1. Make a shortlist
Once RFPs have been submitted, you will want to run an internal process to shortlist the top three providers based on the information you have been given. You should rank the providers based on the ideal answers given in the sample RFP - one simple way of doing this would be to assign a rank from 1-5 for each answer, sum up the scores and rank the providers by score.
2. Invite the top three to a round of meetings
You should pick the top three providers and invite them for a round of meetings to make your final decision.
3. Hold stakeholder meetings to evaluate the top three
Set up meetings with the key stakeholders (typically representatives from finance, product, support, IT, and business) and outline to the providers that they should prepare slides explaining why their solution should be chosen, what the key advantages are vis-a-vis other providers, and who will be attending the meeting from your side.
From each RFP, you should have made a list of:
a) Key advantages of using the provider Use the meeting to validate these and ensure that they are true, going into more detail e.g. for particular integrations, are they feature-complete?
b) Key concerns with the provider If they are weak on certain dimensions, use the meeting to probe more into these and find out whether the weakness can be mitigated or additional useful information can be provided on these.
Each provider should be scored using a similar system to before, along several dimensinons. Once the meetings are complete, each attendee should submit their personal evaluations and recommendations on behalf of their part of the business.
4. Make your decision
The leader of the procurement process should make a choice based on these evaluations and then sit down with each of the stakeholders to propose the solution that the business will choose and hear out any objections/concerns which may need to be considered.
Once this process has been completed, you should have a good idea of which provider you wish to go with. There is still a round of due diligence and referencing to be done.
5. Carry out due diligence and referencing
We recommend speaking to at least three customers of comparable size to you and getting references on the business to ensure that they do what they say they can do, and in particular, act with integrity and with the interests of the customer in mind (rather than their own). The usual due diligence process should also be followed, i.e. check that the business is financially stable, do reference checks on the directors, and ensure that the claims they have made with regard to regulation and sponsorship are legitimate.‹ View table of contents