Before purchasing any new software, a company must know exactly what is needed. Those responsible for purchasing the program need to determine which features are essential, what problems the software needs to solve, and how the information will flow through the system. To gather this information, the purchasing team must complete an RFP that illustrates exactly what the company needs in terms of the software and system requirements. 

The RFP is the foundation for the purchasing process. The company must take care when finding an RFP template that demonstrates what is needed. The entire process will revolve around the selected template. How can the company choose software once this RFP has been found? 

Steps to Take When Purchasing Software for RFPs

The process begins with the preparation of the request for proposal. When this document is ready, share it with qualified vendors to learn if they can be of help. Quantitative evaluation techniques should be used when evaluating each response from a vendor. This ensures the right software is selected. 

Interdepartmental Communication

All individuals who will use the software should be consulted as part of the decision-making process. This ensures no essential feature is overlooked during the purchasing process. Gather the data to complete the quantitative analysis and determine which challenges workers face. 

Feasibility Analysis 

Once the staff determins where productivity can be increased and the how much labor the program would save, the company can determine the economic impact of the new program. Many companies turn to a cost savings analysis tool at this step of the process. 

Proposed Features

Rather than trying to evaluate every program fully, reduce the list of proposed system features to those that are essential. This helps to eliminate vendors that can’t meet the mandatory requirements. Information gathered from the various departments becomes is helpful in compiling this list. Use a scoring system to compare vendors and narrow the solutions to those that are best for the organization. 

System Requirements

Determine the system requirements for each program. If the company must upgrade systems to run the program, this needs to be known before the purchase is made. Many companies use a requirements checklist with fit gap analysis to complete this step. 

On-Premise Demonstrations

Once it has been determined which programs meet the company’s requirements, it is time to schedule on-premise demonstrations. This allows employees to see the program in action, try it for themselves, and ask the vendors questions. Companies must be prepared to set aside time for the purchasing committee to come together and meet each vendor and reserve an area for this purpose. Have data available to enter into the program to see how the program works specifically when it comes to the company’s needs. 

Every vendor demo needs to follow the same format. Have the data presented in the same manner during each demonstration, as this makes it easier to compare the programs. Furthermore, have the purchasing team write down any questions they have during each demonstration. They can ask the vendor doing the current demonstration those questions and contact vendors who have already shared their program to have other questions answered.

Although the team will have questions before the first demo takes place, additional queries may arise as each vendor conducts their presentation. The more information the team has, the easier it becomes to make the right choice for the organization. 

The right ERP system helps grow a business. The RFP templates play a role in the success or failure of this program. Spend time comparing software vendors to ensure the right selection is made to move the business forward. 

By Manali