As companies pursue new business partners for their facility maintenance needs, one common way to find the best partnership is to launch a ‘Request for Proposal’ (RFP). This process allows companies to evaluate multiple potential candidates for services, gather the information they need, and find the best potential fit.

Through decades of work as a trusted facility management resource, we at CLS Facility Services have seen more than our share of RFPs. And like the classic Clint Eastwood spaghetti western, we’ve seen “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.”

We really appreciate good RFPs – they save us lots of time and effort when we’re on the receiving end. How? By telling us exactly what the issuing company really needs to know; how they want that information organized and presented; and frankly, whether we’re even a good or realistic fit for their needs at all.

If we are a good fit, then we can respond to the RFP thoroughly, and with minimal or no wasted effort. If we’re not a good fit, then we know that up front, and we allocate our valuable time and effort elsewhere.

Conversely, bad – and yes, ugly – RFPs, do quite the opposite: They don’t clearly spell out engagement requirements. They offer vague details about prequalification, service specifications and the selection process. They leave important questions about timing and deadlines unanswered, right at the outset. They don’t specify performance and evaluation expectations. The list goes on.

We bet you’ve seen these kinds of RFPs, too – and we want to help you avoid the mistakes that enable bad and ugly RFPs to yield unsatisfactory results in your crucial customer–service provider relationships.

In reality, the creation of a successful RFP requires multiple steps in order to ensure that your company identifies the best service provider for your specific needs.  In our checklist, Building a Simple and Effective RFP for Your Company, we identify and examine five key steps that can help you and your colleagues construct an RFP that attracts the right service partner for your company.

These five steps delve into each critical area that you’ll need to address in your RFP: the prequalification process; the objectives; the service specifications; schedules and timelines; and performance metrics nd evaluation.

Understanding why these components are so important, and knowing how to position each one within the context of your next RFP, will help your company make a smart decision at the front-end of the service partnership process. And that, in turn, will give your company a distinct advantage in the marketplace.

Click here to download our checklist, Building a Simple and Effective RFP for Your Company. In the meantime, if you are looking for a facility management company for 2016, learn more about CLS Facility Services by contacting us at 800-548-3542 or by filling out our contact form.