RFP Response sample

RFP Response sample

1         Introduction

Xxxx would like to thank Client (CLIENT) for providing an opportunity to respond to this RFP to do a business process mapping and review the current business processes in their plantations. It will enable CLIENT to comply with “best practices” in the palm oil plantation business and enhance efficiency.

XXXX understands the strategic importance of the Process Management Framework (NBP) initiative. It will work under its guidelines for process mapping and review. XXXX is pleased to submit its response to this RFI.

CLIENT intends to do a business process mapping and review the current business processes in their plantations, identify the gaps and inadequacies in the current model, and align them with the “best practices” in the palm oil plantation business.

1.1        About the Company

Client is a privately held international marketer, processor, and distributor of agricultural, food, financial, and industrial products and services.

Client operates in over 1,000 locations, principally in four geographic regions:  Asia / Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and North America, with approximately 85,000 employees worldwide. It has its headquarters in Minnetonka, MN., USA.

Client (CLIENT) is a subsidiary of Client Inc. engaged in the business of Palm Oil Plantation. Client Manages the Company, and xxx the financial investor. The Head Office is located in Singapore. The Company has operations in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea (PNG). The Company manages the palm plantations, which include the growing of palm fruit, the milling process, and the shipping process of crude palm oil.

1.2        Project Scope

The business process review aims to define a common plantation process model that will enable the implementation of a standard Estate management MIS application across all plantations within the group.

CLIENT expects that the service provider works within the guidelines of the NBP framework when performing the process review.

CLIENT wants to map relevant processes in three (Hindoli, Harapan, and Higaturu) of the six plantations it manages and define an optimal model for the rest of the group.

The current exercise is, however, limited to field-level plantation processes along with the FFB transport, weighing, grading, and output storage. The inside mill processes and the supporting sales, clinic, construction, purchasing, and other functions are outside the scope of the current exercise.

The CLIENT identified problems are:

Business-related problems: The processes in various estates within a plantation are mostly the same, but differences exist between smallholder plots, and Company managed estates. The lack of a unified process impedes integrated plantation management of all plantation assets of CLIENT.

  • There is a lack of control in some areas of the plantations, and these gaps must be identified. The proposed business process should have very good controls in place.
  • System-related problems: CLIENT has many applications running across the plantation, and each tries to address one particular business problem. In many cases, applications are not integrated, and in some other locations, an integrated solution is lacking.

XXXX will, in its process mapping exercise, try to keep the macro picture of integration between the Plantation processes and industrial and general Client processes into consideration while doing this exercise. XXXX will use the IBM Websphere Process modeling tool for modeling.

The key tasks to be undertaken will be:

  • Analysis and study of the current business processes
  • Modeling the “Current-state” processes
  • Identifying the gaps in the current business processes and the internal control system
  • Assisting CLIENT in modeling the “Future-state” models
  • Preparation of a high-level plan with CTC to implement the “Future-state” processes
  • Assisting CLIENT in developing roles and organizational structures and their impact on the organization. It will include documentation and analysis

The processes to be covered are:

  • Field Process
  • Purchasing Process
  • Stores Process
  • Transport Process
  • Weighbridge Process
  • Mill Process
  • Financial Process
  • Field Budgeting Process

The sub-processes in the scope are:

Plan the Enterprise

  1. Develop the Budgets
    1. Develop harvest budget
    2. Develop fertilizer budget
    3. Develop field budget

Fulfill demand

  1. Planning plantation
    1. Estate planning
    2. Block-wise detailed planning
    3. Nursery planning
  2. Source Goods & Services
    1. Develop and create purchase contracts for fertilizers
    2. Plan Labor requirement
    3. Maintain supply contracts
    4. Raise Purchase orders
  3. Manage Inbound Logistics & Warehousing
    1. Receive Materials against purchase orders
    2. Quality inspection of incoming material
    3. Payment to suppliers
    4. Maintain issue and distribution of materials
    5. Manage Input costs
    6. Track actual vs. Budgeted costs and quality used and quantity used & quantity purchased stock reconciliation.
  4. Manage Estate
    1. Land Development process
    2. Land up-keeping process
    3. Harvesting process
    4. Managing labor
    5. Recording each activity at lock level and monitoring each activity
    6. Payment to harvesters
    7. Payment to farmers
  5. Transportation Management
    1. Manage transportation of goods to the mill for milling
    2. Manage the maintenance of the transports
    3. Planning the Transportation schedule
    4. Managing the plasma fruits transportation
  6. Produce Goods
    1. Managing the weighbridge
    2. Recording & issue of weighbridge ticket
    3. Grading the fruit
    4. FFB recording, EFB recording, kernel recording, CPO recording
    5. Reporting FFB, EFB, kernel, and CPO productions
  7. Manage outbound logistics & Warehousing
    1. Manage outbound transportation/vessel loading
    2. Ship goods
    3. Process sales settlement
    4. Manage accounts receivables
    5. Track actual vs. Budgeted costs FFB, EFB, Kernel & CPO

