Is writing a RFP on your list of things to do for 2019 for your next telephony or call centre technology? Have you’ve been putting it off because you really don’t feel prepared? If this sounds familiar, I invite you to read further.
Merx, Biddingo and others bidding websites release hundreds of RFP’s on a daily basis that are inadequately researched and poorly prepared. Yet the owners of these bids expect vendors to be able to interpret their needs and price accordingly. After which time, they believe that once the bid responses are submitted they will be able to compare their responses easily as to say, compare “oranges to oranges”.
The problem with an inferior RFP is that your entire procurement process has been compromised. Without having clearly defined objectives, in addition to appropriate information describing your current state, vendors are forced to guess as to what it is that the client is trying to achieve.
Also, it is expensive for any supplier to prepare a bid response and most successful organizations will scrutinize the time, effort vs the ability to win the project/service. If your bid is not organized properly with the appropriate level of information that aligns with the future investment, good providers may choose not to bid, therefore, your organization could be missing out on the right solution and provider! Tell tail sign that your RFP is in trouble:
- Using motherhood statements throughout your RFP such as Unified Communications (UC), Omi-Channel, CX, digitization while not providing details such as “use cases” to back up your claims.
- During the question period, numerous vendor questions are received asking for basic details regarding existing and future quantities. This in itself signals poor record keeping and lack of preparation for the project itself.
- Simply listing features is not good enough, how do you plan to use them is critical.
- Prioritization of features is also an important signal to the vendors who are considering responding to your bid. The list will provide important guidance as to the validity of their solution as it compares to your needs.
- Strict and inflexible project time-lines can send “red flags” to professional organizations who know that this approach can increase risk of project failure.
- Pricing evaluations that equates to more than 15% of the overall score means that your organization is lacking the skills to properly evaluate the bids on the other criteria and price will become a dominate factor in your buying decision. Having price so heavily weighted in your evaluation criteria signals that you are willing to compromise on your needs if you get a cheaper price/product.
A properly prepared RFP is a reflection on the organization that you represent! It is a clear signal that you have taken the time in advance of releasing the bid to conduct proper research, perform a detailed assessment of your business requirements, which in turns means you have a clear understanding of what you need and you understand the benefits of achieving your objectives. Price is always important but if you have built your internal business case, price becomes less significant.
Lastly, remember the world has changed from the last time you bought a phone system and/or call centre technology! Maybe, you need to push “pause” and take some time to get it right!