Making Dispatch Furniture Bids & RFP's Work For Your 911 Comm Center

Posted by Ken Carson on Mar 20, 2019 4:50:45 PM

RFPs for 911 dispatchWhen it is time to purchase your new furniture for your 911 center, often a City or County has a purchasing department with rules to determine if such a purchase needs to go out to bid or can be bought directly. So, what exactly is a "bid"?   

The word "bid" seems to be used as a generic term for a competitive purchasing process.  We hear the word "bid" used in Request for Proposal or RFP or an Invitation to Bid IFB. These are two very different ways to create a competitive purchasing process.   

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Topics: Purchasing, RFP

Post Dispatch Furniture RFP: 5 Tips on What to Do Now

Posted by Maria Teruel on May 19, 2017 2:22:35 PM

RFP what to do now.jpgThere are many different avenues out there when purchasing your height-adjustable dispatch workstations and dispatch furniture. Some 911 Comm Centers require a three-quote process, others purchase directly off of state contracts, and some "piggy-back" off of open contracts in their states. If your 911 Comm Center chooses or requires a formal bid process, the journey can be more complicated than you expect! You will have to draft up arequest for proposal (RFP), which often has an addendum or two. Then you also have to think about reviewing and scoring the submittals. Then, when the RFP is closed and the vendor is awarded, you might think, "Hooray! We're in the clear!" Let me put the brakes on that dream wagon; there's still some more work to do.

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Topics: Purchasing, RFP

5 Dispatch Furniture Questions to Ask on a Comm Center Tour

Posted by Maria Teruel on Jan 13, 2017 2:51:41 PM

5_Questions_to_ask_on_a_Comm_Center_Tour.jpgThere are several different avenues available for researching new dispatch furniture, and sorting through them all can often feel overwhelming. Depending on how your center makes this kind of purchase, you might have to collect three or more quotes, purchase off of a specific contract, or even go through a bid process. It’s also likely that a salesperson will visit your center with some literature and provide a proposal configuration.

Doing your own research during this time is critical, as it gives you as a buyer or an end user a good foundation to pinpoint your specific needs. One of the best ways to achieve this is by going on a field trip or Comm Center tour! Visiting neighboring centers or taking a tour at a national trade show are a couple of the most educational ways to explore furniture options, as you’ll get to see the furniture in person and ask the staff and representatives questions about their experience with it.

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Topics: Buying, Purchasing, Installation, Warranty, RFP, Workstation Planning

Alternatives to a Dispatch Furniture RFP: Why Purchasing Contracts Can Be a Win-Win

Posted by A Previous Xybix Employee on Aug 14, 2014 10:24:00 AM

WINWINRFPDispatchFurnitureWhen public safety agencies upgrade their communication centers, they often need (or want) to replace their existing console furniture, as well. Because of state, federal and local laws, many comm center managers put out a Request for Proposal (RFP) or an Invitation for Bid (IFB) to get the process started. But, that isn’t always necessary. If local laws allow, there are several purchasing contracts that you may be able to use instead. 

Purchasing from a contract, or piggy-backing is often easier than creating an RFP or going out to BID, it also creates a WIN-WIN situation for the purchasing agency. The two contracts described below help create this WIN-WIN scenario by allowing state and government agencies to purchase directly from a pre-approved, reputable supplier without having to go out to bid.  

Here are two common contracts, and the benefits of using them over an RFP or IFB.

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Topics: Buying, Purchasing, RFP

The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Great RFP for Dispatch Furniture

Posted by Ken Carson on Jul 9, 2014 2:49:00 PM

RFPDisptachFurnitureHow does one write a clear, effective RFP (request for proposal) for new dispatch furniture? This is a daunting task for many comm center managers — and one they usually only need to tackle once or twice during their careers. How do you know what to say? How can you be fair to the vendors, while getting what you really want? How do you avoid low-price bidders? And most importantly, how do you keep it honest?

These are great questions, all of which I hear from time-to-time when talking to comm center supervisors and managers. Everyone wants to get it right, but it’s often unfamiliar territory with a lot at stake.

Never fear! We’ll walk you through the RFP process so you can get started on your search for a dispatch furniture company that best fits your needs.

Here’s what you need to know:

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Topics: Buying, Purchasing, Price, RFP