5 Things to Consider Before Doing an RFP

From RFP Meaning to How to Do an RFP, Via TRM’s Got You Covered

By Carrie Cohan

Your institution gave you the thumbs up to explore purchasing new (or replacing) traveler relationship management and/or risk management software solutions. But before you even got your shoes on for your happy dance, the question hits you: Do I have to do a request for proposal (RFP)?

The answer: Maybe, maybe not.

Here are five things to consider before you create an RFP:

  • Are you in a current contract?
  • Is the RFP solely for pricing comparison?
  • Does your institution participate in sole sourcing?
  • Do you need (or want) to break up with your current software partner?
  • Do you know how to do an RFP?

Let’s take a deep dive into each one of these questions.

  1. Are you in a current contract?
    • If yes, thoroughly read the contract. What are the terms? What is the timing for invoicing?
    • If no, talk with your finance department. Get an understanding of the length of time/process for contract.
  2. Is the RFP solely for pricing comparison?
    • If yes, can you get two or three proposals to compare and avoid the RFP process?
    • If no, what are the key reasons behind having to do an RFP?
  3. Does your institution participate in sole sourcing?
    • If yes, great. You can avoid the RFP process if there’s only one company that offers the unique features you need for the work you’re doing.
    • If no, or you’re not sure, ask if there’s an opportunity to do a sole source agreement since there’s only one company offering the unique products you need.
  4. Do you need (or want) to break up with your current software partner?
    • If yes, get clear on all you need to do to ensure a smooth transition to a new system.
    • If no, great. You’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to finding the ideal software partner—one that has the traveler relationship and travel risk management tools you need to make your workday better and build confidence in your travelers. But if you have to do an RFP, get clear on the timeline. Work backward from the ideal implementation timeline. For example, if need to onboard a new platform by February 2022, develop a timeline that includes RFP development, presentation, proposal, evaluation, contract, timing for a new partner, training, and going live.
  5. Do you know how to do an RFP?
    • If yes, great. You got this.
    • If no, Via’s got you. Keep reading and we’ll cover everything from RFP meaning to how to do an RFP.

What is an RFP?

RFP stands for Request for Proposal. Basically, it’s a document that publicizes a project, defines/describes it, and then seeks bids from vendors to complete it.

Why is an RFP important?

An RFP clearly states what you need to vendors that you think have what you’re looking for—in this case, traveler relationship and travel risk management software. If you don’t know enough about your options, an RFP is a great way to compare your options.

Do you really need an RFP?

See 1-5 above.

When to use an RFP? When should you not use an RFP?

I find that frequently EA offices assume they need an RFP when often they don’t. For example, if Via TRM is the only company that offers you the tools to do what you need to do, then you shouldn’t need to create an RFP. (See No. 3).

What’s the risk of an RFP?

The risk of an RFP is that the overall value of a product or service isn’t always considered. Take price for example. The lowest bidder doesn’t necessarily mean the best product for you. Before you choose a software vendor based on low price alone, make sure the product actually does what you need it to do. If it doesn’t, don’t settle. Make the case to the powers that be for the best software, not the cheapest—though, of course, it’s possible to get both the lowest cost and the best.

How to write an RFP

If you have to write an RFP, don’t panic. We’ve got you covered. Explore the Via TRM RFP Repository for examples of what’s included in a request for proposal.

Let’s Connect

Via TRM believes what you believe: Global experiences change the world. We want to help you power global experiences through our traveler relationship and travel risk management software. We’re happy to respond to your RFP—or connect on the front end about what our software solutions can do for you and your travelers.

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