After the As-Is process modeling, the processes will be analyzed, measuring how well they meet the defined performance targets. The gaps will be identified, and a To-Be process design will be formulated. The outcome will be to develop the best-suggested business practice for CLIENT in those areas and a suggested implementation strategy to implement the new process in each plantation. Also, the impact analysis on roles and organizational structure will be done, which will finally lead to the development of To-Be roles and organizational structure for the identified processes.

All other processes not mentioned above will be out of the assignment scope. Also, the different plantation business process mapping is out of scope.

1.3        Our Understanding

Oil Palm Plantation Business

Palm oil is a major world vegetable oil that provides nourishment, employment, and income for many people worldwide. As part of the intent to provide agriculture and food ingredient solutions, Client participates in the palm oil supply chain. Client owns three palm oil plantations in Indonesia, 3 in Papua New Guinea, and palm refineries in Malaysia, the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, and the US. Client markets and processes palm oil in Europe and Asia and markets palm oil in North America.

The key process of the plantation is to get the palm fruits from the palm trees to the mill and produce Crude Palm Oil (CPO). This crude palm oil from the plantations is sent to China, Europe, and the US refineries. Apart from CPO, the other product is the kernel, and kernel crushing gives kernel oil.

The Plantation business involves the following main processes:

  • Estate Management – Field process capturing all the daily activities of the plantation and comprising of processes like Nursery, Development, Upkeep, Maintenance, and Harvesting.
  • Procurement for buying fertilizers, diesel, equipments, spares etc.
  • Stores to manage inventory and issuing of stock to the estates/blocks.
  • The transport Process consists of Fleet Management, capturing all the Transport activities, Labor and Maintenance, and Preventive Maintenance.
  • Weighbridge process - At the post-development stage, crops are harvested. With the help of software, i.e., weighbridge, tonnage is captured.
  • Mill process

Palm Oil Plantation Business at Client has the following hierarchical structure:

  • 1 Plantation has many Estates
  • 1 Estate has many Divisions
  • 1 Division has many Blocks

Each plantation is divided into multiple estates, each estate is divided into several divisions, and each is further divided into blocks. All activities are recorded and measured at Block Level. Activity is also measured across the plantation. The cost of the plantation is monitored at the Plantation level, Estate Level, Divisional Level, and Block level.


Our Basic Understanding of the processes


2         Approach and Methodology

2.1        Approach

In the new millennium, there is a marked shift in the business paradigm. The new school of thought proposes a change from efficient to effective, passive to active, tactical to strategic, and automation to optimization. For the service providers and, more importantly, the users, it is now imperative that in any business process mapping and improvement exercise, the emphasis moves from functionality and speed to achieving significant business benefits that organizations recognize.

Business process modeling (BPM) has become an inevitable component, as it plays two important roles:

  • To capture existing processes by structurally representing their activities and related elements; and
  • To represent new refined or improved processes to evaluate their improvements in critical, contemporary performance measures, such as cost, quality, service, and speed.

During the refinement, the new roles and organization structure has to be identified with a focus on improvement, not necessarily throwing out the old organization.

XXXX consultants will adopt a client-participative approach in all stages of this assignment. This approach will ensure “ownership” of the recommendations, thereby ensuring a greater motivation in implementing the suggested changes by Client/CLIENT. Participation will be requested through periodic review meetings with CLIENT personnel. 

The consultants will combine their multi-functional expertise with the internal know-how and experiences of CLIENT to review the business processes. CLIENT will regularly be apprised of the project's progress to obtain timely feedback and ensure quality outputs that meet their requirements.

2.2        Methodology

Depending upon the requirements of CLIENT for the business process mapping, XXXX evaluated the various process modeling approaches (Activity-oriented, object-oriented, role-oriented, and speech-oriented) and finalized the activity-oriented approach to be used for the current assignment. An activity-oriented approach defines a business process as a specific ordering of activities (tasks).

Parallel to identifying the approach, XXXX evaluated various BPM methods like IDEF0, IDEF1, IDEF1X, IDEF3, RAD, REAL, Dynamic Modeling, Object-Oriented Modeling, AI, and MAIS. Based on the identified approach and scope of the current assignment, IDEF0 seems to be the most appropriate method for process modeling. It will be finalized during the project initiation after understanding and analyzing the NBP (Noticeably Better Processes) framework defined by the Client.

