I have decided to look for a new vendor — what
is the best approach to finding a good solution?
Depending upon the size of the project or initiative you
are sourcing support for one of the following is a good place
RFI (Request for Information)
Companies interested in simply collecting basic information
about potential partners may choose to simply solicit facts
from the potential partners. This would be used in the case
of very small projects and can be a helpful tool in the decision
making process. Typically useful for projects with budgets
less than $10,000.
RFQ (Request for Quote)
If you are looking for pricing on a product or service that
is seen as a commodity, this is a good solution. Once you've
prepared your requirements, you submit to potential vendors
providing the services you are seeking. Since your decision
will be based on quantitative analysis reviewing the returned
pricing proposals should be a simple process.
RFP (Request for Proposal)
This is the most complex to prepare because it typically
involves a much more complex matrix of evaluation criteria.
While the price of a proposed solution or service may be
a factor in your decision, most often the overall match of
the proposed solution to your goal and objectives is what
the final selection is based upon. This process is most useful
when sourcing a partner to provide a long-term solution.
The RRP process requires time and resources to execute. If
internal resources are limited, consider out-sourcing to
a consulting service to help you through the process.
Why consider utilizing the Request for Proposal (RFP) process?
Think of it as a tool to help ensure that prospective partners/vendors
deliver the exact solutions that you need to accomplish your
goals and objectives. The value of pursuing the RFP process
can be seen as follows:
- provides alignment among internal stakeholders — when
executed correctly, the process causes you to outline
your needs before involving the partner/vendor
- provides for more precise proposals — partner/vendors
more clearly understand your needs therefore more accurate
solutions, costs and time lines are provided
- allows 'apples to apples' comparisons — the process
ensures that all partner/vendors receive the same information