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Access a standard bid grid template for CRO procurement

The pain is real: your RFP is live, three or four Contract Research Organizations (CROs) are bidding to run your trial, and their proposals just hit your inbox. Let the fun begin.

It’s clear up front that there is not an apples-to-apples comparison or a standard format that you are working from. Different vendors have wildly varying bid grids: one CRO has all the required meetings under a Project Management category, others put them within the various functional categories. Investigator costs on a per patient basis vary significantly. Is it clear which costs are fixed, and which are variable?Group 838 (1)

And not only is it hard to see what is being quoted, it’s also hard to gauge what’s not there: did all vendors include costs for the necessary clinical toolsets? Are you clear on what’s being proposed, or might there be significant gaps? This CRO is $2m cheaper…what’s missing?

If this situation feels all too real, this complimentary resource can help you out: David Fenske, Principal of Client Advisory and Delivery at Auxilius, drew upon his 25 years of procurement and consultative experience to aggregate a lightweight and intuitive bid grid to use for your next RFP. Auxilius as an organization is vendor-agnostic, therapeutic-agnostic, and this tool isn’t a rate card or an invoicing tool. It is, however, an asset designed for smaller firms who might not have the resources or consultants on hand to build a standard template of their own. It’s aimed at putting you in the driver’s seat for this process.

Typical CRO bid grids are often laid out in a manner that isn’t intuitive for a clinical leader: often set up by how a CRO defines their business units, not how a study might be conducted. This can be confusing, opaque, and cloak key insights from the proposal. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t let your vendors get creative within your cost constraints (“study X would benefit from more sites and finish more quickly”) but it does let you normalize or realign during a rebid if that’s necessary. Just make sure you are comparing like-to-like across the study specs.

Whether you push your respondents to adopt this framework or utilize a consultant/team member to map the proposals to this standardized grid, it gives you the opportunity to think about this process differently and more strategically – a resource designed for what matters to you.

Disclaimer: This resource is for informational and educational purposes and should not be used as a substitute for thorough vendor management and proposal validation. This tool isn’t a rate card or an invoicing tool. Auxilius is not responsible for the process or outcomes in contracting, RFP, or any other activity in which this resource might be used.

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david fenske

David Fenske

Principal, Delivery & Client Advisory