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Form Proposal Evaluation Team

The Proposal Evaluation Team is responsible for evaluating and comparing the responses to the proposal in accordance with the proposal evaluation strategy developed for the purchase. Other responsibilities of the Proposal Evaluation Team include:

Participating in applicable oral presentations, interviews, and site surveys

Scoring and ranking proposals based on established proposal evaluation factors

Forming the Proposal Evaluation Team, performing the evaluation, and awarding the contract are the links between a successful request for proposals (RFP) effort and a successful project. Effective planning during Process Step 2: Evaluate Sources will lead to the selection of the optimal supplier and achievement of best value. Supplier selection is a strategic process that directly affects the Postal Service's competitive advantage; forming the Proposal Evaluation Team is part of this process and includes:

Identifying the required team member skills

Identifying and selecting members

Identifying and selecting functions

Some of these decisions are dictated by the proposal's complexity and scope, and others are standard considerations that are made for each evaluation, disregarding the type of purchase.

Identification of Proposal Evaluation Team Member Skills

The Proposal Evaluation Team should include experienced professionals with an appropriate level of market knowledge to assist in the evaluation. Depending on the Purchase/SCM Team's assessment of the business situation, a Proposal Evaluation Team chairperson may be appointed. Ideally, those involved will have previous experience working on purchases of a similar nature, scale, and complexity. Specifically, those involved (or the Proposal Evaluation Team as a whole) will require skills that include:

Market knowledge - understand suppliers' responses in context (e.g., market-specific terms and conventions, commercial pressures on suppliers)

Business knowledge - relate the responses received to the wider organizational picture (e.g., relation between this requirement and strategic aims or other relevant contracts, projects, or requirements)

Purchasing skills - knowledge of procedures to be followed and deliverables required; understanding of the scope and aims of the proposal evaluation strategy and its context in the wider purchase process

Understanding of the requirements - assess the responses to the requirements (e.g., in terms of business processes involved, likely transaction volumes/service levels required, relevant technical aspects)

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Identifying and Selecting Members

Members can be from the Purchase/SCM Team, other Postal Service specialists (e.g., Finance or Legal Counsel) or external experts (care must be taken to ensure that there are no organizational conflicts of interest if an outside representative is selected). Individuals selected for the Proposal Evaluation Team must have the proper skills and the ability to support the evaluation. Each member will bring something unique to the team; his or her individuality helps make the team process powerful. The most important characteristics for consideration in member selection include:

Availability, interest, and willingness to participate on the Proposal Evaluation Team

Chemistry with other team members

Familiarity with all the different parts of the proposal evaluation process (each part of the process must be known by at least one team member)


Relevant organizational representation

Other important Proposal Evaluation Team formation issues are:

Level and type of authority to grant the team

Use of full-time versus part-time members

Decisions about collocating team personnel

Team effectiveness

Team size (larger teams are generally more difficult to manage and coordinate and can create role confusion among members)

The Contracting Officer is responsible for forming the Proposal Evaluation Team and will work with the Purchase/SCM Team to identify internal and external candidates. Depending on the complexity and importance of the RFP, the Proposal Evaluation Team may comprise the writers of the RFP, subject matter specialists, and outside consultants; it should include only those members and functions that directly support the evaluation.

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Identifying and Selecting Functions

A Proposal Evaluation Team should include only those functions that are critical to the support of the evaluation. Selected members from the Purchase/SCM Team (including the Contracting Officer and others, if warranted) make up the Proposal Evaluation Team. Non-Postal Service members may be included on the Proposal Evaluation Team or as advisors if Postal Service members are not available to fill the functions needed on the team.

Other members of the Proposal Evaluation Team from the Postal Service may include:

Purchasing specialists, Pricing Analysts, and other specialists to evaluate a proposal's price and cost aspects

Engineers, architects, and technical specialists to make technical judgments on the submitted proposals

Other Topics Considered

Start Request for Proposals (RFP) Development topic, Develop Sourcing Strategy task, Process Step 2: Evaluate Sources

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