Re: formatting a response to an RFP

Subject: Re: formatting a response to an RFP
From: Dan Emory <danemory -at- primenet -dot- com>
To: "Mandy Wells" <mwells -at- valadeo -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2000 11:05:15 -0700

At 01:31 PM 7/17/00 -0400, Mandy Wells wrote:

Hello Whrl-rs
I'm responsible for creating the response to an RFP, but I'm not sure what
the appropriate page layout and format would be. Is there a standard way of
doing these?

The RFP is very detailed, with nest upon nest of bullet points, and the
Marketing department wants to reply with added comments about the things our
product does really well, so I was thinking of setting up a table something
like this:

1. An important function Comply
Comment: It's easier than falling off a log when using our product.
2. Another function Not Comply
3. Yet another function Comply
Comment: We do this function so well, you can use it to get many more

Would this be a good way of formatting the document?
Often, an RFP includes instructions on how the response must be
formatted and organized. Are you sure you have the complete RFP, or
did someone else tear it apart first and deal it out. If that happened,
demand to see the whole RFP.

If there are no instructions on how to organize and format the response
in the RFP, then I strongly advise you to follow the organization
of the RFP itself, to the extent possible. This assures that even a
semi-intelligent orangutan can map the requirements in the RFP to
your responses to those requirements. Be sure to respond to each
requirement, otherwise your proposal may be thrown out as non-responsive.
There is an art form to writing responses to requirements that you can't
fully meet.

If, however, the RFP has multi-level bulleted lists
as you describe, and these bulleted items delineate requirements,
then I'd suggest that you convert the bulleted items to
multi-level numbered headings in your response.
Numbering them allows you to precisely cross-reference things
in your proposal. For example, if you discuss how you're going to
meet requirement C under your response to requirement A, when you get
to the response to requirement C, you reference the number of the heading
that responded to requirement A.
| Nullius in Verba |
Dan Emory, Dan Emory & Associates
FrameMaker/FrameMaker+SGML Document Design & Database Publishing
Voice/Fax: 949-722-8971 E-Mail: danemory -at- primenet -dot- com
10044 Adams Ave. #208, Huntington Beach, CA 92646
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