Editor’s Note: While focusing on the UK public sector’s methodology for analyzing bids, the core questions the author raises are universal. Specifically, are weighted bidding processes unintentionally skewed to select the worst vendor?
Preparing a bid the other day, I was thinking about how our clients score bids in a competitive bidding situation. In the UK, they often talk about a 50-50 technical and cost weighting. Let’s look at this a bit more closely.
What they actually do is mark the technical bid and give it a mark, say 71 out of 100. It’s usually derived from several markers and several categories. They then look at the price and score by dividing the lowest cost by our cost to get a factor (e.g. if we were 20% more expensive this would be 0.833). This is scaled so that it is also out of 100 to make 83.3. The two marks are added together according to the “weighting”. In the 50-50 situation this would result in 77.2 out of 100. The highest mark wins the job. For small jobs, the marker probably selects the…
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