper to digital. However, the techniques themselves continue to be carried out in the same manner.

On the other hand, transformational software employs cutting-edge technology to improve all aspects of facility management. We take that approach. A transformative mind-set inspires innovations such as:

A transformative mind-set leads to innovations such as:

  • Making asset location maps based on floor plans
  • Adding asset photos and condition notes in real-time while on-site
  • Text recognition is used to extract asset information from photographs.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at any time! We would be happy to share even more RFP best practices with you to ensure you find a solution that meets the needs of your facilities.

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