When you’re looking for a vendor, the flavor of the relationship, whether it’s acknowledged or not, is set by the Request for Proposal (RFP). This document is the cornerstone of your vendor relationship, moving forward. It establishes the quality of the interaction.
Following are the 3 most common RFP mistakes that telecom professionals make. In doing so, they undermine the partnership they’re fostering from the word go. Let’s find out how your telecom people can avoid making these common strategic errors.
Lowball work estimates.
Prior to releasing an RFP, it’s essential that a thorough inventory be taken of all telecom services, across the board. Knowing what’s there is your first step toward crafting an RFP that’s transparent and realistic.
Once this factor’s in hand, you’ll have a better idea of what you’re really asking from potential vendors. It will also assist vendors in determining whether their services are a “fit” for you.
Lowball work estimates often fail to account for the degree of outsourcing that will be required by the work and the ability of in-house human resources to interface with it.
It’s also essential that vendors understand whether you need F2F (face-to-face) interactions with them and, for larger companies, whether vendors are equipped to service the account internationally.
Covering your bases in an RFP presents the face of an organization which is prepared and aware of what it’s asking for. That’s an inducement for the most proficient vendors to respond.
A failure to understand the market.
Before you can create an effective RFP, knowing what’s in the market in terms of vendors is essential. What can these people do? Who are they servicing now? Can they manage all your telecom needs, as described in the RFP?
The resources of the vendors you’re considering will guide the process toward establishing the terms of the RFP and vice versa. Some vendors will not be a fit because of this consideration. Others may be able to build capacity in a way that answers the needs of your RFP and that may be worth your while, if the vendor has everything else you need.
Key to understanding the market of vendors is your organization’s knowledge of those who offer the best “fit”, including track record and capabilities.
Lack of clarity about expectations.
As we said at the beginning, your RFP sets the tone of your relationship. It determines its flavor. If your RFP isn’t clear about measures of performance and service delivery, you’re looking at locked horns down the road.
And nobody likes those.
Being clear about your expectations by providing Service Level Agreements (SLAs) removes the possibility of misunderstandings cropping up.
Crystal clear SLAs provide you with contractual ballast in the event of inadequate service delivery and alerts vendors to the ramifications should that occur.
OpDecision’s professionals come to your RFP process direct from the telecom industry. Our leadership and teams have all worked for major players in the sector, bringing you insider knowledge.
Contact OpDecision for a free consultation about your telecom needs.