Now you’re ready to source your proposal.
We’ll show you:
- How to narrow down the list of potential vendors
- The importance of using a Software Selection Management Tool to compare and analyze the vendors
- How to schedule software demonstrations from the top contenders for your business
Create and distribute your RFP
Your project team will write the Request for Proposal (RFP) using the Roghnu RFP template as a guide.
The template helps make sure you include all the information vendors need, including:
- The list of requirements gathered from stakeholders
- Legal, organizational, or geographical constraints
The RFP asks vendors to:
- Describe the functions and features of their software
- Define, in detail, how they meet the mandatory requirements
- Propose an implementation timeline
- List the price of the solution and any installation or maintenance costs
Clear guidelines are important. Vendors use the RFP Response Guide and Checklist to complete their responses.
This same guide and checklist also helps the project team score the proposals.
When the RFP is ready, send it to the selected vendors. To keep the project moving, give vendors a maximum of three weeks to reply with their quote.
Collect RFPs and score vendors
Since the software selection team will be receiving, reviewing, and scoring seven or eight proposals, use a Software Selection Management Tool.
This tool helps you track:
- Each vendor’s information
- Their response to each requirement
- Any questions they have asked
- Price and implementation costs
The selection tool lets you score and compare vendors on all criteria so you can easily identify the top three or four candidates.
Accept list of front-runner vendors
Now it’s time to hold a meeting with your senior management team and key stakeholders and ask for approval of the vendor shortlist.
Present a summary of everything you received from the vendors and how the proposals were scored. Make sure it is clear to all how the three or four “front runner” vendors were selected. Also allow access to the details from the vendors.
With the shortlist approved, you’re ready to schedule software demos.
Schedule software vendor demonstrations
You’re at the point where you get to see the software at work. It’s time to tell the vendors that you’re ready to see their solutions in action.
Some vendors prefer to give in-person demos and some do it remotely using a web conference tool such as Webex or GoToMeeting.
Though it would be great to have everybody on your team present for the demos, that’s not always realistic. At the very least, the key stakeholders and members of the software selection team should attend.
Good software demonstrations show all the functions and features that meet the mandatory requirements, as well as showing other “nice-to-have” features.
Vendor proposal revisions
When people see a solution working they suddenly remember features they need the software to have. That’s the beauty of having a demo of software before buying it.
At this point, the list of requirements may change. Because you follow the process, you list these changes in the Software Selection Management Tool.
Give the modified list of requirements to the three or four vendors still in the competition so they can adjust and resubmit their proposals.
Set and communicate the due date for the revised RFPs to be submitted. The project timeline is not affected as this requote was always part of the plan.
Vendor scoring and recommendations
Once the revised proposals have been submitted, and all the changes have been recorded in the Software Selection Management Tool, you are there. All information required for you to make an informed decision has been collected and documented.
Use the Software Selection Management Tool to help make a recommendation based on:
- Vendor score
- Implementation timeline and cost
- Total cost of ownership
- Any other factors important to the organization
Share final results
The last step of this phase of the process: Share the results.
Your company decision makers are about to choose the next ERP, using the information collected and carefully tabulated by the software selection team.
This is when all the hours and effort you put into your project pay off.
Your team has done their best effort to recommend a solution following a transparent and objective methodology. The process and project plan has made life so much easier.
Contact us so we can help you prepare your RFP and tell you more about our Software Selection Management Tool.
Note: In the last two installments of this series, you’ll discover how to:
Catch up with the previous entries in the series here:
Step 1: Choosing Your Consultant
Step 2: Starting the Project
Step 3: Defining Requirements