Welcome to MTM Transit Talks, where we’re bringing you monthly posts from our Chief Operating Officer Brian Balogh! Every month, Brian discusses all things safety, transportation, sustainability, inclusion, and much more. Welcome to the most recent edition, where Brian discusses how our team creates the proper response to a Request for Proposal (RFP) during the proposal process, and how we make sure MTM Transit sticks out among the competitors.
What is an RFP?
An RFP is created by a client and tells bidders what services they need assistance with, and what they require from their potential vendor. MTM Transit’s expert Proposal team responds to RFPs by creating a formal proposal of what we can offer them.
So what makes a proposal great? MTM Transit’s Senior Director of Proposals Amy Ritchie says her goal is to create a customized proposal that clearly outlines how MTM Transit envisions operating the client’s program and what value we will deliver that our competitors cannot. “We want to offer creative solutions at a competitive price to not only meet our clients where they are today, but to position the programs for growth, improvement, and innovation throughout the contract term,” she said.
MTM Transit specifically looks for RFPs that are thorough, give adequate information, and offer plenty of detail about the client’s expectations. It is important to require reasonable qualifications and experience, as well as eliminate barriers to prospective bidders, like extreme insurance requirements. A considerate timeline for the bid process, including a mobilization or implementation timeline that ensures that a new vendor can set up a facility and adequately train and staff, is critical. Amy Ritchie makes note that “the hardest part about structuring a great proposal is delivering a personalized plan that speaks directly to the needs and points of the client. We need to understand what the client is looking for, and that isn’t always spelled out clearly in the RFP.”
The Importance of RFPs in the World of Business Development
It is key to formulate a relationship prior to any RFP release from a transit agency. MTM Transit needs to fully understand the challenges they face so we can develop a well-crafted solution. MTM Transit looks for partners who are transparent and genuinely desire to succeed together with their transit service provider. A client who has the passenger experience as their primary goal and understands the external factors that might affect service delivery—both in a positive (available technology) or a negative (labor pool) way—is key. At MTM Transit, we try to meet with and understand the unique needs of each agency well before the RFP is issued.
MTM Transit’s Director of Regional Sales Ben Schandle says, “a well written RFP provides insights on how a transit agency wants their operations to run. The RFP will provide a road map that articulates current opportunities for operational improvements, potential solutions, and a future vision of how their ideal operation works.” Our Business Development team is constantly working on a goal of successfully communicating transit agency’s needs, wants, and desires, and how we plan to solve those problems by providing a superior service. Ben continues by saying, “We’re unique in that we are selective in who we partner with. In order to forge a successful partnership, we ensure that our culture and values align to create a service the community can be proud to utilize.”
What Makes MTM Transit Stand Out?
At MTM Transit, our motto is “Every Trip is Important”, and we live by that vision. While transit can be viewed as a business, to many it is a critical connection to life sustaining services. Our commitment is strengthened when we join with a client who shares our focus and passion for safe, timely, and reliable public transportation. The driver is well trained and friendly, the vehicle is well maintained and clean, the service is on time, and above all else, everyone arrives safely.
While we always focus on constantly refreshing our innovation and sustainability efforts throughout our proposals, MTM Transit keeps social responsibilities a priority as well. We love to see credit for DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) and sustainability initiatives within proposal scoring. This aligns well with our culture and the goals of our organization. MTM Transit uses solar lighting, recycled lubricants, hybrid and electric vehicles, and blue can recycling wherever possible. That might seem simple on the surface, but it requires a commitment. As a woman owned and led company, we also focus on gender and racial equity goals, which include our exclusive Bench Program and training initiatives to develop future leaders internally.
It can be difficult to paint a realistic picture of what makes a transit company best qualified for an opportunity in a proposal document, but MTM Transit does a great job in that area. We strive to give a glimpse of who we are as a company, the strengths of our leadership team, and what you can expect when you partner with us to operate your unique service. When we can meet, that helps, too! It’s important to meet the people you are going to be spending the next several years with – and that’s who we introduce you to.