Preparing a Request for Proposal (RFP)
Page 3 of 10www.tgiltd.com
Key Elements to a Quality RFP
The purpose of this section is to provide you with information regarding the keyelements that make up a quality RFP that will allow you to produce a quantitativeevaluation of the potential suppliers and do so in a manner that minimizes the amount oftime you must spend to provide reasonable single location supplier comparisons.The five key elements in a quality RFP are:1) Definition of why you are seeking new software (i.e., your buying criteria)2) Description of your business, transaction volumes, user count, etc.3) Clear definition of what information you are seeking from the suppliers4) Quantitative (rather than qualitative) evaluation criteria5) Definition of how the process will work moving forward and the time framesinvolvedEach of these elements is key to both helping the potential suppliers evaluate whetherthey should continue to participate (they may determine that they do not have a good fitfor your functional requirements) and to make sure that you get the best possibleinformation to aid in making your decision.The remainder of this document will provide high-level information regarding each ofthese topics. The material presented will reference the TGI document
andits accompanying spreadsheet
Why Are You Seeking New Software?
You would be surprised by how many RFP’s we have seen that state the reason foracquiring new software is: (a) “Our existing software uses old technology and needs tobe modernized;” or (b) “Our existing software does not meet our information systemneeds.” While these are certainly legitimate high-level reasons for wanting a newbusiness information system, if they are the best reasons you can state, you’re notready to begin a process to select new software for your organization.A good definition of why you need new software has two components:1) A statement of the shortcomings of the existing system, either in terms offeatures and functionality, technology, or some combination of both2) A statement of what you hope to accomplish with the new systemThe listing of shortcomings with the existing system should not be exhaustive.Somewhere between three and six items is more than adequate. The items listed,however, should be those items that represent the most important issues with theexisting system or the top “pain points.” You also do not need to detail these items.