Success in outsourcing starts with the RFPBy Mark Atterby The road to engaging an outsourcing partner starts with the RFP (Request-For-Proposal). Many organisations have a structured and rigid approach to the RFP process, which from the very outset can limit the opportunities of developing a relationship based on innovation. It straight jackets providers by limiting what they can offer potential clients. RFP is a detailed process where the services and requirements of a client organisation are documented and a range of potential vendors are then invited to bid for the contract. It’s up to the potential vendors to demonstrate their capacity to provide the requested services, specifying time frames and costs. The client selects the winning bid based on criteria that usually involves some combination of price, timeline, reputation and the proposed solution. The process creates a standardised structure and approach for creating and analysing proposals. The problem that emerges as highlighted by outsourcing consultant Information Services Group, the traditional prescriptive RFP approach puts providers in a box, limiting what they can offer a potential client[i]. Clients can spend too much time focusing on service levels and price neglecting the broader scope and potential of the project. It’s a risk adverse protectionist approach which limits the possibility of forming a long-term relationship that adds value to both organisations.
Clients can spend too much time focusing on service levels and price neglecting the broader scope and potential of the project.