President Kirk Beaudoin Facilities Manager of Adidas America Inc, kicked off the Canadian Conference highlighting PRSM’s recently released Trends Report in Facilities management including sustainability, brick & mortar innovation, mobile applications, developing the team of tomorrow and data. Kirk challenged us to be great and that all the little efforts add up to continue to move from good to great.
Opening session with Bruce Winder covering “The Success Formula”: Retailer & Vendor Partnerships, focused on building win-win partnerships in the “New Normal” based on a foundation of mutual trust, goals and objectives. Changes in retail and FM has become polarized with Luxury, Club and Dollar channels. Data security at the forefront with renewed focus in FM on energy efficiency and reducing waste. Online growth occurring at expense of bricks and mortar and need for “experience” in the store. Key words go back to the basics: accountability, being firm but fair, clarity on goals, targets, roles and results, ongoing constant communication and holding each other to high standards. Walk the talk and think of the other person to collaborate and strengthen the partnerships. Partnerships are dynamic and changing with markets, economics, people, process and technology. Leigh Person with Staples Canada was recognized for the partnerships she forged with vendors to make retail sustainable. Leigh has a long term commitment to sustainability and its impact on the environment. Efforts focus on recycling both rechargeable and alkaline batteries in every store in an effort to keep eight million pounds of electronic waste from ending in landfill sites annually. Additionally Staples is committed to offering more sustainable products, reducing packaging, advance energy reduction while using renewable and clean energy to reduce carbon impact. See more in PRSM’s trending report. Challenged us to the Stanley Cup champions!—be creative and challenge the status quo.
Leigh Pearson, Director – Facility, Environmental, & Procurement at STAPLES Canada, spoke about the RFP Process with the goal to make the process seamless and identify areas for improvement so as to secure the vendors who can provide the best overall value as opposed to lowest first cost price. Clients need to first fully understand what the goals are of the RFP. Vendors have to ask the question “what is it that makes you different and that you can do better than anyone else to present and position your company. Vendors need to evaluate if they should participate in the RFP. Invest time, review scope, service level agreements (SLA), CMMS requirements and ask good questions. Questions are not only valuable to get clarity on scope but to allow vendors to showcase their company. RFP process is a long process starting with specifications scope of work and timeline followed by the RFI or request for information to solicit information from prospective bidders, the RFP or request for Proposal to submit pricing and narrow down good fit of vendors for work to be performed and final negotiations to complete the contract and begin the implementation process. Leigh commented that common mistakes retailers see is that vendors participating do not pay attention to payment terms nor read posted questions/answer from other participants and circumvent contacts provided. Clients are open to alternative scopes but initial response need to follow the scope in the RFP. Leigh commented the analysis will not necessary be completed by a subject matter expert to price and answer based upon the scope and consider providing value added options or technologies that can be delivered. Per retailers to be considered as a viable candidate, start by completing the company profile and answering all questions, submitting proposal within the timeframe and assuring accuracy with responses as first impressions are critical. While written responses are important to retailers, face to face exchanges are must haves. At the end of the day it is all about partnerships and whether the client and vendor are a fit—with value, cultures, meeting expectations, measuring results and delivery on both sides.