IDEF0 is a function modeling method designed to model a system's decisions, actions, and activities, and the essential components of this model are activities. Each activity is specified by four elements – inputs, controls, outputs, and mechanisms (ICOMs). This method allows analyzing processes at multiple levels of abstraction. It also focuses on functional relationships to represent ‘what’ things are performed within the process by its ICOM-based modeling diagram. 

XXXX suggests adopting an approach that necessitates:

  1. Understanding the process framework followed by Client
  2. Understanding the business requirements in terms of the performance matrices and targets
  3. Defining the As-Is process model
  4. Performing As-Is process analysis - Identification of bottlenecks and opportunities of improvement
  5. Developing a To-Be process model
  6. Designing organization structure and to-be roles

Based on the above, the consultants understand that the scope of this assignment should include the various steps as shown in the figure given below:


 Design org structure and to be roles

Develop to-be process model

Perform as-is process analysis

Define as-is process model

Understand NBP framework and business model


2.2.1       Diagnostic Phase

The in-scope business processes will be understood from existing documentation and interactions with CLIENT resources. The project start-up phase will be in which the consultants will form a team with CLIENT’s resources. Other work for this phase will be understanding project requirements and finalizing reporting and deliverables format.

During the initial phase of the study, discussions will be held to understand the NBP framework and business requirements in terms of the performance targets and matrices.

2.2.2       AS- IS Study 

Intensive interviews, discussions, and workshops will mark this phase to understand current processes and how operations are performed currently. An in-depth understanding of the in-scope business processes will be obtained from existing documentation and interactions with various process owners.

The operational improvement in each process and dependencies between processes will be identified and documented. The existing flow of information will be studied to understand the current automated and manual processes. Decision process gaps affecting information flow will be identified and assigned criticality. The models and supporting documentation will include a process initiating events, its flow of work, the actors responsible for the performance, and the resulting deliverables produced by its activities. 

A vital activity of the AS-IS study is performance benchmarking. The performance benchmarks for various processes of the identified areas would evolve by contrasting them to best practices across the organization and the best practices in the industry.

The deliverable of this phase will be the AS-IS process maps giving the outline of the existing business processes diagrammatically.

2.2.3       Gap Analysis

The consultants will conduct a Gap Analysis to determine the gaps in performance targets that correspond to business requirements. 

This stage will primarily cover the gap analysis in the “Current-state” vis-à-vis the benchmarks with a view to:

  • Identify processes that can be eliminated
  • Consolidate processes
  • Identification of the impact of process changes

Gaps will also be identified in areas with a lack of control in plantations so that the business process can have good controls.

2.2.4       TO- BE Phase

The felt needs of the business will be mapped for defining additional processes/sub-processes in the “Future-state”. The dependencies between processes and overlaps, if any, will be considered for determining the boundaries of the “Future-state” processes.

The best practices from XXXX’ experience across the industry will provide additional inputs while designing the “Future-state’ Processes.

Based on this benchmarking and discussions, the consultants would employ the technique of scenario building to identify an acceptable TO-BE State. "TO BE" defines a feasible and practical state derived by applying local conditions to CLIENT departments. It includes the availability of resources and development plans of CLIENT, among others. A series of process-focused workshops for the stakeholders will be conducted to develop the new structure of the processes.

The deliverable of this phase will be TO-BE process maps exhibiting the best practices and desirable state of the business processes diagrammatically.

2.2.5       Defining ‘To-Be’ Roles and Organizational Structure

The consultants will assist CLIENT in developing a to-be role and organizational structure. An essential feature of any BPM solution is the ability to route work items to the correct person. To do that, the system must know about the organizational structure and how processes interact with it. At the simplest level, process definitions reference roles, and individuals are associated with these roles. Although challenging, it is important to represent processes reflecting departments, sections, job functions, groups, matrix reporting structures, and communities of interest within an organization. While designing the new, improved to-be process model, consideration will be given to route the work item, how much work an individual/team can handle, and what skills are required. All this requires expertise in defining organization structure and job description. XXXX provides expertise in designing or refining organization structure and defining responsibilities and job descriptions for the newly identified roles.

3         Proposed Project Team

An integrated team needs to be constituted for the execution of this assignment. XXXX will depute an assigned team of consultants with awareness and experience in the following:

  • BPM tools and methodologies
  • Institutional knowledge
  • High-level domain knowledge
  • Organization structure design

CLIENT is expected to provide resources to facilitate meetings and discussions with the current process people. A joint team of consultants and CLIENT-appointed resources will be formed, with both parties having their roles and responsibilities defined.

