Request for Proposals: Web Developer

Closing Date: 
January 24, 2020

Request for Proposals 

« Web Developer »

 

Request for Proposal (RFP) No.:

BM-TR-19-2-008

Issuance Date:

18 DECEMBER 2019

Deadline for Questions: 

5 JANUARY 2020 

Closing Date:

24 JANUARY 2020 

Closing Time:

23:59 EST

Method of RFP Submission:

Submit via email to:

Email: newyork@buildingmarkets.org

Subject Line:

Price quote for BM-TR-19-2-008

Preferred currency of Proposal:

United States Dollars (USD)

Tax on Price:

Must be inclusive of VAT and other applicable indirect taxes

Conditions for Release of Payment:

Milestone payments will be made and approved as per contract deliverables

Period of Validity of Quotes starting on the Submission Date:

60 Days

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Technical proposal [25%]
  • Portfolio [20%]
  • Client references [20%]
  • Price quote [35%]

December 18, 2019

Dear Prospective Vendor: 

Building Markets intends to award a contract to a Website Developer. Interested Vendors are invited to submit a technical proposal and cost proposal in accordance with this Request for Proposals (RFP). This contract is open to companies, organizations, and individuals. 

The contract will be for approximately 12 months from the award date. Vendors are advised to propose the most cost effective and competitive approach to achieve the results of the project. 

All proposals must be submitted to Building Markets newyork@buildingmarkets.org by 23:59 EST on Friday, January 24, 2020. It is the responsibility of the Vendor to ensure that the proposal has been received by Building Markets in its entirety. If the proposal is received after the deadline or if it is incomplete, it will not be accepted or considered by Building Markets. 

All questions or requests for clarification related to this solicitation must be submitted in writing to Building Markets at newyork@buildingmarkets.org by 23:59 NYC EDT on Sunday, January 5, 2020. Questions and requests for clarification, and the responses thereto, will be circulated to all recipients via email no later than Wednesday, January 8, 2020. Only written answers from Building Markets will be considered official. Any answers received outside the official channel, whether received verbally or in writing, will not be considered official responses regarding this RFP. 

Issuance of this RFP does not constitute an award commitment on the part of Building Markets, nor does it commit Building Markets to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of offers. 

Thank you for your interest in working with Building Markets. We look forward to reviewing your proposal. 

Sincerely,

The Building Markets Team

1. Organization Overview

Building Markets is an award-winning non-profit organization that creates jobs and encourages economic growth by finding, building and connecting competitive local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to supply chains, investment, and growth opportunities. We have built a network of more than 25,000 verified SMEs and organizations, assisted them in winning over $1.3 billion in contracts, and helped create over 70,000 jobs in Afghanistan, Haiti, Jordan, Liberia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Turkey, and Timor-Leste. The organization currently operates programs in Jordan, Myanmar, and Turkey. Building Markets is headquartered in New York City. For more information visit www.buildingmarkets.org.

Program Background

In 2016, Building Markets launched a program in Turkey. Since that time, it has developed an extensive network of SMEs, published ground-breaking research that has brought visibility to their operations and economic contributions, and designed tailored services to facilitate their access to new opportunities. Key services include business verification and profiling, access to market information, training, matchmaking, mentorship, and advocacy. Building Markets works closely with local partners to implement its programs.

Building Markets products and services are made available to its clients and partners both on and offline (in-person). One of its platforms:https://entrepreneurs.buildingmarkets.orgworks to address a key pain point in the countries where the organization operates – a lack of reliable and available information on the local private sector. This lack of data prevents buyers and investors from identifying new companies they may be interested in working with and simultaneously prevents local businesses from identifying new opportunities. This is particularly acute in markets hosting refugee entrepreneurs.

Building Markets’ online platform aims to address these challenges in two key ways: 1. By providing access to a directory (“Business Directory”) of verified businesses with unique profiles that are easily searchable and 2. By sharing business opportunities (“Business Opportunities”), such as request for quotations or proposals, with users on the online platform. 

