RFP’s – Vendor Selection – Scoring

Posted on August 8, 2010 by


In a Request For Proposal selection process or project a flexibility, well defined rubric  is critical.  That rubric is  more commonly known as score sheets, scales and weights.  The best practice is to define that rubric prior to issuing the RFP – the selection committee needs to know 1) what they are selected and 2) how they will evaluate before a RFP is published.

The rubric can include a combination of technical fit, organizational fit, cost and other factors.  Low price does not mean lowest cost (or often referred to as Total Cost of Ownership – TCO).

This leads to  scores, scales and weights.  A score is what a vendor is awarded.  There are two uses of score – one is typically as a “raw” score the other is an aggregate score after applying all weights, scales and subtotals.  The scale may help organize that score (think of a scale as a 1 to 5 with 5 serving as the highest or best score).   A weight is added to elements that are important or Critical To Quality (CTQ). The idea is a feature or attribute of the vendor may be “extra” important.

For example the following is a score sheet for selecting a modestly priced road bike (human peddled kind).  The mission of the review committee is to select something appropriate for an Olympic distance triathlon or recreational ride.  The budget is $600- $800.  The requirements remove the need for trail riding (eliminating mountain bikes) and hauling books with some rough roads (hybrid).
Select a bike

Speed at 100 RPM (1 to 5, 5 high) Speed at
100 RPM weight (x 3)
Speed at 100 RPM score Fork Stability
(1 to 5,
5 high)
Fork Stability weight
(x 1)
Fork Stability score Price
(1 to 5,
5 best or low)
Price weight
(x 2.5)
Price score Total
(bikes r us)
4 (22 mph) 3 12 4 1 4 3 2.5 7.5 23.5
Giant 2009 (cycles all) 3 (21.2 mph) 3 6 4 1 4 5 2.5 12.5 22.5