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Vendor Debriefing: Learning from your mistakes

Jan 31, 2018

Winston Churchill once said, “All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes”. This is never more true than with the bidding process. No one likes to lose, especially when bidding on a large contract. However, the State does provide a mechanism for bidders to receive insight into how their bid failed. The vendor debriefing is that mechanism. As someone who has been on both sides of a debriefing, I cannot stress enough the importance for vendors to take advantage of this process. With that said, you need to understand what a debriefing is and what it is not.

A debriefing is:

  • An opportunity to meet with the buying team to discuss your bid in detail and outline the deficiencies of your bid.
  • A chance to learn more about the procurement process.
  • An opportunity to ask the buyer questions.
  • A chance to learn about future bids where your expertise may fit.

A debriefing is not:

  • A part of the bid protest process.
  • An opportunity to pick apart the winning bid. During the debriefing, they will only go through your bid.
  • A chance to attack the buying team for selecting a certain vendor.
  • An opportunity to bring your lawyer and threaten legal action against the State. In most cases, unless specified, legal counsel is not allowed.

The most important part of a debriefing is to be prepared.

If you have any questions on how MLC can help your business before, during, or after the procurement process, please feel free to contact me at 517.372.2560 or tony@mlcmi.com.

Michigan Legislative Consultants is a bipartisan lobbying firm based in Lansing, Michigan. Our team of lobbyists and procurement specialists provide a wide range of services for some of the most respected companies in America. For more on MLC, visit www.mlcmi.com or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.