DOES THIS SCENARIO SOUND FAMILIAR?
Jesse is a project owner for a large organization which has decided to redevelop their websites using Drupal as the platform of choice. Their current websites do not accurately reflect the brand or bring value to the organization. Jesse's organization has deep content knowledge as well as marketing specialists, copywriters, and designers on staff. Jesse puts together an RFP and sends it out to several web agencies. Jesse has follow up discussions with the agencies and is already seeing the options narrow down to two preferable web agencies. When the proposals come in Jesse looks intently at those two and sees the following:
Vendor A Proposal:
A beautifully designed sales deck which showcases the web agency in a positive, energetic, forward thinking light. Lots of group shots of people writing intently on glass walls, diagrams and charts add visual interest to flow the viewer from one slide to the next. There is an "about us" section with exposed brick, aluminum wrapped hardwood tables, and smiling trend setting individuals scattered across all the slides. Their services section states they are a "full service agency" who are experts in everything from WordPress to Drupal, SEO to SEM, copywriting to video production. Their process section talks about being agile and adaptive (complete with background shots of hoodie wearing teens doing parkour). In short their proposal is a visual extravaganza which wraps up with a slide giving you a fixed price for your project and a timeline which matches your requirements.
Vendor B Proposal:
You get a PDF with the same sections as vendor A minus the glass wall and hipster imagery. You also get an additional section which outlines the criteria of your project, the vendor's understanding of both the user and your organization's goals, and a detailed breakdown of options to achieve project success. They are a Drupal focused development driven digital agency. The focus of this proposal is your project rather than the web agency itself. They outline the challenges your project presents and reference similar challenges they have solved on other projects in the past. Their pricing is broken down by into line items for each phase and known requirements and summarized as an estimated range for the total amount based on assumptions they have outline. Finally, it is 'time and materials' based estimate rather than a fixed price.