Communicating Needs, computer science homework help

  

An important part of the procurement process is communicating your needs to potential vendors or suppliers. Depending on the circumstances of a particular project, the way in which you communicate your needs may vary. Consider the different procurement documents commonly used—RFP, RFQ, RFI, and IFB. Based on your reading and experience discuss how you choose and apply these documents to ensure your ability to procure appropriate resources and material.In addition, discuss how the activities in the media piece provided in this unit helped you think about these procurement documents differently. In your opinion which procurement document is the most useful and appropriate for your project, and why.(Media Transcript attached)Discuss any experience you have involving a procurement process.For experiences that were deemed a success, discuss the main factors that contributed to the success. Consider factors such as proper planning, proper understanding of the organization requirements and needs, and proper use of procurement tools and strategies.For experiences that were less successful, indicate what could have been done differently to improve the outcome. Discuss the challenges that were encountered during the procurement process.tools_of_the_trade.docxtools_of_the_trade.docx
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TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Introduction
Terry has come to be known as the person to go to for advice on selecting the best project management
tool for the job. As your mentor, Terry has asked you to respond to these questions.
SCENARIO 1
As part of a major initiative, my client is looking to enter the e-commerce marketplace in third quarter next
year. They have already completed an RFI, from which they prepared a detailed set of features and
requirements that will be used to evaluate the responses. They are now looking for prospective vendors.
What type of procurement document would you recommend?
The following statements accurately reflect this scenario:

Well-defined expectations.

Multiple solutions.

Sufficient time for a thorough response.
Based on this scenario you should recommend the following procurement
document:

RFP
Rationale for Recommendation:
This scenario does not indicate any unusual requirements, so it is reasonable to expect a variety of viable
solutions. In addition, since selection will be made based on features of the solution, not simply its cost,
and there seems to be plenty of time for vendors to respond, the RFP seems to be the best choice. This
option allows prospective vendors to provide a thorough response indicating their capabilities. It is
expected that there will be some negotiation based on proposals.
SCENARIO 2
We are preparing to upgrade approximately 45 desktop computers within the next three quarters to highend laptops with standard features. To prepare the budget, I need some realistic data on what this will
cost. What type of procurement document would you recommend?
The following statements accurately reflect this scenario:

Need to consider volume discount costs.

Standard project timelines.

Commonly available products or services.
Based on this scenario you should recommend the following procurement
document:

RFQ.
Rationale for Recommendation:
Having reliable requirements that can be satisfied by readily-available products within a standard timeline
allows you to focus on price. When accurate price information is not accessible, as in this case where a
volume discount could apply, an RFQ can be very useful. Also, while RFQs are often used
interchangeably with RFPs, vendors will appreciate an RFQ since it takes less time to respond to than an
RFP. Additional negotiation is expected following the RFQ.
SCENARIO 3
Due to a recent merger, we have been asked to install our retail management systems in six new
locations in the next 60 days. We have completed this same installation with a 120-day timeline, using
several vendors. Therefore, we expect that they will be able to comply, but we need to find out what
special incentives will be required to reduce the customary timelines.
The following statements accurately reflect this scenario:

Seeking price and delivery quotations.

Well-defined items.
Based on this scenario you should recommend the following procurement
document:

RFQ.
Rationale for Recommendation:
The element that has changed from previous installations of the same product is the timeline. Therefore,
the RFQ should provide vendors an opportunity to indicate their ability to meet this reduced timeline and
subsequent incentive requirements.
SCENARIO 4
Our customer service representatives currently use two customized printers in their job. One prints on
standard paper; the other prints shipping labels on self-adhesive paper. As part of a redesign of the
customer service department, scheduled to begin third quarter next year, we need to maximize the
counter space at each station. Therefore, we are looking for a combination printer. From our research we
determine that this type of printer does not currently exist. What type of procurement document would you
recommend we begin with?
The following statements accurately reflect this scenario:

Custom product.

Seeking information that might otherwise be omitted.

Seeking confirmation of viability.
Based on this scenario you should recommend the following procurement
document:

RFI.
Rationale for Recommendation:
Since your research indicates that this is a custom product, you will want to test the viability of the
concept before going to the work of fully defining requirements. You also want to set up your solicitation
to ensure that prospective vendors have the freedom to suggest features and solutions that you might not
have considered. The RFI allows for the gathering of information and is a precursor to contractual
commitments
SCENARIO 5
We need to procure hardware and software for a new 911 system, including an enhanced caller ID
system with address and location information. It needs to integrate with existing systems used by fire,
police, and EMR departments. We prepared a detailed description of all project requirements including
the functional requirements, software, hardware, installation, implementation, and project deadlines.
The following statements accurately reflect this scenario:

Niche market.

A few select vendors.

