One Page RFI
RFIs and RFPs are nearly universally despised by both vendors and clients for the same reason – time wasted on companies which aren’t a realistic fit.
As a vendor, I hated filling out lengthy RFI/RFP responses for blind opportunities with an insulated buyer. I knew many of these opportunities were pre-selected, and the client was just going through the motions for some compliance reason. It’s a waste of my time to respond, and waste of the client’s time to pretend to be interested.
As a buyer of services, I hate RFPs because I end up talking to long-shot vendors just to fill out my spreadsheet, or I’ll discover a mismatch at the end of the process.
Needle in a haystack
There are about 40,000 Managed Services providers in the United States. It’s a $200 Billion industry that will grow to a half trillion $492B in the next 5 years. That’s just Managed Services. IT consulting is much larger.
There are about 250 MSPs in Denver, but that doesn’t count some of the largest players who deliver remotely and have only sales offices in Colorado. There are a lot of options.
How do you down select to just the MSPs who are right for your business? How do you get a sense of your options without spending endless time chasing dead ends? The missing step is Vendor Pool development.
A full RFI may be too formal and time consuming if you’re just pre-screening competitors. A short form RFI is a much better option because it doesn’t require an NDA, legal review, lengthy responses, but it does get you the facts.
What is the goal?
There are two questions to answer in developing a pool of potential vendors. What vendors are out there, and which vendors should I consider?
The industry is constantly evolving new ways and technologies for managing systems. The best vendors regularly change their offerings to take advantage of the latest opportunities and innovations. Broadly sampling the market gives you an understanding of what’s possible.
Of all of the vendors you could engage with, only a small set are focused on your type of business, technology and needs. An RFI helps sort through options to uncover only those worthy of your time.
One page RFI
At Banyan, we use this one-page RFI to sample the market and develop the vendor pool. Upon request we can send this request to vendors without disclosing your company’s name for confidentiality reasons. Download it here.