In today’s increasingly complex business environment, employing human capital can be overwhelming to keep up with for companies of every size. Navigant works with companies with just a few employees to organizations with thousands of employees.
Your Source For More Effective RFPs
Navigant Advisory Group offers significant capabilities in the design of very comprehensive requests for proposals (RFPs). Navigant Advisory Group experience allows us to establish very in-depth questions for vendors to respond to, facilitating more complete and concise RFP responses. We provide comprehensive analysis of your business goals and objectives, product/service unbundling, proposal design and consulting services.
Many companies today, particularly in the area of employee benefits, rely on securing competitive bids through the RFP process. The practice has now become so commonplace that several weaknesses have been created in the process:
- RFP templates have been created over time and have not kept pace with industry changes
- RFP templates become a hodge-podge of language that can be unclear or misleading
- RFP templates have failed to cover issues that are critical to your specific operation, goals and objectives
Unfortunately, utilizing a template approach can lead to a lack of critical thinking that will allow for a thorough analysis and comparison of services across many vendors. The RFP needs to be carefully composed in order to uncover vendor strengths and weaknesses, value-add capabilities, compatibilities with your organization, and to maximize the return you receive from the RFP process.
Navigant Advisory Group has substantial experience in designing RFPs helps achieve a competitive procurement process and provides a customized platform on which to make an informed, balanced decision. Our RFP design process facilitates:
- A very detailed and comprehensive customized questionnaire
- Pre-selection of qualified candidates to respond to your RFP
- An effective competitive response to achieve optimal terms, conditions, and pricing
- Clear, concise information requests
- Detailed analysis of products and services to uncover vendor strengths and weaknesses as well as to identify areas of value-added opportunities
- More clearly define the products or services that are being requested
- More reliable and in-depth evaluation of qualified vendors
Better Responses by Clearer RFP Design
The goal of any relationship is to clearly understand what exactly you are purchasing, what you expect from the vendor and the vendor expects from you, and how much you will pay. It sounds simple enough but RFPs often incorporate sloppy language, omit details, and provide incomplete information that lacks clarity and leaves plenty of room for interpretation, all of which will reduce your ability to fairly choose between vendors and could lead to strained relationship going forward. Any idea that “the details can be sorted out with the vendor later in the negotiation process” seldom results in a positive outcome for the RFP issuer.
A well-designed and intelligently written RFP will provide the tools you need to select the best vendor and ensure an ongoing, valuable relationship. Critical components of the RFP include:
- Knowing what you’re looking for in a vendor (capabilities, scope, size, temperament, scalability)
- Sharing with vendors your larger goals and objectives for your employee benefit programs
- Defining the full parameters of the products and services you desire
- Establishing all requirements for each product and service as well as for the overall program
- Defining performance measurement systems and being sure vendors understand and are capable of reporting in the manner required
- Understanding the vendor’s point of view to facilitate fairness and ensure that the RFP is realistic
- Defining clearly the transitional period and expectations for timelines and deliverables
- Stating clearly all pricing, payment terms, adjustment parameters, dispute handling, lines of communication, etc.
A Robust RFP Saves Time and Money—Now and in The Future
By taking the time to design a robust comprehensive RFP from the start, you are assured of reducing the frustration, time, effort and expense that is associated with clarifying RFP questions, reissuing an RFP, and dealing with post-RFP vendor issues. To reiterate, we recommend that an RFP begin with a thorough understanding and analysis of your business goals and objectives, then carefully draft a precise questionnaire that will maximize your chances of selecting the best vendor that will deliver beyond the scope of your requirements now, and for years into the future.