The eight critical questions to ask when a company claims they have done an RFP on your behalf

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LED street light replacement should be a straightforward process. Identify the problem; usually wasted power and wasted money. Identify several qualified vendors, get detailed quotations, perform your due diligence on the contractors, get references, meet internally and award the bid. It’s a pretty clear process.

One of the challenges is that the LED street light replacement process has many moving parts, and that is one of the reasons that a single RFP can’t possibly address all the needs of a single business, town, municipality or city. The actual lighting fixture is one of the important parts of course, but so are the wiring, the photocell, the installation, the project management, and electronic filing procedures: the pre-work and the post-work.

But when a company or a person claims to have performed research on your behalf, for your town or for your purchasing organization so that your procurement obligations are “fulfilled” and your due diligence is met, you may want to ask these questions:

#1. Have they truly fulfilled your procurement obligations? Do they even know your procurement strategies? Have they actually read your procurement policies? True due diligence is something only you can do on your own.

#2. How many different fixtures did they research? Did it include key brands like Philips and General Electric, for example? Did these manufacturers participate in the open RFP? If not, why not?

#3. Transparency. If this is a transparent document completed on your behalf, can you get a detailed copy of the RFP, with prices and terms? It seems to be fair to share this research.

#4. Risk. Is the work going to be complete in a timely manner to meet the IESO incentive deadlines?

#5. Project Audit. Are there any commissions or finders-fees for any organization or third party after the project is awarded? Who’s making sure the project work is done right?

#6. Follow the money. Where do the proceeds and the profits go? Who owns the company? Is it a locally or a foreign-owned entity?

#7. Longevity. How long has the company been established in our province? How long will they stay working in the province?

#8. Multiplier Effect. Is there an economic multiplier effect for your town or city? Will your potential contractor be purchasing lights and labour in your town or city, providing jobs and wealth locally?

As one of the leading companies that have installed tens of thousands of LED street lights in the province of Ontario, we believe that all cities and towns should know the facts when it comes to LED street light upgrade projects.

Thank you for reading! If you have any questions or comments, or have your own thoughts on this subject or this post, please contact me.

Dale Flynn
ERTH Corporation
Ingersoll, Ontario
519-485-6038 x 282
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