Can RFP-EZ Save the Proposal Process?
RFP-EZ is part of the Presidential Innovations Fellow Program, which was started in 2012 and has a total of five different programs. RFP-EZ beta program was launched in December 2012. The first part of RFP-EZ is a software program called SOWComposer. This is a template based Statement of Work (SOW) program, and the goal will be to allow contracting officers to write clearer SOW’s. It will also allow contracting officers to save and reuse SOW’s. Another benefit will be the ability to share and collaborate among agencies contracting officers by sharing previously composed SOW’s.
A major benefit for small businesses in the RFP-EZ program is the second piece called BidMaker. BidMaker links up with SOWComposer and allows for a company to respond online. The third component of RFP-EZ is BidMonitor. BidMonitor allows contracting officers to review submitted proposals, and review prices other agencies have paid for similar products or services in the past. Small business can register for an account with the RFP-EZ Marketplace and the Portfolio Browser. This will allow small business to receive alerts and while allowing agencies to search the database of small businesses.
RFP-EZ is long overdue. The current process leaves to much room for interpretation of what the proposal response should look like and exactly what type of product or service the Federal government is looking for. It also seems to put small businesses at a huge disadvantage. This is because lots of small businesses do not have the resources to put a massive response together, while large companies have almost unlimited ability. I think the new RFP-EZ will help the agencies meet the 23% small business goal, and give small businesses more opportunity to prosper.