A request for proposal (RFP) for lighting projects is a document that solicits a proposal, commonly through a bidding process, for a company or organization interested in the procurement of LED lighting products or services. This proposal document is sent to potential vendors, suppliers, or contractors to submit proposals responding to the RFP.
The main goal of an RFP should not be that you find and select the lowest cost or lowest bidder, but that you find the right partner who will provide long-term value to your organization (you can read more about why you need an RFP in this blog post).
Have you been tasked by your company or organization with putting together an RFP for LED lighting products, services, or controls? It can be a daunting and complex task, considering the number of manufacturers and contractors out there claiming to have the latest and greatest product or solution. The reality is that no single company has the "latest and greatest." The LED industry is a fluid market with technology advances made every year as well as manufacturers that go the way of the dodo. The most important thing to remember is that LED lighting is NOT a commodity. The quality scale ranges widely among different manufacturers.
So, how do you make sure you don't get stuck holding the bag of issues that comes with potential lighting failures (to avoid ending up like Detroit)? Work with a company that IS NOT aligned with, or financially obligated to, a specific manufacturer. Instead, work with a company that focuses on the DESIRED OUTCOME of your lighting project.
How does all of this pertain to writing an RFP for LED lighting projects? The reality is that there are a variety of factors to be taken into consideration for any company looking to implement an LED lighting project, regardless of if it is for turnkey services or just product supply. You must:
Project criteria is the framework customers set based on what they want to achieve with their lighting project (what we often call “desired outcome”). The project criteria is set by the customer, not the lighting supplier or manufacturer.
Product criteria are the technical specifications and performance attributes of individual fixtures and lamps. This is the data on the cut sheet of a product. Most importantly, this “data” is generated from industry-approved testing methods and processes.