XXXX will constitute an onsite as well as an offshore team. The onsite team will be primarily responsible for discussions with the business operations, and the offshore team will do the documentation.

3.1        Parties Responsibilities

CLIENT’s Responsibilities

  • If CLIENT selects XXXX for the assignment, they will send all concerned documentation regarding the company and its different processes to facilitate the project start-up.
  • CLIENT will provide the licensed tools (IBM Websphere Business Modeler) to be used for the execution of the engagement
  • Designate the required officials for forming a joint team with the consultants.
  • Provide desk space for the team with phone and internet facilities
  • CLIENT will appoint a project manager who will act as a single point of contact with the XXXX team and
    • Will facilitate in arranging the business discussions with the operations staff
    • Will enable the collection of data from the business operations
    • Will facilitate all travel (if any) and meeting arrangements
    • Review the reports provided by consultants and provide timely feedback on the reports
    • Provide any clarification as requested by consultants to facilitate the delivery of services

3.2        Deliverables

XXXX Consultants would deliver the following deliverables within the seven weeks of the project assignment:





As-Is Document with Process Maps and Gap Analysis


To-Be Document with Process Maps


To-Be Roles and Organizational Structure Document


3.3        Workplan

XXXX will study the onsite-offshore model aimed at cost-effectiveness and process efficiency. The onsite team will have two persons- one person with process expertise and the other will be an institutional specialist. The onsite team will collect information, undertake field trips, maintain user contact, understand the scope, and define the process model and organization structure. A project manager with domain understanding of oil palm plantation business will advise the onsite team. This person will be available both onsite and offshore in an advisory role.

There will be two offshore teams, each composed of two people doing the actual modeling work who will be responsible for actual modeling using the IBM WebSphere modeling tool. Two processes will be modeled simultaneously, one by each team. Each process will require completing the as-is, to-be processes, and gap analysis in 7 working days. 

The entire project is expected to be completed in 40 work days, with the project commencement date. A tentative work plan is given below for the execution of the given scope of work.

4         Total cost of ownership

XXXX proposes to perform the Plantation Business Process Review for CLIENT at a competitive fixed price of US yyyy dollars. XXXX plans to execute the entire engagement in seven weeks

XXXX reiterates its commitment to successfully completing this strategic initiative to strengthen its association with CLIENT.

5         XXXX Value Proposition

Today, information technology and business process improvement go hand in hand, leading to the evolution of various BPM tools and methodologies. With technological advancement, the landscape has shifted from automation and integration to orchestration and coordination. A fundamental shift in perspective separates orchestration from automation, from thinking of processes as a flow of discrete steps to understanding processes in terms of goals and milestones. XXXX has conducted several business process modeling exercises, either as a standalone exercise or as a sub-exercise of bigger initiatives like BPR, SOA assessment and formulation, etc. XXXX has conducted these studies using various BPM tools, from basic editors like Word or Visio to complete BPM suites like Rationale Rose, Casewise, Provision, and IBM Web Sphere.

Xxxx offers an optimum blend of strategy consulting and system integration services to help organizations architect and build their services in the e-economy.

XXXX will deploy an approach encompassing strategic organizational processes and Information Technology skills for this project. The approach to the assignment will be participatory and consultative.

XXXX has extensive experience in planning and supporting change management initiatives to improve how various organizations interact with stakeholders and improve service delivery quality.

Some projects are mentioned that facilitate efficient service delivery and demonstrate our eligibility for this project. Experience and learning from these will be leveraged for the current assignment.

XXXX believes in having a multi-disciplinary approach to solving a problem. Competent Consultants from diverse backgrounds of experience working in teams to offer a world-class solution. Investing in collaborative research with the industry and academia, partnering with global technology leaders, and executing innovative projects for over 1000 clients across 50 countries, gives us an in-depth understanding of the knowledge economy. Our experiences providing end-to-end solutions and products in diverse institutional areas and technology domains further empower us to deliver measurable results to our clients.

Finally, our value-addition proposition for this assignment will be our financial strength, consultancy capabilities, relevant experience, reputation, commitment to service, quality of services, and value for money.

Mapping and reviewing the current business processes will help identify gaps in the current CLIENT model. It will solve the business problems faced by providing the best practices and business models for CLIENT, thus increasing its efficiency.

It will also result in the integration and consolidation of data in plantations, resulting in the proposed business process having good and effective controls in place.

6         Similar Project Experience of XXXX

7         About XXXX

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