Request for Consulting Services For the Preparation of an International Marketing Strategy EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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1 Request for Consulting Services For the Preparation of an International Marketing Strategy EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The City of Abbotsford, Economic Development Department, is seeking a consultant to develop a comprehensive international marketing strategy for the City. The consultant or team of consultants must be able to provide multi-disciplinary services associated with economic development and marketing strategies and planning. This project will require a sophisticated consultant skilled in group facilitation, multi-agency facilitation and collaboration, analysis of opportunities and strategy formulation. Experience with, and knowledge of, city competitiveness and provincial and federal economic development, will be a requirement. In order to be considered for contract award, consultants must demonstrate that they have the skills, resources and capability to undertake the work, and are sufficiently experienced and qualified having successfully completed similar strategies for organizations that are similar to the City of Abbotsford, ideally within the past 5 years. In the event that a team of consultants is formed for the purpose of this project, the City will only contract with one vendor. The prime consultant must be identified. References to Vendor and Bidder throughout the Request for Proposal (RFP) shall mean the prime consultant. In preparing their bids, Bidders should work to a budget of $35,000.00, including disbursements and excluding taxes, to complete the work as described in this RFP. Please submit proposals by midnight of Friday 12 th June, 2015 Contacts for Inquiries Clarifications requested by Bidders are permitted, they should be submitted and received by the individual noted below not less than 3 business days before the closing date for the receipt of Proposals. The procurement contact person for this RFP is: Wendy Dupley Executive Director, Economic Development Phone:

2 Contract City of Abbotsford will issue a contact to the successful bidder. The complete contract will consist of the following documents: 1. City s Purchase Order, which may be amended by subsequently issued change orders 2. City s Standard Terms and Conditions of Contract 3. Successful Bidder s Proposal Criteria Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of the information provided by the Bidder at the time of submission of its Proposal and the evaluation criteria, as detailed below. 1. Qualifications and the Project team experience on similar projects 2. Bidder s approach to the work and the methodology for achieving the project deliverables 3. Project schedule and timeline 4. Cost and Value BACKGROUND STATEMENT OF WORK Abbotsford is British Columbia s fifth largest city with a population of more than 136,000. With well-established infrastructure and superior facilities, the City is considered to be an employer of choice, delivering quality municipal programs and services to its citizens. Abbotsford is a dynamic, diverse, and progressive municipality, known for its economic strengths. Abbotsford is a city that values a strong global business future, fostering a prosperous and sustainable economy that attracts and develops talent and nurtures innovation and creativity. The City s Economic Development Department (EDD) has an important role to play in advancing Abbotsford s economic prosperity by providing leadership, guiding principle, strategic implementation, and forging effective partnerships. In July 2010, City Council unanimously approved a new 10-year Economic Development Strategy entitled, Building on Success. This new strategy was developed to support the City s Strategic Plan, Our Future Abbotsford and was used as the premise to develop new economic development goals and objectives that support the City s commitment to economic growth and prosperity.

3 The Economic Development Department is structured by two high level goals that will help guide the City s strategic initiatives and actions. These goals are for Abbotsford are: Business Retention and Expansion Investment Attraction A review of Abbotsford s Economic Development objectives will be conducted to develop an international marketing strategy that supports the goal for Abbotsford to become a Global Business Destination and provide a compelling global brand to attract business, investments and jobs. SCOPE OF WORK In collaboration with City Staff, the City of Abbotsford is seeking a consultant to develop a comprehensive international marketing strategy for the City. The consultant or team of consultants must be able to provide multi-disciplinary services associated with economic development and marketing strategies. This project will require a sophisticated consultant skilled in group facilitation, multi-agency facilitation and collaboration, analysis of opportunities and strategy formulation. Experience with, and knowledge of, city competitiveness and provincial and federal economic development, will be a requirement. The preparation of the strategy will occur under the direction of the Economic Development Executive Director and senior management and will include the engagement and participation of business, education and community stakeholders. The selected consultant will be expected to perform its service in the area of research and analysis, presentations, stakeholder participation and other aspects to accomplish effective input into the plan. The respondent will develop a proposal for a comprehensive international marketing strategy for the City of Abbotsford. The strategy should be action-based and is expected to have a focus on priorities and implementation. Specific success criteria for the International Marketing Strategy will be a clear, concise and comprehensive document that serves as an international marketing framework to guide municipal decision-making that is clearly aligned with the City of Abbotsford Strategic Plan and the Economic Development Department s goals, and which: assists in establishing economic development priorities with respect to international marketing assists in identifying potential partnerships with private sector, regional economic development organizations, senior government ministries, business associations and educational institutions facilitates effective consultations with international economic development stakeholders enables leveraging of existing resources to increase international investment and build capacity

