The Ghost of RFPs Past


Posted By Qvidian | Dec 21, 2015


One of my favorite Christmas movies is "A Christmas Carol". While I love each rendition of the Dickens' story from the original done in 1938, to the 1984 version with George C Scott, to even Bill Murray's knock-off in 1988 with "Scrooged," the traditionalist in me will say the 1951 version ("Scrooge") is the one to watch. I think it's the infectious giggling Alastair Sim pulls off when Scrooge realizes it's Christmas day that does it for me. Regardless of which you prefer, its just not the holiday season without a refresher of the famous tale.

The story reminds us that looking at our past and confronting those ghosts can help shape our future - to make sure we not only have a future but it's the one we want. In this tradition, we take a look back at RFP management and regard the events that have shaped the present. And in doing so, begin to define our own future.

Do you remember when "We Are The World" topped the charts? Or where you were on Black Monday in 1987 when stock markets around the world crashed? What about the fall of the Berlin Wall? These events of the 1980s were all in the infancy of modern RFP management. At this point in time, the RFP was mostly used in government and considered more an administrative task than a strategic, revenue-driving function.

How about the 90s? Do you remember Bill Clinton playing the saxophone on Arsenio Hall? Did you profit in the dot com bubble - or hopefully not lose it in the burst? This is when RFPs made the radical shift from being predominantly paper-based to being digital, and even more progressive - online. The passing of FASA (Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act) in 1994 was critical in this evolution by not only facilitating the use of technology, but also altering the government's procurement strategy from lowest bid to best value. Now, RFPs were not only digital, they needed to fundamentally change from meeting price goals to performance goals.

And this is just the beginning. Check out our latest infographic depicting the evolution of RFP management and the events that have shaped the industry.

Subscribe below and stay tuned for more on what impacted RFP management as we know it, and what that means for the future.