How Can I Compare Competitive Bids?
You have decided upon a service award recognition program that will give your employee an opportunity to make a gift selection from a group of options. When you approach a service award provider about presenting a bid to supply your needs, most likely you talked to them about budget levels of expenditure for the years of service to be recognized. For instance, a common budget plan is to use $10 for each year of service and recognize service at 5 year intervals. This would yield $50 at 5 years, $100 at 10 years, etc.
You’ve told them what you’re willing to spend. Subsequently, your bidders all come in with proposals at the same dollar levels. How can you compare? Well, I’m sure you want to see if you are paying fair prices for the individual gifts offered in each budget level.
Insist that the bid presentation include images of the proposed product offerings. There are some core name brands that every service award supplier needs to offer. Examples are Bulova watches, Howard Miller clocks, Waterford crystal, etc. The brand manufacturers have marketed certain of their product lines to companies like service award companies. Therefore, you will see “like” items in the product offerings of every service award provider. Spend some time looking over the product offerings presented by each service award provider. All service award suppliers are utilizing the same high resolution images provided by the brand manufacturer. Even though you do not know the manufacturer part number, you will be able to tell like items by the common image.
Service award providers tend to margin all items across the board at the same level. Look over the individual product listings offered by your bidders. You only need to identify a few “bell-weather” items common to the bids to get a feel for which company is giving you the best value for the dollar you have budgeted. If you see an item common to some of your bids but not all, you might ask the provider missing the item, if they would add it to their offering.
There’s nothing wrong with a company making a profit…but you want to guard against a company making an excessive profit at your expense. Be an educated buyer!
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