Is it time to say goodbye to the RFP?
I spend a good bit of my time writing RFP responses and I don’t mind saying that a little bit of me dies each time a complete one. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t stop doing them and I never put less than 100% effort (If you know me, you know that’s the only way I can work).
But I also know it’ll be really hard for us to win one. It doesn’t matter how much effort I put in. It doesn’t matter what I write. Why is this? Why is simple to answer – but fixing it is a little harder.
We’re in 2017. We’re in the age of the smartphone – the device in your hand isn’t just a bit more powerful than the computers that sent man to the moon – it’s millions of times more powerful. And it costs a few hundred pounds, maybe a thousand (And as I’m also a bit of an engineer and do all my own maintenance on cars – that’s more than I spend on some of my cars).
But we’ve become so used to getting so much for so little and to be made so easy for us – people lose sight of value.
So when I do an RFP response, I’m being honest. I will say yes to everything – because I infer that if you’ve asked if something is possible, you want it, and I’ll make sure we can do it. And if I can’t say yes, there’s no point in responding, because someone else will.
But what about if it IS possible, but the cost benefit to you is low – it won’t save you much time, but it adds a lot to the cost. I can think of a smarter way of doing it instead, but involves a process change rather than a system change – how do I get that across in an RFP? I can’t! I can bring my experience to the table, but I also need to know the specifics of your business and your team to find the best answer and an RFP doesn’t have the scope to do that.
How does a supplier get chosen based on an RFP? The RFP is a box ticking exercise :
- Can the product do what we want?
- Can you implement the product?
- Can you provide references?
- Are you the cheapest?
We probably won’t be the bottom line cheapest. But here’s a promise I can make:
You will get the best value, most stable, appropriately featured and fastest delivered solution.
What do I mean?
Firstly – time to value. We’ll start producing results that add value to the business faster than you can blink!! Well, maybe not blink….but faster than you’ll believe or expect.
Appropriately featured – we’ll focus on the biggest pain points and quick wins first. Let’s have a profound positive impact on the business as quickly as possible! But – always -with a goal – we’ll make sure we’re all agreed on where we’re going and what the target end state is – so that everything we do aligns with short, medium & long term goals.
Fastest Delivery – if there is a shortcut, we know it and can use it. But we also know the traps – and will avoid those too.
So while the headline implementation cost might look a little higher, the time taken for you to get value out of the solution, the long term viability of it in your organisation, the perfomance and the flexibility – we can win every time. If you want a box ticked, the big SI’s can help. But if you want to help transform, improve and accelerate your business – talk to Qubix.