Do you dread reviewing long, unorganized RFPs?
Like most people, your “to do” list is probably booked for more hours than there are in a work day. Deadlines are looming and large boxes just arrived in your office. A gift? No, Not quite… it’s RFP season! Each box contains pages and pages of text, graphs, collateral samples, forms, terms and conditions and more. Now you get to sort through, review, rank and score each vendor’s offering to begin the decision making process.
Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? How can you manage to fit the RFP review into your already jam-packed schedule and come out the other side with a product and vendor that suits your needs, and your budget, to a “t”?
I get it! (I think I do, anyway.) I am speaking from the other side. My job involves responding to RFPs. Completing the RFP response takes a great deal of time, effort, collaboration, proofing, refining and editing. Many times, the result is a very large and lengthy response, laden with reiteration and many gaps in information. During the process, I often think to myself,’ imagine the people who have to read all of these? They must go cross-eyed after reviewing all of these from several responders. How do they keep it all straight?’
As a responder, I want you to enjoy and be impressed by what you read, not be overwhelmed and frustrated. How can we bring order to this very important process and ensure you get all the information you need without repeating information and creating larger than life responses that still leave you without vital information you need to make a sound decision?
Our thoughts on a solution
Through our almost 30 years of experience in the business, we have answered hundreds of RFPs. Some of them ask all the right questions, provide all the right information, and allow us to respond in a manner that best answers your questions and provides all the details you need, the first time around. Through this process, we have learned the GOLDEN RULE of RFPs: if you want comprehensive, informative responses from your vendors, the RFP you issue must provide a robust list of questions and detailed response instructions, along with important details regarding your school’s demographics, goals, and current processes.
Free eBook - Ten Tips for Creating an A+ RFP Document
TMS has put together a list of tips and a template that we hope will help you to ease the process of issuing and receiving RFPs in our new eBook ,“Ten Tips for Creating an A+ RFP Document”. Take a look today and see if we can help you put some sanity back into the RFP process!
By: Sheri Ethier, Business Communications Writer