Building Markets plans to expand and improve the delivery of these online services to registered businesses (e.g. local or Turkish-owned companies, migrant or refugee-owned companies), as well as the buyers and investors looking to do business with them. With the help of a web developer, Building Markets aims to improve the operation of its online platform (search functionality, data uploading, user registration/profile maintenance) and its tender distribution service, including through the integration of an automated outreach SMS system into its platform. 

Technical Platform

Entrepreneurs.buildingmarkets.org is built on WordPress 5 and is hosted on WP Engine. The site uses a variety of custom and community plugins, as well as a customized theme. It is multilingual and currently contains translations in Turkish and Arabic. (Knowledge of these languages is not necessary.)

The vendor should have extensive experience in the WordPress ecosystem and have a track record of developing high quality custom plugin and theme code. 

Experience with the following plugins is a plus:

  • Advanced Custom Fields
  • FacetWP
  • Polylang Pro
  • RelevanSSI
  • WP Job Manager

2. Scope of Work

Building Markets is looking for a digital company, organization, or individual that will help customize its platform so that it is responsive to the needs stated below. The Vendor will need to: 

Activity 1

  • Design and improve the tender distribution service to allow for:
    • Specific types of users to upload and edit Business Opportunities and related files (e.g. word documents). For example, allowing companies/organizations to upload their Business Opportunity Documents directly (tenders, RFPs, RFQs, etc.);
    • The site currently does not have ecommerce capability but we would like the Vendor to perform discovery on paid user options for certain user types. For example, so that paid users may access or post Business Opportunities;
    • Searchability and sorting of Business Opportunities that enables users to quickly identify a Business Opportunity that match with their interests;
    • Integrated analytics on the Business Opportunity page to enable the monitoring of user activity and interest on Business Opportunities (e.g. number of engagements on a specific Business Opportunity); 
    • Users to download the related files attached to Business Opportunities;
    • Users to subscribe to automatic updates, via email and SMS, on relevant Business Opportunities based on the users’ selected preferences; and
    • Other features to be agreed upon in the final scope of work. 

Activity 2

  • Update the online platform from its current manual translation process (via Polylang) to a more automated process;
  • Further integrate the multi-language functionality of the platform so that users can better navigate content, and pages are fully available in English, Turkish and Arabic;
  • Generate a more intuitive, simplified and streamlined user experience, including allowing non-admin users to self-edit their individual profile pages (e.g. update basic information such as contact details, category, description of goods and service);
  • Expand search and sort functionality to include Business Opportunity listings;
  • Allow for advertising or other feature information on landing page; 
  • Enable more advanced, and fast search functionality for business listings, including: 
    • predictive text/auto-fill;
    • acronym and special character recognition;
    • alternate/ recommended results based on search criteria used (“Did you mean…”);
    • search filters and sort abilities for the site’s business profile and Business Opportunity content types; and 
    • Other features to be added in the final scope of work.

Activity 3

Building Markets is seeking a long-term relationship with a Vendor that can provide a full suite of services and meet all its IT needs. Vendors who are interested in fulfilling this long-term role should also include Activity 3 in their cost proposal. For those Vendors uninterested in a longer term of engagement, incorporation of Activity 3 in the cost proposal is neither mandatory nor required to be eligible for consideration. 

  • Ongoing/ad hoc web support. This could include:
    • bug fixes
    • stylingadjustments
    • general site troubleshooting
    • building out additional site features 
    • Additionally, Building Markets’ uses SalesForce as its CRM system. If the Vendor is familiar with SalesForce, this should be highlighted in the submitted proposal. 

As noted above, the current site requiring customization can be found here: https://entrepreneurs.buildingmarkets.org. A detailed log of current bugs and features requests can be made available to prospective vendors, and additional use cases can be developed after contracting. 

