A document management (EDMS) vendor selection process can be a complicated undertaking. The first step involves analysing your business requirements, followed by a search for prospective vendors.
Analyse the business requirements
The first task is to define the product or service your business needs, from the point of view of both technical and business requirements. At the same time, define the vendor requirements: small, medium or large … will you be a valued account or one of many transactions.
Document management vendor search
In the world of document management (EDMS) software vendors, many suppliers may look similar, but they will differ considerably in price, in-house resources, product flexibility, product ease of use and technical support.
In an initial Request for Information (RFI), consider asking selected vendors to comment on your business requirements draft and suggest how they would deliver long term value to your organisation. Giving expert vendors a chance to participate in your validation process is especially useful if you are looking for (1) a future-proofed solution and (2) a long-lasting relationship with the selected vendor,
Request for Proposal (RFP)
Once your business requirements are defined and you have a short list of vendors that you want to evaluate, invite a proposal that includes business background and detailed product specifications.
Vendor selection and evidence gathering
The aim must be to make a decision that is in the very best interest of your organisation. Each vendor will be scored on overall performance, but to assure yourself of an all-round objective view, take time to visit prospective vendors at their offices, or ask to visit the sites of some of their customers who may be similar in size and purpose to your own.
The final part of the vendor selection process will involve contract negotiation. You will gain a very real insight into how much a prospective vendor has learned about your business from the way they negotiate. Is all pricing off-the-shelf or are they prepared to tailor pricing (for example, licensing costs) to the daily needs of your document management system users.
Beyond the printed words on contract drafts, the members of your selection team will also get a gut feel for whether this is likely to be an enduring relationship and a genuine partnership.
By this stage of the vendor selection process, you will know you are close to making the right decision if you and the prospective vendor can both articulate the difference between what you need and what you want.
The Document Logistix approach to Requests for Proposal
Document Logistix welcomes the opportunity to participate in RFI and RFP processes.
About 20% of our annual “new name” EDMS business comes from our proposals following a vendor selection process. We work closely with public sector, government, education and charity (not-for-profit) organisations, as well as commercial companies, when they are looking for the right document management partner.
Our preferred approach to an RFP is a collaborative one, in which Document Logistix can share its more than twenty years of experience to help to validate an organisation’s business and technical requirements.
Numbers and statements only tell part of a prospective vendor’s story. Whenever possible, we welcome a visit from the potential customer to our UK or US office, so that they can see our R&D and support staff at work, hear about our product roadmap from the CTO, and get a feel for how our Account Managers work with the in-house teams of customers every step of the way.
Document Logistix works in virtually every industry sector. Read More