Friday, October 15, 2010
You can get product proposals either by informally asking vendors to submit proposals or by preparing a "Request For Proposal" (RFP) for the vendors to respond. An RFP has many purposes and provides benefits for both you and the software vendors. It does a lot more than request product pricing. It provides software vendors with information about your company and needs, and provides you with information about the vendors and their products. An RFP can quickly determine if there is a fit between your company and the vendor's product, without further wasting everyone's time. Here are 5 tips for preparing an RFP for a business and production management system.
1. Information You Provide the Vendor - Your Request For Proposal (RFP) should provide the vendors with ample information about your organization including your company's background, your selection timeline, the number of required software users, and the requirements the vendors must meet in order to win your business
2. Information You Request From Vendors - Your RFP should also solicit the software providers for information about their company and products including vendor company background, product information, pricing, and references.
3. Product Functionality - By incorporating your requirements into the RFP, you illustrate to the software vendors what your organization needs the software to do. You can also have the vendors identify their ability to meet each of your requirements using a ranking system similar to the system you used to prioritize your requirements.
4. Product Comparisons - The vendors' responses to your RFP will provide a generous amount of information about each product on your short list. An effective method for analyzing all this information is to create a side-by-side comparison of the capabilities of each product in a spreadsheet that weighs each product's potential against your requirements using your ranking system.
5. Purchase Contract - Incorporating the vendor's RFP responses into the vendor's final software purchase contract will help to ensure that the product is delivered as promised and protect your organization from possible litigation proceedings such as product misrepresentation or performance issues.