3. Delivery Schedule 

Payments will be processed within 15 days of successful completion and acceptance of each milestone by Building Markets:

Milestone

Approximate Due Date

1. Desired contract and kick off date 

TBD

3. Handover call

Vendor to propose 

4. Vendor submits first iteration of Activity 1

Vendor to propose

5. Building Markets comments on first iteration of Activity 1

Vendor to propose

6. Vendor submits second iteration of Activity 1

Vendor to propose

7. Building Markets comments on second iteration of Activity 1

Vendor to propose

8. Vendor submits third iteration of Activity 1 for approval and updates go live

Vendor to propose

9. Activity 2 

Vendor to propose

10. Activity 3

Vendor to propose

3.1 Review Schedule

Vendor should stage deliverables on a development site for review. Building Markets will review the work of the Vendor in the following manner:

  1. Feedback on staged features within 7 days of delivery, unless otherwise agreed upon by both parties. 
  2. Weeklycheck-in calls with the Vendor.  

Above Milestone Due dates, payment schedule, final scope of work, and operating terms and conditions are subject to change, and will be further specified at the time of contracting and reiterated during kick-off to ensure expectations are mutually understood. 

3.2 Quality Assurance

The Vendor is expected to manage independent quality assurance over the service provided for the duration of the contract. This includes:

  1. Monitoring website performance through periodic review of site features; 
  2. Responding to archived feedback from Building Markets; and
  3. Independently providing feedback and executing strategies to improve site functionality and user experience.

4. Selection Criteria

The ideal vendor is an experienced company, organization, or individual responsive to our specific needs, providing tailored solutions rather than reconfigured templates. A well-established portfolio and list of customer references will aid the selection process.

Note that while Building Markets prefers to work with a single vendor, the organization also reserves the right to divide this tender and work with multiple service providers based on comparative advantage and past performance. Potential vendors are encouraged to highlight areas of relative expertise when submitting their offers.  

Eligibility for Shortlisting:

a.

Legal registration/documentation 

If you are a private firm, a copy of registration/incorporation. If you are a freelancer, a copy of tax number. 

b.

Previous web customization or similar experience

References, CVs, Technical proposal, process flow diagram used by the vendor

c.

In-depth understanding of WordPress, website development, and UX optimization 

Technical proposal and client references

d.

Experience in not only short-term project delivery, but also long-term client support

Client references and written documentation

 Prospective vendors will be evaluated according to the following criteria: 

Assessment Criteria

Weight

a. 

Technical proposal that is responsive to the Scope of Work 

25%

b.

Portfolio of relevant or similar work (Demonstrated experience designing and delivering similar site customization services. Experience with WordPress, UX optimization, and WordPress compatible plug-ins).

20%

d.

Client References (Demonstrated ability to provide on-going client support) 

20%

g.

Price Quote

35 %

Please note, only bids exceeding a Technical Score of 12.5% will be considered for financial evaluation.

5. Terms and Conditions

5.1 General Terms and Conditions

Building Markets will review all proposals and score them based on the above criteria. Preferred and backup vendors will be selected, after which a contract will be signed between the two parties.

Building Markets is not bound to accept any proposal, nor award a contract/ purchase order, nor be responsible for any costs associated with the preparation and submission of a proposal or cost proposal, regardless of the conduct or outcomes of the selection process.

Building Markets reserves the right to accept or reject any proposal, to render any or all proposals as non-responsive, and to annul the solicitation process and reject all proposals at any time prior to award of contract, without thereby incurring any liability to the affected vendor, or any obligation to inform the affected vendor(s) of the grounds for Building Markets’ action. Building Markets shall neither be obliged to award the contract to the lowest price offer. 

5.2 Cost Proposal

The cost proposal will be used to determine the best value offer and will serve as a basis of negotiations before award of a subcontract. 

All cost information must be submitted in US Dollars inclusive of VAT and applicable indirect taxes. See Annex 1 for the budget template. 

Vendors are advised to propose the most cost effective and competitive approach to achieve the results of the project.  

