When creating your long list of potential suppliers, it’s important to keep in mind your specific requirements and preferences. For example, you may want to work with a company that has experience in your industry, or that has a good reputation for customer support. You can also look at factors like company size, location, and pricing to help narrow down your list.
Once you have a list of potential suppliers, you can then reach out to potential suppliers. This will help you gather more information about each supplier and their offerings, such as their implementation process, support services, and pricing models.
After reviewing the responses to your RFI, you can then create a shortlist of two or three suppliers to invite for a more in-depth discussion. During these discussions, you can ask more detailed questions about their capabilities, experience, and approach to implementation. This will help you determine which supplier is the best fit for your needs and budget.
When preparing your RFI, it is essential to include questions that will help you learn more about each supplier’s general background and experience, such as how long they have been in business, the number of staff they employ, their turnover, and the technologies they offer. This information will help you assess each supplier’s stability and capability to deliver the project.
The RFI should also cover the supplier’s support cover, including the level of support they offer, whether it is 24/7 or more limited, and the type of access they provide for maintenance and help. Additionally, you should inquire about their experience, including the number of customers they have worked with, and ask for case studies, references, and testimonials.
Furthermore, it is essential to understand if the supplier has experience working with companies in your industry and if they actively target your industry in their sales literature and website. You should also perform financial due diligence and assess their training programs, software products, partnerships, and project planning and implementation methodologies.
By asking these questions, you can gain insight into the supplier’s capabilities, experience, and processes, and determine whether they are a good fit for your project. Additionally, the RFI process can help you shortlist suppliers and move on to the next stage of the selection process.