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This is Casey Laughman, managing editor of Building Operating Management magazine. Today's tip focuses on how to select a vendor for a security system.
Once all the preliminary groundwork has been laid for a security system, it's time to move on to the vendor selection. The goal at this point is to ensure that each vendor understands the entire scope of the project and that the pricing is submitted in a format that allows for effective review and approval. As well, facility managers need to verify that the vendor is qualified to install, maintain and support the system.
In a pre-bid meeting, facility managers meet with prequalified integrators that have proven capability of installing security systems in the local market. The integrators are provided with a design overview and walkthrough of the facility. This meeting gives vendors the opportunity to submit questions, which should be answered in writing.
Once the bids are submitted, the facility management team reviews them and ensures the design and installation requirements for the specified systems are met. At this point, it can be beneficial to tour sites where the vendor has already installed systems. This provides an opportunity to review the quality of the work and to spend time with staff from an organization that has used the integrator in the recent past.
Shortlisted vendors are invited to a de-scope meeting to discuss the project in detail with the facility manager. Questions from all parties should be addressed at this meeting and, if appropriate, vendors can resubmit their proposals and pricing. Once the selection is made, it is customary to call each vendor personally with the decision and follow up with an official award notice letter.