Request for Proposal Sample: University Vending Machines

(Insert institution here) is looking to expand its automatic vending machine services across three campuses for convenience and future-proofing. Currently, students and staff members purchase foods or tobacco products from the cafeteria, which operates for a limited time and can handle a fixed number of people at a time. The school needs to install multiple vending machines for hot food and tobacco products in halls and shared residence spaces to address this challenge. We hope to arrive at the most suitable solution to provide an immersive vending experience to students and staff, steering the university towards the future.

Project Goals and Scope of Services
(insert institution here) requires a vending machine manufacturer or distributor to supply sufficient units to the school within the specified deadline. The innovative solution should be comprehensive and future-proof, delivering an immersive vending experience to staff and students. This provision ensures the institution will not spend significantly in the future to upgrade equipment or the entire solution (Fraser & Simskins, 2016). Besides that, the contracted firm will determine strategic points for installation to cater to the student needs. The company will also install the machines and provide long-term support and maintenance. The selected firm will handle developing and implementing a cost-effective market plan to meet the school’s budget.

Other crucial tasks include but are not limited to the following:

  • Developing user manuals for the vending machines
  • Upgrading equipment in the future as technology advances
  • Communications and market-related assistance
  • Vending machine repairProviding help in restocking items

Anticipated Selection Schedule
The Request for Proposal submission and evaluation timeline is as follows:

  • Initial request for RFP: October 1, 2020
  • Deadline for question submission from bidders: October 5, 2020
  • (Insert institution here) addresses bidder questions: October 20, 2020
  • Notification to successful and unsuccessful bidders: October 30, 2020
  • Commencement of negotiations: November 4, 2020
  • Contract awarding/notification to unsuccessful applicants: November 29, 2020

Proposal Submission Time and Place
The Request for Proposal will be posted online on the institution’s website and downloaded from October 1, 2020. Applicants must submit an original copy of their proposal, including installation, marketing, training, and maintenance plans. Besides that, applicants must include at least five copies of the proposal alongside the original in the final submission (Krishnan, 2018). The submission deadline for all relevant documentation is October 25, 2020, to ease the evaluation process and response to initial questions. The responses should be marked “RFP-Vending Application” and uploaded to the platform, delivered to designated parties, or mailed directly to the institution.

(Insert institution here) requires the project to be completed within 12 months. However, the school is willing to negotiate a deadline extension with the contracted company. It is noteworthy that unnecessary requests for deadline extensions are unacceptable, given that this is a time-sensitive project.

Elements of Proposal
Submitted proposals must meet a specific criterion for consideration. First, applicants should include a historic performance of the company extending three years and mentioning previous projects. Besides that, the overview must include the team members’ names, credentials, and role allocation, i.e., distinguishing full- from part-time employees.

Most importantly, the proposal should include at least a one-page narrative outlining its distinguishing capabilities and their relevance to (insert institution name here) long term goals. The narrative must specify how these strengths will enhance the staff and student experience. The proposal should include a representative selection of automatic vending machine designs, installation outcomes, and long-term support reports for current and previous clients. This measure ensures eligible applicants are credible, reducing the chances of an undesirable outcome (Rebelo, Silva & Santos, 2017). Lastly, the proposal should include a budget for the proposed solution that must correspond with the school’s budget limit.

Evaluation Criteria
Selected candidates must satisfy the assessment criteria for successful bidders. First, the contracted firm should prove business operations for at least 36 months before proposal submission. It should also possess an in-house capacity for training, marketing, and installation of vending machines. This measure reduces financial expenditure for the institution by eliminating outsourcing needs to third party firms, complicating project success (Eckerd & Girth, 2017). Moreover, selected applicants must provide long-term in-house vending machine repair and maintenance support.

Successful applicants must meet the stipulated education, skill, and knowledge qualification for employees. This measure protects the institution from unnecessary risk by filtering out non-experienced firms (Rebelo et al., 2017). Firms can include client testimonials to influence the evaluator’s decision. Aside from that, applicants must offer competitive prices for the requested service. In turn, they should include a reasonable budget in line with the school’s recommended budget.

Lastly, potential service providers must demonstrate expertise in delivering the required services. The assessment criterion will include market response and client feedback regarding the quality of product and services and its track record. Recommendations from third parties will influence the decision-making process as well.

Possible Roadblocks
The Covid-19 pandemic and stringent measures to curb its spread might complicate the project. Given that schools closed down and scientists might take some time discovering a vaccine, the project timeline might extend to accommodate such uncertainties.

(Insert institution name) is willing to spend $100,000 on the project. However, there is a provision for a slight extension in budget funds if need be. The contracted firm should justify the budget increase to qualify for supplementary funds.

Closing Remarks
(Insert institution name here) will not accept late submissions. All applicants must comply with the evaluation requirements and the anticipated selection schedule. Only (insert institution name here) can modify the submission deadline through formal communication via e-mail or alternative platforms. The RFP does not commit our institution to any expenses incurred while preparing the proposal. Questions regarding the application process should be posted on the institution’s website.
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Eckerd, A., & Girth, A. M. (2017). Designing the buyer–supplier contract for risk management: Assessing complexity and mission criticality. Journal of Supply Chain Management, 53(3), 60-75.
Fraser, J. R., & Simkins, B. J. (2016). The challenges of and solutions for implementing enterprise risk management. Business horizons, 59(6), 689-698.
Krishnan, M. S. (2018). Rfp based requirement prioritization–a one-step solution. Materials Today: Proceedings, 5(1), 642-649.
Rebelo, M. F., Silva, R., & Santos, G. (2017). The integration of standardized management systems: managing business risk. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management.