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Detroit Regional Chamber Request for Website Proposal: March 2021

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1.0 Project Summary

The Detroit Regional Chamber (Chamber) is accepting proposals to develop a comprehensive website. In addition to initial development, the Chamber is looking for a partner that will work directly with the Chamber team on incremental updates and developments after launch that will help keep the site up-to-date with website best practices.

1.1 Project Goals

The Detroit Regional Chamber website aims to provide a best-in-class user experience for visitors to learn about and access the Chamber’s 30+ initiatives, 100+ events, and thousands of members and partners. Additionally, the website provides resources and content for businesses to learn best practices, relevant regional news, and understand the Chamber’s role in driving the economy in Southeast Michigan’s 11 counties.

1.2 Project Outcomes

To best achieve the goals outlined above, we have identified six key outcomes for this project:

  1. Develop a visually appealing site that caters to key audiences (outlined in section
    1.3) while also providing a professional user interface.
  2. Provide a clear hierarchy of pages, posts, and core programs that allow visitors
    to quickly navigate across Chamber initiatives and events.
  3. Develop a subset of page templates and functionality that allow the Chamber
    team to quickly and easily add new brands, programs and initiatives.
  4. Develop an easy-to-use blogging interface that allows multiple team members to
    create various types of content and assign to any program or initiative.
  5. Integrate the Chamber’s existing member portal, managed by the Chamber
    information technology team and connected to Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
  6. Maximize search engine optimization, including the maintaining of existing SERP
    positions.

1.3 Key Audiences

The Chamber’s target audience is the Southeast Michigan business community. There are five subsets, consisting of both members and non-members within these target audiences:

  1. Employers and business professionals who work for current and prospective Chamber member companies or invest in Chamber initiatives.
  2. Individuals with an interest in attending or sponsoring Chamber events. .(networking or professional development), specifically the Mackinac Policy Conference and other signature Chamber events.
  3. Entrepreneurs and small business owners.
  4. Individuals working in all levels of government and policy, including lobbyists, politicians, and staff.
  5. Any other business professional, civic leader or journalist with an interest in the economic growth of the Detroit region.

1.4 Project Background

The current Chamber website originally launched in 2012 as a visual representation of the Detroit Region with a focus on business attraction. This website has undergone several transformations as the Chamber’s goals and the internet landscape changed with an increased focus on educational attainment. Since 2012, the Chamber has expanded its content marketing efforts and launched several programs and initiatives, including more comprehensive data centers, many of which will live on the Chamber website and need varying levels of attention throughout the course of the year based on Chamber activities.


2.0 Project Scope

The website must include best-in-class content display and curation and be built to allow the Chamber to make wholesome edits and add new pages post-launch. The platform must be easy to use and cost-effective for the Chamber to maintain after launch but be able to dynamically highlight events, priorities and programs throughout the year.

2.1 Development Guidelines

Website components should include:

  1. Visually appealing and consistent design, with each section having a common look and feel.
  2. Easy integration with Chamber’s member portal, which is authenticated using Azure B2C and connected with the WP Integrate plugin.
  3. Ability for Chamber team to duplicate and edit functionality to other WordPress environments (see michauto.org for example) as new programs and initiatives launch.
  4. Easy for Chamber team to write new blog content, including the adding of images, video, and sidebar customization.
  5. A standardized set of page templates and functionality that can be applied to any and all sub-brands to appeal to their specific audiences while also clearly existing within the larger Chamber website.

2.2 Technology Specifications

The Chamber encourages creativity in proposals, however there are certain technology requirements. Specifically, the website must be built on a non-proprietary platform and developed with the latest standards for security and fraud prevention. Additionally, the Chamber must retain control of the host – it is preferred that the site is hosted on WPEngine.

The website must:

  1. Be built on the WordPress content management system.
  2. Be compatible with all current and supported versions of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge.
  3. Be responsive on all devices including desktop, tablet, and mobile.
  4. Be ADA compliant and accessible to users with various disabilities.
  5. Allow for the Chamber team to make edits to templates (back end) and add plugins and add-ons as necessary (see section 2.5 for more details).

2.3 Tracking

The website must connect to the Chamber’s existing Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts.

2.4 Content Overview and Migration

The Chamber is recognized for statewide thought-leadership and its role as a go-to business resource and voice for Southeast Michigan. The website is used to display various types of content and information from detailed regional data reports, statewide polls, and industry cluster information to press releases, event marketing materials and a quarterly membership magazine.