Local regulatory requirements.
Based on this scenario you should recommend the following procurement
document:

IFB.
Rationale for Recommendation:
Considering the governmental nature of this work along with the need to integrate with other
governmental agencies, there are likely a few select vendors prepared to qualify as suppliers for this
work. An IFB is used almost exclusively by governmental agencies. Keep in mind that under an IFB, there
are no negotiations following the bid.
SCENARIO 6
We need to replace the projection system in our boardroom before the next quarterly Board Meeting. This
includes the hardware and software to integrate the system into our existing network. We have done a lot
of research and know what we want. Although we have identified several acceptable alternative solutions,
we have not worked with these vendors before so we do not know what their overhead costs are. Due to
budget constraints at this time, we need to be able to ensure that the project costs will not exceed our
budget allotment. What type of contract would you recommend?
The following statements accurately reflect this scenario:

Well-defined expectations.

Well-defined deadlines.

Readily-available products.

Tight budget constraints.
Based on this scenario you should recommend the following contract:

Fixed Price.
Rationale for Recommendation:
Your research indicates that vendors have several products that meet your requirements and are
available within your budget and time constraints. That means that vendors should be able to accurately
predict project costs. In addition, you need to accurately predict the cost because of budget limitations.
Therefore, I recommend the fixed-price contract.
SCENARIO 7
Thanks for helping us solicit information to maximize counter space at each customer service station
through use of a customized combination printer. We completed the RFI process and determined that the
idea is viable, but development costs will need to be considered. We prepared the budget knowing that
final costs will depend on the solution selected following the RFP. Now, what are your recommendations
for an appropriate contract type for this situation?
The following statements accurately reflect this scenario:

New design or development.

Need to cover development costs.

Total costs cannot be accurately estimated.

No assurance of actual final cost.
Based on this scenario you should recommend the following contract:

Cost Reimbursement.
Rationale for Recommendation:
Since customized products require design and development costs that cannot be accurately estimated,
you will want to share the financial risk with the vendor. A cost reimbursable contract allows the vendor to
feel comfortable that they will be fairly compensated, which helps you feel comfortable that you will
receive a quality product. A concern for the buyer is the risk of cost overrun. For that reason, incentives
are often built into cost-reimbursable contracts to minimize that risk.
SCENARIO 8
Recent storm damage at our IT center has affected service throughout the organization. Immediate
repairs are required to maintain our revenue and corporate image. We expect our regular service provider
to be able to respond, however the extent of these damages and our subsequent response time
requirements extend beyond the scope of our maintenance agreement. What contract would you
recommend?
The following statements accurately reflect this scenario:

An open-ended arrangement.

Work cannot be clearly specified.

Total costs cannot be accurately estimated.

Established working relationship with vendor.
Based on this scenario you should recommend the following contract:

Time and Materials.
Rationale for Recommendation:
A Time and Materials contract is a hybrid between the other two, or you will see similarities to each. In
this situation you already have an agreement with a service provider, but you need to extend that contract
to address specific equipment and repair costs. Since time is of the essence in this situation, a time and
materials contract will allow the service provider to be paid fairly for the work required to adequately
respond to this situation.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Introduction
Terry has come to be known as the person to go to for advice on selecting the best project management
tool for the job. As your mentor, Terry has asked you to respond to these questions.
SCENARIO 1
As part of a major initiative, my client is looking to enter the e-commerce marketplace in third quarter next
year. They have already completed an RFI, from which they prepared a detailed set of features and
requirements that will be used to evaluate the responses. They are now looking for prospective vendors.
What type of procurement document would you recommend?
The following statements accurately reflect this scenario:

Well-defined expectations.

Multiple solutions.

Sufficient time for a thorough response.
Based on this scenario you should recommend the following procurement
document:

RFP
Rationale for Recommendation:
This scenario does not indicate any unusual requirements, so it is reasonable to expect a variety of viable
solutions. In addition, since selection will be made based on features of the solution, not simply its cost,
and there seems to be plenty of time for vendors to respond, the RFP seems to be the best choice. This
option allows prospective vendors to provide a thorough response indicating their capabilities. It is
expected that there will be some negotiation based on proposals.
SCENARIO 2
We are preparing to upgrade approximately 45 desktop computers within the next three quarters to highend laptops with standard features. To prepare the budget, I need some realistic data on what this will
cost. What type of procurement document would you recommend?
The following statements accurately reflect this scenario:

Need to consider volume discount costs.

Standard project timelines.

Commonly available products or services.
Based on this scenario you should recommend the following procurement
document:

RFQ.
Rationale for Recommendation:
Having reliable requirements that can be satisfied by readily-available products within a standard timeline
allows you to focus on price. When accurate price information is not accessible, as in this case where a
volume discount could apply, an RFQ can be very useful. Also, while RFQs are often used
interchangeably with RFPs, vendors will appreciate an RFQ since it takes less time to respond to than an
RFP. Additional negotiation is expected following the RFQ.
SCENARIO 3
Due to a recent merger, we have been asked to install our retail management systems in six new
locations in the next 60 days. We have completed this same installation with a 120-day timeline, using
several vendors. Therefore, we expect that they will be able to comply, but we need to find out what
special incentives will be required to reduce the customary timelines.
The following statements accurately reflect this scenario:

Seeking price and delivery quotations.