4 facilitates maximizing use of existing assets, including higher-level research that has been previously conducted locally, regionally and provincially facilitates defining the tools for strategic investments in international development facilitates development of strategic opportunities for international development in defined and emerging knowledge sectors provides clear and actionable recommendations and tactics for international development investment. recommends specific target organizations within markets where applicable establishes scope of resources required to implement recommendations describes implementation timelines describes distinct and quantifiable measures of success and key performance indicators SPECIFICATIONS OF SERVICES The consultant will complete an international marketing strategy, which shall address existing issues, identify areas of opportunities, and propose actions necessary to address issues and to take advantage of opportunities. The strategy will guide the City s international marketing activities and shall be sure to address the following: Create an inventory of the City s key international competitive assets Recommend innovative strategies and actions necessary to take full advantage of those assets Analyze existing issues and impediments to international development Recommend specific strategies and actions for addressing issues and impediments Analyze opportunities and challenges Abbotsford faces from an international marketing perspective Specific recommendations regarding changes to improve Abbotsford s ability to be competitive and to fulfill the economic development goal to become a global business destination. These items are to be considered in the completion of the following project deliverables. PROJECT DELIVERABLES 1. Overall assessment and analysis of Abbotsford s international economic linkages, assets, infrastructure and business climate. Develop a global network matrix to determine the City s global connectivity Identify emerging areas for Abbotsford to develop and grow international connections Identify resident labour assets as it relates to the City s multicultural diversity and its potential to enhance access to global markets and business 2. Identification and assessment of local and global trends with respect to economies, international development, marketing, social media and competitiveness of jurisdictions and the implications for Abbotsford in relation to these;

5 3. Establish a well-managed, effective, engagement process; Stakeholders should be engaged along various stages of this project, including, analysis, feedback on opportunity identification and feedback on draft strategy. This can be done through one-on-one interviews. 4. Detailed presentation of Abbotsford s international economic development opportunities, including the potential for new/emerging sectors and sub-sectors, and threats and challenges; Produce and provide a first draft of the strategy which will include priorities and recommendations for short, medium and long-term and strategies, and estimated financial impact. Produce and provide 10 copies of the final draft of the strategic plan and an electronic copy. Presentations of the Preliminary Findings Report, First and Final Drafts of the strategy to the Business, Innovation, Growth and Attraction Committee, the Senior Leadership Team, and/or City Council, other presentations as requested by the Executive Director of Economic Development. 5. Creation of an international marketing strategy, that incorporates and considers the success criteria and specifications of services (as outlined in this RFP), including goals, objectives, strategies/tactics, timelines, responsibilities, resource needs and implementation plan. 6. Demonstrate how the International Marketing Strategy will advance the City s Prosper Pillar and its influence and support of the Abbotsford Strategic Plan overall. REPORTING / INTERFACE WITH KEY PROJECT PARTICIPANTS The Consultant Team will report to the Project Lead in carrying out all required tasks and timing outlined in this Request for Proposal. The Consultant Team will be required to attend start-up meetings and must also be available to discuss and present research, findings, work program, methodology, approaches to the strategy, including briefings and any follow-up. A preliminary list of key project participants for which the Consultant Team may need to engage with has been identified as follows: Economic Development Team the Business Innovation, Growth and Attraction (BIGA) Committee, business associations including Chamber of Commerce, Abbotsford companies and educational institutions and airport representatives COMMUNICATIONS FOR THE PROJECT Communications for this project will be coordinated through the Economic Development Department (EDD) in consultation with the Consultant Team.

6 The consultant is to also provide support documentation of all research collections, methodologies, and databases used, including a list of all contributors, stakeholders interviewed, and as comprehensive a list of public participants as possible RESOURCE MATERIALS To inform the International Marketing Strategy process, a number of studies are being undertaken or have been completed that have direct relevance to this process. The successful Consultant Team will be required to review and consider these initiatives and studies during the development process. It is important that the following work not be duplicated and that any new research will be specific to Abbotsford s economic development. OTHER ITEMS AS INDICATED BY THE CONSULTANT The consultant has liberty to propose additional items or approaches that will make the process better or more meaningful. Any additional items should be included as separate line items so that the City can evaluate their merits. PROJECT SCHEDULE Project Milestones: July 1 st, 2015 August 31 st, 2015 Sept 30 th, 2015 October 2015 Contract Commences Preliminary Draft Findings Report delivered Final draft of International Marketing Strategy presented to Council Official Launch

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