5.3 Conflict of Interest

Building Markets takes special care to comply with transparency, accountability and generally applied work ethics within all domestic and donor regulations, and international laws applicable to the countries where it operates. 

Any attempts or suspicion of misconduct to influence the integrity of the procurement process, whether by Building Markets personnel or outside vendors, will be fully investigated. By submitting your cost proposal, you accept to immediately declare any potential conflict of interest, even if cursory or unintentional, upon becoming aware of such for immediate internal review by the organization. Failure to declare such conflicts of interest, even if accidental, may result in litigation.

5.4 Non-disclosure Agreement and International Compliance

By submitting your proposal, you agree that in the event of being selected to undertake this project, any team members involved in the development of said project are willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement to maintain confidentiality of data involved. 

You also agree to sign anti-terrorism and anti-fraud declaration forms, and have your name searched against an international database conducting terrorism background checks. There is no additional burden to you as a vendor; only consent is required. 

6. Submission Instructions

Prospective vendors must submit the following documents to expedite the review process:

  1. Your Proposal, including:
    1. Cover Letter (optional)
    2. Technical component specifically addressing the requirements listed under “2. Scope of Work”. 
    3. Detailed timeline and schedule of work, taking into account the milestones under “3. Delivery Schedule” 
      1. NOTE - The technical proposal, timeline and quote should maximum 5 pages in length.
    4. Ensure submission of documents presented under “4. Selection Criteria”
    5. Earliest available start date to commence work and lead time;
  2. Cost Proposal (Template included in Annex 1: Budget Template/Price quote in United States Dollars (USD), inclusive of VAT and applicable indirect taxes);
  3. Portfolio of previous similar work (can be a live site link);
  4. Minimum two past client references and written consent to contact them. The reference should include the Client’s name, Organization, contact information (phone and email) and a brief description of the services provided to the Client.

6.1 Electronic Submission Format

The Vendor must submit the proposal electronically with up to 3 attachments (5 MB limit) per email. Attachments must be compatible with MS Word, MS Excel, or Adobe (PDF) format. Cost proposals should be submitted in excel format with formulas visible. The Vendor must not submit zipped files. Those pages requiring original manual signatures should be scanned and sent in PDF format as an email attachment. 

Please send your technical proposal and cost proposal, in English, to newyork@buildingmarkets.org no later than January 24,2020 (23:59 EST). The subject line of the email submissions should be labeled as follows: Proposal for BM-TR-19-02-008 – Web Developer [Organization Name]

Annex 1: Budget Template for Cost Proposal

The Vendor should submit their cost proposal using the budget template provided. See filename Building Markets BM-TR-19-02-008 [TEMPLATE].

Vendors are advised to propose the most cost effective and competitive approach to achieve the results of the project. 

 

-ENDS- 


 Questions & Answers

January 8, 2020

Q: Would an application as a remote developer (ex: for international applicants) be considered? .

A: There is no geographic prerequisite for submitting a proposal. Building Markets is open to working with a remote developer (such as an international supplier). However, the organization’s headquarters operates between 9AM – 6PM EST. While a remote vendor may work during the hours of their choosing, the vendor must be routinely available during our working hours, including availability for calls and the ability to respond to email correspondence. Should an international firm be selected, these conditions will be agreed upon during the contracting phase.  

 

Q: Could you let us know what your budget is for all three activities?

A: Building Markets encourages prospective vendors to independently develop and submit a competitively priced cost proposal according to their typical rate. A template for the cost proposal is provided above.  

 

Q: Would you be open to providing sample codebases of what has already been built for our technical review of the code or provide us back end access to the platform?

