With the advancement of technology, the number of crimes recorded is also increasing day by day. Thereby the need for quality surveillance devices has also increased. More and more retail stores are installing video surveillance system like CCTV cameras to monitor any untoward movement and to keep both cash and goods safe. Access Control system and intrusion alarm system are other important aspects of the security system. Large-scale projects often require engineers and security consultants to strategise a surveillance system and to draft an RFP.
Breaking Down “RFP”
RFP stands for Request for Proposal. A document is drawn that states how much an organisation is bidding for a project. The RFP outlines the terms of contract and bidding process and also presents a guideline regarding the way the bid should be formatted. It also helps in reviewing the bids and examining the profitability of the project. A Request for Proposal usually includes the background of the company and its area of interest.
Figure 1: The System of Access Control
How to Create a Professional RFP
The Request for Proposal or RFP for Access Control should be formally drafted such that there are no issues later regarding the authorization, legitimacy and guidelines of the project. The Access Control system may be biometric-based or Smart Card based. Other types of Access Control system are also available. The checklist for Access Control RFP includes:
- Before writing an RFP for Access Control, the writer must do extensive research on the project s/he is writing the RFP for. It is necessary to understand what type of Access Control system the organisation is investing in and study their features and USP. The writer should also be in contact with the company providing security to understand their working guidelines and the products offered by them.
- The RFP writer should also talk with the members of the organisation that is installing the security system. The writer should ask about their previous experiences and what type of access control devices they had used.
- After the research comes the writing part. It should include all the specifications of the product, the installation period and other factors. Basically, there are three ways to note down the specifications for Access Control RFP:
1. Proprietary method: It contains a detailed product description, the name of the manufacturer of the access control device and the model. Through this type of RFP Template Access Control, the buying organization will have complete control over the item being purchased and the installation process.
2. Descriptive method: This method takes a detailed approach. Every detail of the access control system is provided such that it can be verified at the time of installation. In this case, the manufacturer and the model numbers are not mentioned. As the company has the flexibility to choose the equipment, it often increases the competition in the market.
3. Performance method: In this type of RFP, the focus is on the end result. The proposer has the power to select the equipment and design the system. It may reduce the cost of the project. But, for this, the Access Control Template RFP should be precise and clear.
The time required for installation of the Access Control system should be clearly stated and based on prior experiences. It should not be too short as then the system may not be properly installed or will increase the costs significantly. Besides this, the phrase ‘or equal’ should be appropriately used.
The RFP for Access Control should also contain details about the working conditions such that the security system installation contractor will know beforehand what to expect. This is will also avoid disputes over working hours and availability of tools and equipment on the working site.
The Components of RFP for Access Control
Some of the key components of the Access Control system are listed below:
- Electric Locks
- Door sensors
- Access Control readers
- PIN pad/keypad
- Access Control panels
- Keycard or Swipe card
- Video surveillance and intercoms
- Body scanners and biometric credentials
- Alarm systems
- Low Voltage cable and wiring system
Reasons to Use an Access Control RFP
Here are some reasons that state how crucial a RFP Template Access Control is:
- Requirements: The RFP helps in the cognition process, that is, the organization can recognize the requirements of the system in detail. Various departments within the organization can also contribute to the process.
- System comparisons: The RFP Template for Access Control can also be used to draw comparisons in terms of costing, utility, features and installation process. If the organization is partnering with value-added resellers (VAR), then the RFP should state their experience with different companies. This goes a long way in earning the trust of the company the organization is dealing with. After all, the aim is to install a secured system.
- Scripted demonstrations: It is important to recognize the vendors who talk in hyperbole. The RFP draft will ensure that both the organization and security consultant or vendor follow the guidelines. The RFP should focus on the key functioning areas, the quality of the equipment and the process of the installation. If either of the parties deviates from the guidelines, the other can bring it to notice.
- Return on Investment: While writing the RFP, extensive research has to be conducted. This way the concerned persons will come across various access control components, installation costs and various other factors. It will help in making a well-informed decision. This also means that the organisation will have access to the best security gadgets at the best price. At the same time, the Return on Investment (ROI) will also increase.
- Everything in details: Needless to say, a detailed and organised layout of the project will help in solving all the issues.
It is crucial to install a secured and efficient Access Control system in an organisation. The appropriate equipment must be chosen and an RFP should be drawn up to ensure smooth completion of the project. This article was just an attempt to walk through the steps of writing an RFP for Access Control.