Selecting The Right Vendor
For Your RFP

A partnership can take your business to great heights OR it could pitch it into a downward spiral that could ruin it all. This is why, selecting the right vendors, who are your business partners and stakeholders, is vital.
An RFP (Request of Proposal) is a business document that presents a project in context of the organisation. Its main purpose is to announce a project and its goals so that suitable vendors can submit the best possible proposals. Once these proposals come in, it is time to make the important decisions that affect the efficiency of your project – and at large your business.
It is imperative to set strong criteria and create an adequate selection process when choosing a vendor for your business. Be stern and straight forward with your requirements; make it very simple and clear as to what kind of service you require. This will urge vendors to analyse their own capabilities before submitting their proposal. Making the wrong decision in this step can cost your business significantly in terms of time, money and reputation.

Why Is Vendor Selection An Essential Phase Of RFP?

Here are a few reasons why the Vendor Selection Phase is important –

Step By Step Process to Follow When Evaluating RFP Proposals

1

Form an evaluation team with the best suited representatives from each of the listed departments.

2

Create a first short list of eligible vendors based on how they meet the requirements listed in your RFP. Ideally, your RFP should have a scorecard with weighted scores which can help you evaluate vendors objectively.

3

Rate to which degree each proposal and vendor meets your company needs against the scorecard and discuss scores and review the alignment.

4

After scoring each proposal, a list of finalists can be created. Request these finalists to perform presentations/demo and filter accordingly.

5

Conduct a thorough back-ground check on vendors of interest. Collect multiple customer reviews and read any relevant case study on the vendor’s website. Negotiate terms, prices, discounts, delivery dates and deadlines.

6

The previous step should lead you to your winner. If it is a tie between two or more vendors, scrutinise them, request more information or presentations until you are left with a clear winner.

7

The final step is to draft a detailed contract with the selected vendor.

Things To Consider When Selecting A Vendor

Price

To get the best deal your aim should be to receive the maximum value for the lowest possible cost. A word of caution is not to choose the lowest bid without analysing the value you will receive.
Other components to consider are travel surcharges, administrative expenses, and maintenance fees. Discuss these details with the vendors beforehand to avoid any conflicts later and make sure the bid includes every line-item cost.

Quality of service

Price doesn’t matter if the service falls short of your expectations. Make sure the quality of the service will meet your needs. Learn all you can about the vendor’s performance history. Ask for referrals and talk to other companies whose opinions you trust and ask them if they were satisfied with the quality of work provided by this vendor. References are truly invaluable. Request for a list of at least three references and enquire with those customers about their experience with the vendor’s service.

Reliability and Flexibility

The vendor will be an integral part of the business so make sure that you know if you can depend on them to do what they say they will do in due time. Your customer should not be let down because your vendor let you down. Another good quality to look for in a vendor is flexibility. Ask if they will be able to handle sudden changes in schedule or deliveries at a time that is convenient for you or any rush decision in general that may arise. Find a vendor that perfectly fits in with the way your business operates.

Ethics and Integrity

Your business integrity and reputation depends on the integrity of the vendors you hire. Make an honest effort to learn a bit about your vendor, their style of working and how important high ethical standards is to them.

Dos And Don’ts In The RFP Vendor Selection Process

How To Decide The Project Budget

Deciding and finalising the budget on a project can be a tedious task.
A few techniques can make this much simpler than it appears:

Fingent Can Be The Vendor You Are Looking For

Selecting the right vendor need not be a tough job when you follow these tips. If it’s a technology partner you are looking for, Fingent might be able to help you. Our tech experts have been providing clients with custom solutions globally. We would love to have a look at your RFP, so please do share it with us.
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