Today we learned about creating criteria on how to award contracts. It was old hat for me since I just went through my own process in getting the replacement window contract signed for Fur Central. The exact same principles apply. I started off with 4 prospective bidders. I put heavy weight on those that manufacture their windows locally. Overall the quality of the vinyl and glass was pretty much the same. Everyone had to manufacture the window to a standard that would award energy efficiency that would meet the gov't standard to qualify for the tax credit. Finally there was cost, but as we learned in class and as I learned IRL, the bottom line should not necessarily be the deciding factor if you want better quality or potentially more reliability. I eventually went with the company that was 2nd lowest in price, but actually made the windows in town. The low bid was SO low that it scared me off. Either the windows were crap, the guy was hiding costs somewhere, or was so desperate for business that he was severely undercutting his costs. So a training class for work CAN be used for personal and practical applications (had I taken this class about a month ago).