The practical limit should not exceed 6. Councils/staff can fall into a trap with RFP options because they want to know/compare the real (bid) cost of the next possible recycling or diversion opportunity. With too many options to analyze, your evaluation team and/or Council, may be confused and doubt if they understood/compared all the variables correctly. This can lead to “paralysis by analysis” and a subsequent failure to act. Suppliers may interpret an RFP containing too many options as a signal that a municipality is not serious about awarding most, or even any, options and decline to bid.
- Do your homework first. Call other municipalities and use information in the RPRA Datacall to estimate the cost of options that you may be seriously considering and to set aside those you are not ready to actually award.
- Make sure your Council understands the challenges inherent in issuing “fishing” RFPs and help them understand how it benefits your program to design RFPs strategically to obtain solutions and pricing for options that are most relevant to your program.
- Limit your RFP options to no more than 6 and reduce unnecessary variables like pricing all options three different ways. (e.g. by stop, household, tonne)
- Contact CIF staff for friendly advice, RFP samples and help when you need it including council presentations if necessary.
- Read the CIF Fishing Expeditions Blog for more information and pass it on to Councillors and senior management.