Source Selection Criteria

The term source selection criteria refers to the method your organization will use to choose a vendor from among the proposals you receive. The criteria might be subjective or objective. In some cases, price might be the only criteria, and that means the vendor that submits the lowest bid will win the contract. You should use purchase price (which should include costs associated with purchase price, such as delivery and setup charges) as the sole criteria only when you have multiple qualified sellers from which to choose.

Other projects might require more extensive criteria than price alone. In this case, you might use scoring models as well as rating models, or you might utilize purely subjective methods of selection. I described an example weighted-scoring method in Chapter 2, "Creating the Project Charter." You can use this method to score vendor proposals.

Sometimes, the source selection criteria are made public in the procurement process so that vendors know exactly what you want in a vendor. This approach has pros and cons. If the organization typically makes known the source selection criteria, you'll find that almost all the vendors that bid on the project meet every criteria you've outlined (in writing, that is). When it comes time to perform the contract, however, you might encounter some surprises. The vendor might have done a great job of writing the bid based on your criteria, but in reality they don't know how to put the criteria into practice. On the other hand, having all the criteria publicly known beforehand gives ground to great discussion points and discovery later in the procurement processes.

The following list includes some of the criteria you can consider using for evaluating proposals and bids:

â–  Comprehension and understanding of the needs of the project as documented in the contract SOW

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