A: Building Markets will only provide the successful awardee with access to the backend of the platform. However, for further information: 

  • The site is hosted on WP Engine, so the production and staging sites use their stack, which is on at least PHP 7.2. WP Engine hosts on nginx. Locally, developers can run: Apache (recent version), MySQL/MariaDB (recent version), PHP 7 or higher. 
  • The site uses custom code. Some of the custom code is in the contributed plugins. There is at least one completely custom plugin. There is also a custom theme. 
  • Site plugins include: Advanced Custom Fields, Building Markets Data Importer, Category Icon, Claim Listing for WP Job Manager, Comments Ratings, Customify, Disable All WordPress Updates, Easy Widget Columns, Email Subscription Popup, FacetWP, FacetWP- Polylang, FacetWP- Relevanssi Integration, Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights, Jetpack by WordPress.com, Login With Ajax, Meta Slider, Nav Menu Roles, PixTypes, Polylang Pro, Really Simple CSV Importer, Relevanssi, Shortcode Widget, Sucuri Security-Auditing, Malware Scanner and Hardening, WordPress Importer, WP Crontrol, WP Job Manager, WP Job Manager- Bookmarks, WP Job Manager- Job Tags, WP Job Manager Field Editor, WP User Avatar, and Zendesk Chat Widget. 


Q: For ecommerce capabilities there is a note that we are to perform discovery on paid user options - we can investigate from a competitive standpoint what the possibilities for this would be, even engage with users to see what their preferences would be. Is there anything else required for this specific capability?

A: Prospective vendors may also be required to build out paid user types (including permissions and restrictions) on the platform. Any additional site features, such as this, will be discussed and agreed upon during contracting.

 

Q: For ecommerce do you have an account with a payment gateway like Stripe, PayPal, Moneris that we can hook into?

A: Building Markets has a preexisting account with PayPal only.

 

Q: What sort of analytics are being run today and in comparison what would the gap be to the analytics being sought in Activity 1?

A: Platform activity is currently tracked through Google Analytics. This allows the organization to monitor activity such as active users, most frequently visited pages, and users by country (this is not an exhaustive list). In the future, Building Markets would be interested in developing a dashboard on the backend of its site that consolidates this granular data. For example, instead of being able to only view the most frequently visited pages, the organization would like to view page visits based on the page’s designated category or geographic location. This may come in the form of custom Google Analytics pages, or by using another analytics tool. We want the web developer to work with us to diagnose, recommend and develop such a tool for us.

 

Q: For email and SMS updates, do you have an email or SMS provider we can link through to with or through a service like OneSignal?

A: Building Markets does not currently have an SMS provider. Prospective vendors are encouraged to make recommendations for potential SMS providers and services in their submissions.

 

Q: Considering there is a need to identify pricing, a note that states “Other features to be agreed upon in the final scope of work” - Could you let us know how you would like us to price this or would a rate be sufficient to indicate for anything beyond what has been specified in the activities?

A: A rate to indicate anything beyond what has been specified in the activities would be sufficient.

 

Q: For the translation process, are you looking for something equal to Google Translate as an option as opposed to Polylang?

A: Building Markets seeks a translation solution that will allow for a combination of more automated translations, whilst still preserving some of the customization and self-edit functionalities of Polylang. The organization encourages prospective vendors to propose potential solutions that may meet this criteria in their submission.

 

Q: For advertising are you looking for a controlled advertising interface for specific portions of the landing page. If yes, can you identify what sort of advertising you were thinking of? Also, are you thinking of employing Google’s AdWords or DoubleClick or similar or are you looking to control advertising on the interface yourselves?

A: Building Markets is open to the vendor’s recommendations for establishing a controlled advertising interface.

 

Q: Would your users have access to the advertising features on the site?

A: No, all users would not have access to the advertising features on the site. However, we would like to explore the option for certain user-types (i.e. paid users) to have access to request advertisements that would then need to be approved by the admin users.

 

Q: We have migrated clients in and out of SalesForce and have set them up to use the same. Is there some specific functionality you are looking for that we could identify in our proposal or simply state the same with our rates of work to customize any aspect of Salesforce?

A: There is no specific functionality we are currently looking for. Please include your standard rate to customize any aspect of Salesforce.