The current iteration of the Chamber website features thousands of pages and posts. Proposals must include a plan for content migration from the current website, including recommendations for:

  1. How much content to migrate
  2. How many assets to migrate (i.e. photos, videos, etc.)
  3. Process for migration, including a long-term strategy for archiving old content
  4. Migration timeline, if different from the rest of the project

2.5 Customizations

The Chamber team requires the ability to customize the website, including but not necessarily limited to:

  1. New webpages and blog posts
  2. Menu changes
  3. Header graphic changes (if applicable)
  4. Footer changes (if applicable)
  5. Sidebar widgets
  6. Internal landing pages containing predetermined functionality that can be toggled on or off

3.0 Deliverables

The basic deliverables for the project include:

  1. Proposed wireframes for all page templates
  2. Proposed sitemap (with input from Chamber team)
  3. Beta version of website (to be tested by users)
  4. Final website with content transferred from existing Chamber site
  5. Cost estimates for ongoing maintenance

3.1 Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The Chamber values SEO and expects the vendor to integrate this critical component into all aspects of the project. This includes (but is not limited to): wireframes, page taxonomy, development, content migration, canonical URLs, and recommended plugins for future optimization.

3.2 Deliverables Check-ins

The Chamber also requires regular demonstrations and check-ins with key Chamber team members throughout the design, development, and testing process. This includes the review and feedback of deliverables above throughout development. Upon launch of the website, the Chamber team also requires all licensing for site photography (if applicable) as well as those images in their original format.

4.0 Budget

Please provide cost proposals to accomplish the scope outlines including pricing for discovery, design, planning, development, testing, and deployment.

Proposals should include two detailed budgets:

  1. Platform build-out costs including project management, design, development, content migration, and launch
  2. Projected ongoing maintenance costs including turnaround time and rates for:
    1. Regular site maintenance
    2. Unplanned updates (i.e. updates to CMS platform)
    3. Updates to custom plugins or themes

4.1 Payment Schedule

Proposals must offer a recommended payment schedule with a percent of the total amount of payment up front and subsequent payments as deliverables are met. If undetermined, the Chamber will make payments in four equal installments over the course of the engagement.

5.0 Submission Requirements

Proposals must be emailed to Martha Schmitt at mschmitt@detroitchamber.com by 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 25, 2021. Proposals should include the following:

  1. Executive summary presenting a high-level synopsis of the vendor’s response to the RFP.
  2. Vendor overview briefly stating the vendor and all sub-vendors participating in the bid and their respective components. Primary vendor is expected to manage all sub-vendors.
  3. Vendor approach briefly describing the methods and approach used to manage, design, and develop the project, including proposed method of client correspondence and testing.
  4. Three examples of related past work and references.
  5. Project deliverables with proposed timeline including a proposed structure for achieving goals, outcomes and deliverables identified in this document.
  6. Also include how the vendor will indicate whether or not objectives have been met for each deliverable.
  7. Detailed budget and itemized pricing including a fee breakdown by deliverable or phase, including estimates for ongoing maintenance.

6.0 Evaluation Criteria

Any evaluation team from the Chamber, and potentially external partners, will review all proposals. Any award to be made pursuant to this RFP will be based upon the proposal with appropriate consideration given to operational, technical, cost, and management requirements. Evaluation of offers will be based upon the vendor’s responsiveness to the RFP and the total priced quote for all items.

6.1 Proposal Scoring

The criteria below will be used to evaluate vendor proposals. Please note the selected member must be either an existing Chamber member or join upon being selected as a vendor:

  1. Outcome deliverables – 35 points
    1. The extent to which vendor’s proposed solution fulfills stated deliverables as set out in this RFP.
    2. Strategic aspects of the proposal such as customizability by Chamber team and ability to integrate with existing Chamber member portal.
  2. Vendor information – 20 points
    1. An assessment of the vendor’s ability to deliver the indicated services in accordance with specifications set out in this RFP.
    2. The vendor’s stability, experiences, and record of past performance in delivering similar services to similar clients.
    3. Availability of high-quality vendor personnel with required skills and experiences for the specific approach, including considerations on diversity and understanding of challenges this platform aims to address.
  3. Diversity – 20 points
    1. The Chamber is interested in proposals from diverse suppliers, including small businesses and those owned by minorities, women, veterans, and other underrepresented groups.
    2. The Chamber is also interested in working with diverse individuals (i.e. project manager, development or creative leads) and requests a list of vendor team members who will be working on the project.
    3. Please also indicate diversity among any subcontractors or freelance team members that will be brought on to support this project.
  4. Cost – 25 points
    1.  Overall cost of the vendor’s proposal and projected ongoing maintenance costs.

Maximum total points: 100

7.0 Contact

Please submit proposals and any questions via email to:

Martha Schmitt
Digital Marketing Manager
Detroit Regional Chamber
mschmitt@detroitchamber.com