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Question: I'm not sure how to handle this.

Background: We have a software requirement and we've asked two vendors for their implementaion proposal. The first vendor haven't submitted their proposal. The second vendor already submitted based from our requirement.

The second vendor's approach are two: 1. Enable and Implement 2. Actual Practice and Config

Scenario: We want to implement the software the soonest.

To date:

I'm still waiting for the first vendor to provide the proposal. I've already asked the second vendor to provide a workplan and timelines for both implementation plans.

Recap: I'm not too sure what to do and tell the second vendor of a good strategy to make the implementation a success. I wan to have clarity.

  • Why don't you kick the first vendor in the direction of providing you a plan? You'd like as much competition as possible, so without two offers your company may become a bit poorer... – Deer Hunter Apr 3 '13 at 9:01
  • I think that the failure to supply a plan is sufficient for me to evaluate the vendor and determine that they are unsuitable. Could you revise the question to emphasize the question? – Mark C. Wallace Apr 3 '13 at 12:14
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You ought to seek at least three competitors for this job, and more if you're able. Your requirements in your Request for Proposal become your criteria. From the RFP, you need to create a scoring sheet where each requirement becomes a criterion. You need to develop a method of evaluation for each criterion where you can turn the response into a score, a number. Some of the criteria are qualitative in nature so each evaluator (you need several evaluators) will subjectively score the response. Some will be quantitative in nature so the score will be evident and others will simply yes or no. No matter the method, it results into a score. Further, you can also apply a weight to a criterion since some requirements are more important than others.

You should keep cost evaluation separate. In fact, each proposal should be cost blind so that the evaluators are not biased based on price. Bring in cost afterwards.

Other factors to consider and score are the vendors qualifications in terms of past performance (seek references) and their credit ratings.

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Firstly, did you outline to both vendors what your requirement is, what you want in each vendor's proposal and give them a deadline for submitting their proposals?

If you haven't then give both vendors a clear description of what each proposal should contain and give them a deadline to submit a proposal (vendor 2 will just need to update theirs with the additional information). This ensures it's a fair competition. Make it clear to vendor 1 that they are in competition with another vendor. If this doesn't motivate them to submit a proposal then it's a clear indicator that they won't be a good supplier to work with.

You should also aim to invite 3-5 vendors to submit proposals to enable you to understand what's available in the market. It also ensures that you still have a decent pool of bidders if 1 or 2 drop out.

In terms of delivering the software the soonest, don't focus entirely on deadlines. Short deadlines usually means higher cost and lower quality. It's down to you to challenge your project sponsor on what they want from the project - is short delivery time critical, or is quality more important. Also be wary of vendors stating that they can meet unrealistic deadlines. This could create a management and financial headache.

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