Procure Service Providers with Business Outcomes in Mind

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The business outcomes and related service measures and levels should be included in the contract, when procuring a service provider.  The questions asked in the RFP (Request for Proposal) ought to solicit the proponent’s views on the factors for a successful project.  The evaluation criteria should establish a scoring mechanism so that the most appropriate service provider is selected – one that mirrors the needs, direction and desired outcomes of the business.

Writing an RFP? Start with the end in mind!

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Writing an RFP?  Well start with the end in mind!

What is the end?  Is it: publication of the RFP; evaluation and selection of the preferred vendor; contract finalization; transition and onboarding of the vendor; or the end of the contract with the solutions delivered?

It might be even further out than that.  How about the benefits realized from the delivered solutions!

You need to select the vendor that has the “ability” and “capability” to take over and deliver the solutions that will produce the desired results/benefits effectively, efficiently and economically.

Therefore start with the evaluation criteria that must be related to the desired business outcomes.  Then the RFP can be developed accordingly.

This is not the normal perspective for RFP development!  It should be!  And it is INTP’s perspective.

Procurement-about ongoing relationship & future business success

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Focus your procurement efforts on the end of the contract not the beginning of the contract.  Getting an RFP published, responses gathered, vendor selected, and contract signed is only the beginning.  Now the work happens!  It is important to have selection criteria related to the ongoing relationship and what you want to have achieved for the business in the future.

Procurement-Focus on End of Contract Success

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Focus your procurement activities on the end of the contract-not the beginning of the contract.  One “Outcome” should be: the health of the client-vendor relationship and partnership, after a number of years.  How has that relationship matured through the contract term and what has been achieved (innovation, efficiencies, effectiveness, business benefit realization, cost savings, satisfaction) through that partnership?

Procurement Tips

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At INTP, we focus on the end result of the procurement, which is the operation provided by the contracted service provider for the period of the contract and beyond.

INTP consultants believe the better outcome relates to the clarity of the contract, the services and the service providers understanding when they are bidding.  A clear and complete Request For Proposals (RFP) is vital in soliciting this understanding through the proposals.  Selection should concentrate on the most appropriate proposal by evaluating that understanding and related, relevant approach to achieve the end results.

The RFP must seek the information from the proponents that the organization wants to evaluate on.  Therefore the procurement and RFP development should commence with the identification of evaluation criteria.

During the procurement process, we lead the organization into asking the question “what will make the best service provider perform the services that meet the organization’s requirements for the next ‘n’ years (at least the length of the contract)”.  Based on the answer to this question the evaluation criteria can be determined.  The question can be asked at a number of different levels as the evaluation criteria are further detailed.  Through this breakdown, the characteristics of the preferred vendor can be outlined and documented for the rating phase of the evaluation.

Procurement is a vital step in any initiative and/or operation.  It is not something that can be done “off the side of someone’s desk” very well.  It takes some focus and adequate time.  After all, some of the contracts are in place for years, or at least some of the implemented business components from contracts will operate for years.  Shouldn’t it be given its due diligence?  Use someone with experience and knowledge of legal impacts and risks and someone who can facilitate a fair, equitable and consistent procurement process.