4 Steps To Developing An Effective RFS
It’s time to retire your RFP process.
It’s old. It’s worn out. And it’s tired.
It’s also limiting.
Instead, do what many managers of inbound call centers and tech support services are doing when it comes to sourcing.
They’re using Requests for Solution (RFS) proposals.
And it’s producing more cost-effective solutions to IT problems—especially when working on critical high profile projects. It’s also good for Greenfield projects.
The RFP process worked well in the past. It helped managers solve challenging IT problems by sourcing providers that could meet the project’s functionality requirements.
But IT environments have changed. So have managers’ roles. They’ve expanded well beyond the IT focus. IT managers now take key roles in finding solutions to complex business problems.
So they need a new approach to finding providers that can help solve these complex business problems. And the RFS process may be just what the doctor ordered.
It offers a more open ended, flexible approach to sourcing—one that can help you find better solutions than in the past.
What’s more, it gives you the competitive advantage you need to achieve critical business objectives and stifle the competition.
Benefits of the RFS Process
Legacy systems, mobility, security, cloud computing—meeting the needs of inbound call centers or tech support services is much more complicated than before.
To keep things running smoothly, IT managers need new, more creative ways of solving the problems generated by these new environments. Enter the RFS process.
This process provides managers with an “outside-in” view that reveals options that are not always available to managers using the RPF process.
In other words, it doesn’t lock you into a specific technology or company’s products. It also lets your optimize systems and applications.
Often, these new solutions are not only more targeted, they’re more cost-effective and more economical, saving you time and money.
Launching the RFS Process
Ideally, you want to try the RFS process on a discrete project where no clear solution exists or where several options are available. Outsourcing projects are good candidates.
Having selected your project, follow these four steps:
1. Environmental Description:
During this phase you’ll gather key information on the problem including financials, resources, consumption levels, existing SLAs, and quality metrics. You don’t need to write down or formalize this information. Use it instead to accurately describe the problem.
2. Develop A Solution Engagement Package
Outline specific goals and objectives instead of detailed functionality requirements in this step. Then invite providers to come in and discuss solutions. Collaborating with providers early on often enables you to drill down to viable solutions and determine pricing. You can then target providers with the right solutions.
3. Conduct Due Diligence
Use this step to conduct due diligence on each provider. This effort enables you to cut down the list of providers developed in step 2 to 2 or 3. Ask these providers to create a transformation plan with detailed pricing.
4. Select The Provider
Having done your due diligence, you can now select the provider you feel best fits your needs and with the best plan available, and negotiate a contract. Once selected, the provider can then go to work.
Managers of inbound call centers and tech support services are being continually challenged to find creative solutions to difficult IT problems.
Many are abandoning the RFP process in favor of the RFS process. This trend will continue apace as more and more managers try the RFS process.
Put simply, this process lets you shift your focus from overseeing service delivery to adopting creative solutions that are more economical and cost-effective.
These solutions in turn can give your company the competitive advantage it needs to achieve key business goals and beat back the competition.
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