While developing an RFP for a roofing project, a buyer ran into an issue regarding warranty specifications.
The RFP was for a public tender for multiple roofing projects, and the buyer had already posted the RFP on the Alberta Purchasing Connection website.
When the buyer posted the RFP, a vendor came back with a question. They commented that the RFP was not fair, open and transparent to all companies because of the specific conditions.
The comments the vendor had made were clear, concise and, most importantly, correct. While reviewing the RFP for issues, the vendors identified an error made in the specifications.
As procurement professionals, we try to be as detailed as possible and review scopes of work. Still, the subject matter experts and business units typically draw up the development of these specifications.
Nevertheless, the owner made an error in developing the specifications. The RFP called for a specification for a type of warranty offered by the Alberta Roofing Construction Association (ACRA).
The ARCA warranty is a standard warranty offered by roofing contractors in Alberta and is very good. Many specifications in roofing projects ask for this warranty, but the kicker is that you must be a member of the Alberta Roofing Construction Association.
Procurement professionals are acutely aware of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) and its guidelines. It states clearly that the procuring party cannot specify brands, technology or other specific items that would hinder or otherwise prevent vendors from not being able to bid on the RFP.
Now, of course, this is my language, and I am paraphrasing. The following link takes will you to the actual agreement with the language. The CFTA details the requirements in Article 503.
When making these errors, what can we do?
As was mentioned earlier, make sure you know and understand
The CFTA Clearly before responding. In this case, upon review, the supplier was correct.
Therefore, a solution to the problem is to issue an addendum with clarifying language that states the requirement for the specific warranty and includes the language that indicates approval for a “warranty of equal value and qualifications.”
I have, of course, simplified the language for this article. The details of the alternate warranty should be explicit in terms of requirements. You’re not asking for a specific condition, but the respondents must meet the needs of the requirements.
For procurement professionals, this is common, especially with RFx’s, and sometimes different solutions are needed. In this scenario, this was the easiest path for the answer. I would love to hear your stories and what happened.