Why is the sourcing department looking for something different than corporate security when a RFP process has commenced?

August 23, 2011

Many times we receive RFP documents for strike related services. Upon reviewing them, it is determined the request does not meet the client’s needs, should they face a labour dispute nor will it allow decision makers to arrive at an informed decision on a suitable vendor. Recently we received an RFP asking us to provide security coverage to 14 different sites without any detail on the sites. In addition there was no consideration for investigators. The RFP was only for strike security guards. When speaking with sourcing personnel, they indicated that they only needed guards and felt 1 per shift would be adequate despite the fact some locations had 200 to 1000 employees. When corporate security was contacted, we were advised that during the selection process they could speak to vendors. Corporate security would have been saddled with why there wasn’t adequate security and how come there was no video evidence to support an injunction had a dispute occurred; putting the project out of control and well over budget. Sourcing needs to ensure adequate cost controls are in place. However they shouldn’t be driving the strategy and dictating requirements without input from key stake holders. I recently was asked to review security operations at an ongoing dispute. RFP process had selected a low cost local vendor that commenced services with minimal coverage. During our review, most entrances had 6 to 8 security guards and no investigators. Costs had exploded and the client still was having difficulty managing the work stoppage. What they needed were 2 investigators and 2 guards at a far lower overall cost, while providing more effective coverage.

Personnel tasked with developing contingency plans need to involve sourcing at the onset and ensure decisions are made based on best practises and not the lowest price. In the end, the lowest price almost always results in much higher costs when proper planning and risk assessments have not been completed.
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