Additional Online Support Services Questions & Answers - GDS Associates

1. Section: General – How many agencies are being considered as part of this RFP process?

The RFP has been distributed to several firms within the metro-Atlanta area. GDS is not releasing the number of firms to whom the RFP was sent.

2. Section: General – Is the expectation of the scope of the RFP a full website overhaul including new user experience, design, and content management system or are you looking to make improvements to the design and user experience without a full overhaul?

GDS is looking to enhance the user experience, the design and layout of the public website, and content management system without having to undergo a complete overhaul of the public website. Task 1 of the Scope of Work in the GDS RFP describes the level of effort we are seeking for enhancing and modernizing our public web site.

3. Section: General – What are the budgetary parameters for the scope outlined?

GDS is not releasing a figure for the total budget for this project. Rather we are seeking each contractor’s cost proposal to complete the scope of work in the GDS RFP. Each bidder should recognize that this is a competitive solicitation, thus bidders should provide a work plan approach that meets the scope of work requirements and a cost proposal based on competitive pricing.

4. Section: General – What sets you apart from competitors?

The size and depth of GDS allows us to offer our utility, government and corporate clients technical and engineering support in multiple energy consulting technical and policy areas. Our company’s long history of meeting client needs has established our reputation within the industry. Most of our project assignments are derived from repeat work for existing clients or from client referrals. GDS recognizes that no two clients or problems are exactly alike, so we strive to deliver “right‐fit” solutions for each client’s particular situation.

5. Section: General – One year from now, how would you define success from this project?

This project will be successful if the contractor completes the scope of work and deliverables listed in the RFP to the complete satisfaction of the GDS Board of Directors and Human Resources Department.

6. Section: General – What does the ideal agency partner bring to the table? Are there specific criteria you’ll be evaluating as part of the RFP process?

The ideal agency will be located in the metro Atlanta area, will have satisfactory qualifications and experience relevant to this project, will be 100% focused on the marketing needs of the GDS Board of Directors, will provide a comprehensive and clear approach to completing the scope of work and project deliverables, and will present a cost proposal that is based on very competitive pricing.

7. Section: General – Do you have any research or user personas you could share for your target audiences?

GDS can share with the winning bidder the market research we have completed with the 100 largest municipal electric utilities in the U.S. and the 100 largest electric cooperatives in the U.S. This research was conducted to determine the needs of these utilities for energy consulting services provided by GDS. 

8. Section: Task 2 – in the RFP mentions photography of real GDS employees as a key aspect of the new site, has this photography already produced? Can you share examples?

GDS can provide to the winning bidder copies of employee photos that have already been produced. Going forward, the Board of Directors desires that photography of GDS employees in office situations will be a very important aspect of the enhanced public GDS website. Our firm also operates an intranet where employee profile photos (staff head shots) are utilized to help navigate our office space as well as identify staff within the company’s regional offices. The headshot and other photos that have been taken of our employees can be considered for inclusion on the enhanced GDS website. In addition to employee profile photos, GDS also desires to obtain photos of actual GDS employees engaging in their normal work, i.e. in meetings, collaborating, etc. so that we can use these photos throughout the website in place of stock photos that are visible on the public website today. 

9. Section: Task 2 – Are there any additional new assets (photography, video, etc.) that the agency should plan to produce as part of this engagement? Are there any other existing assets that we could leverage?

All of the deliverables for this project are included in the scope of work section of the RFP. If GDS determines that additional assets are needed, these will be handled in a change order issued to the winning bidder. 

10. Section: Task 2 – Do you have any technology requirements for the project – specific content management systems, requirements on hosting environments or other third party integrations (eg. taleo for careers, or salesforce for CRM)?

GDS uses an outside vendor to host our overall public website. GDS uses ATS OnDemand for our careers page hosting. Going forward, GDS is in the process of re-examining our selection of the hosting company, and once GDS makes a final decision, we will provide the login credentials for the hosting site to the winning bidder for site management. Further discussions on this topic will take place after bidder selection and contract execution. GDS notes that Google Analytics is used for analysis of overall web site traffic data. Constant Contact is utilized for email marketing and other online marketing campaigns. GDS does not currently use Customer Relationship Management software provided by an external firm. GDS has developed its own CRM software with in-house IT staff.