Well-defined items.
Based on this scenario you should recommend the following procurement
document:

RFQ.
Rationale for Recommendation:
The element that has changed from previous installations of the same product is the timeline. Therefore,
the RFQ should provide vendors an opportunity to indicate their ability to meet this reduced timeline and
subsequent incentive requirements.
SCENARIO 4
Our customer service representatives currently use two customized printers in their job. One prints on
standard paper; the other prints shipping labels on self-adhesive paper. As part of a redesign of the
customer service department, scheduled to begin third quarter next year, we need to maximize the
counter space at each station. Therefore, we are looking for a combination printer. From our research we
determine that this type of printer does not currently exist. What type of procurement document would you
recommend we begin with?
The following statements accurately reflect this scenario:

Custom product.

Seeking information that might otherwise be omitted.

Seeking confirmation of viability.
Based on this scenario you should recommend the following procurement
document:

RFI.
Rationale for Recommendation:
Since your research indicates that this is a custom product, you will want to test the viability of the
concept before going to the work of fully defining requirements. You also want to set up your solicitation
to ensure that prospective vendors have the freedom to suggest features and solutions that you might not
have considered. The RFI allows for the gathering of information and is a precursor to contractual
commitments
SCENARIO 5
We need to procure hardware and software for a new 911 system, including an enhanced caller ID
system with address and location information. It needs to integrate with existing systems used by fire,
police, and EMR departments. We prepared a detailed description of all project requirements including
the functional requirements, software, hardware, installation, implementation, and project deadlines.
The following statements accurately reflect this scenario:

Niche market.

A few select vendors.

Local regulatory requirements.
Based on this scenario you should recommend the following procurement
document:

IFB.
Rationale for Recommendation:
Considering the governmental nature of this work along with the need to integrate with other
governmental agencies, there are likely a few select vendors prepared to qualify as suppliers for this
work. An IFB is used almost exclusively by governmental agencies. Keep in mind that under an IFB, there
are no negotiations following the bid.
SCENARIO 6
We need to replace the projection system in our boardroom before the next quarterly Board Meeting. This
includes the hardware and software to integrate the system into our existing network. We have done a lot
of research and know what we want. Although we have identified several acceptable alternative solutions,
we have not worked with these vendors before so we do not know what their overhead costs are. Due to
budget constraints at this time, we need to be able to ensure that the project costs will not exceed our
budget allotment. What type of contract would you recommend?
The following statements accurately reflect this scenario:

Well-defined expectations.

Well-defined deadlines.

Readily-available products.

Tight budget constraints.
Based on this scenario you should recommend the following contract:

Fixed Price.
Rationale for Recommendation:
Your research indicates that vendors have several products that meet your requirements and are
available within your budget and time constraints. That means that vendors should be able to accurately
predict project costs. In addition, you need to accurately predict the cost because of budget limitations.
Therefore, I recommend the fixed-price contract.
SCENARIO 7
Thanks for helping us solicit information to maximize counter space at each customer service station
through use of a customized combination printer. We completed the RFI process and determined that the
idea is viable, but development costs will need to be considered. We prepared the budget knowing that
final costs will depend on the solution selected following the RFP. Now, what are your recommendations
for an appropriate contract type for this situation?
The following statements accurately reflect this scenario:

New design or development.

Need to cover development costs.

Total costs cannot be accurately estimated.

No assurance of actual final cost.
Based on this scenario you should recommend the following contract:

Cost Reimbursement.
Rationale for Recommendation:
Since customized products require design and development costs that cannot be accurately estimated,
you will want to share the financial risk with the vendor. A cost reimbursable contract allows the vendor to
feel comfortable that they will be fairly compensated, which helps you feel comfortable that you will
receive a quality product. A concern for the buyer is the risk of cost overrun. For that reason, incentives
are often built into cost-reimbursable contracts to minimize that risk.
SCENARIO 8
Recent storm damage at our IT center has affected service throughout the organization. Immediate
repairs are required to maintain our revenue and corporate image. We expect our regular service provider
to be able to respond, however the extent of these damages and our subsequent response time
requirements extend beyond the scope of our maintenance agreement. What contract would you
recommend?
The following statements accurately reflect this scenario:

An open-ended arrangement.

Work cannot be clearly specified.

Total costs cannot be accurately estimated.

Established working relationship with vendor.
Based on this scenario you should recommend the following contract:

Time and Materials.
Rationale for Recommendation:
A Time and Materials contract is a hybrid between the other two, or you will see similarities to each. In
this situation you already have an agreement with a service provider, but you need to extend that contract
to address specific equipment and repair costs. Since time is of the essence in this situation, a time and
materials contract will allow the service provider to be paid fairly for the work required to adequately
respond to this situation.

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