If you think choosing an ice-cream flavour requires a lot of thought, you may want to sit down when reading this.
Get your ducks in a row
Look at the overall process
Take some time to get familiar with the overall vendor selection process. Here are eight steps we recommend in our approach:
- Requirements gathering & discovery – Define what you need
- Long list – Identify potential technology vendors
- RFI (Request for Information) completion & scoring – Initial information request
- RFP (Request for Proposal) completion & scoring – Assess whether the technology has what you need
- Shortlisting – Reduce the list to two to three vendors
- Demonstration workshops & evaluation – Evaluate the vendors & their technology
- Decision – Select your preferred vendor
- Negotiation & contract – Period of contract negotiation
Get the support you need
In terms of stakeholders, we would recommend that clients engage with a number of key representatives from various functions within the business:
- HR: typically your HR Director (HRD or CPO) or senior HR leaders
- IT: either the Chief Information Officer (CIO) or the Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
- Finance: typically your Financial Director (FD)
- Representatives from Procurement and Legal
Know your deal breakers
Making the right choice
- Assessing what matters: Ask your vendors to prepare a solution for specific and real-life scenarios that are relevant for your organisation and assess against those.
- Asking around: Client references are a valuable way of getting further insight into the product, the implementation process and what the vendors are like to work with. Ask for references and take them up, talk with your peers and ask tech market experts!
- Having a culture fit: Consider which vendor is the best cultural fit for your business. How do your values align? How will your employees react to the technology? Consider the vendor’s preparation, communication, proactivity and advice provided throughout the journey so far.