Choosing the right Travel & Expense Management by preparing a RFP process can be the right decision for you. When your financial and travel teams cannot identify the best T&E management solution for your company's needs and get stuck comparing and arguing about different features, you need to initiate a RFP process. Here are the steps you can take to prepare a seamless RFP process.
When writing a RFP for T&E management software vendors, your company should involve the critical stakeholders in the process and consider including members from various departments such as IT, Finance, Accounting, Training and Performance Management.
You must also assign specific tasks to each member of the committee, such as:
You do not want to rush into completing the RFP process, nor do you want it to drag on, delaying the next steps of your strategy for T&E management improvement. Take each step of the process and try to accurately determine the estimated time needed to complete each task/action.
For example, you will want to ensure that the Q&A period is long enough to solve any issues which may arise and avoid misunderstandings with your potential vendors. Also, once the Q&A period is over, ensure that the vendors have enough time to offer you a detailed response.
Before you issue a RFP, be sure that your Project Committee has identified the needs of your company when it comes to travel & expense management and that you have a clear delimitation between what is a "must have" and what is simply "nice to have". The difference between the "needs" and the "wants" will help you establish the characteristics and feature set the winning vendor will have to present in order to help you meet your goals.
The elements you must include in your RFP are:
We recommend you to download our guide to Writing an effective Request for Proposal that will help you identify the best Travel & Expense Management Software vendor to support you in reaching your goals.
Your Project Committee will compare your company needs to the T&E management solutions available on the market in order to select a list of vendors who will be invited to take part in your T&E management RFP process.
How to find your prospects? You may search for them online directly, you could ask for recommendations from partners or consultants, or the committee members might have suggestions. The vendors that are on the prospects list will then be sent the RFP.
Once you have selected the potential vendors you want to hear from, you must then decide how the RFP will be distributed. Will it be via email, via post, or directly on your company's site? When you send the RFP, be sure to emphasize the deadline for vendor responses.
Each response your receive from the potential vendors should first be reviewed and evaluated individually. Once all the committee members have given their score, you should set a meeting with them in order to compare and evaluate the alternatives together.
Before making the final decision, you might want to organize interviews with the top two or three vendors on your list to ensure that you choose one which is 100% suited to your company's needs. During interviews, your can ask for more details regarding their implementation process and how the T&E management solution would evolve as your company grows or as new technologies appear on the market.
Because all vendors put a lot of time and effort into sending you complete responses to your RFP, it is recommended to notify all prospects of your decision, regardless of whether they have been retained or not. It is in your best interest to mention the features or the aspects that convinced you and helped you decide the winning vendor.
The RFP process might take a while, but it gives you the frame you need to make a documented decision and be 100% certain that you have chosen the best vendor for you.