We recently worked with a client on a site location project that had an extremely short time frame to make a decision. This is not an unrealistic scenario in the world of site selection. EDOs that are able to respond in a timely manner and include all of the requested information will increase their chances of winning projects.
The key to responding to an RFI on short notice is having a standard form, packet or collection of up-to-date data and information that can be tailored to each RFI. It’s our experience that usually upwards of 80% of the content of most RFIs is essentially the same from one project to the next. Why not plan ahead and have this core information ready? (It’s the same type of information that should be on your website and marketing materials, so you have to collect it and be knowledgeable about it anyway.) That being said, your response should also include information tailored specifically to the RFI. This type of information might include wages for specific occupations, relevant workforce/training programs, potential supply chain opportunities, etc. It can be a little tricky to determine what other types of information should be included in the response, but a good starting point is the RFI itself. If the information is requested in the RFI, it is important to the decision and should be included. Believe us when we say that site selectors do not go out of their way to ask EDOs for specific data unless they really need it. This seems obvious, but we have seen numerous RFI responses that do not even provide the information requested in the RFI.
One of the easiest ways to be eliminated is to have gaps in the sites and buildings information you provide with your RFI response. It can create a headache for site selectors when trying to compare buildings and two are missing square footage, one is missing price and one is missing number of dock doors. Having property listing sheets that are completely filled out can put you miles ahead of the competition.
Spending the time to make sure your RFI responses are consistent, clear and complete will give you a better chance of winning projects and help keep you top-of-mind with site selectors when the next project comes around.
Need help determining what information is most important to have on hand when an RFI comes through your door? Ady Advantage can help. Through our site selection work, as well as a number of Mock RFI projects, we can help you make your RFI responses stand out and give you a better chance of winning projects. For more information, contact Janet Ady at 608-663-9218.