Welcome back. Today we will be examining Stage 3. In previous posts we have outlined the 5 stages and detailed Stage 1 and 2.

  • Define your requirements
  • Identify candidates & send out your RFP
  • Evaluate the candidates
  • Evaluate the proposals
  • Make your selection and award the contract

Let’s take a closer look at Stage 3 – Evaluating the candidates:

Rushing a proposal can lead to missed requirements, inaccurate cost and time estimates, and big headaches later. So, include enough time in your plan for the vendors to do a thorough job. While you’re waiting for proposals to come back, visit the vendors and collect information about their characteristics and capabilities. If a visit is not practical, then at least have a video or conference call. There is much that can be learned this way that will not come through in written communications.

Every company is different – seek to understand all the vendor’s capabilities and how they might benefit your project or business. Often your initial picture of the ideal vendor will change as you go through this process. Be open to that and look for the best overall fit.

A successful project depends on trust, teamwork, and communication as much as on technical capability. Is the prospect respectful and professional? Do they listen and ask questions or begin telling you what you need right away? How will they interact with your internal team? Just as when hiring a new employee, it’s important to consider “soft” factors when evaluating a new outsourcing partner.

Every vendor will have their own preferred process for design and development. Too much control can unnecessarily drive up costs, while too little control can doom the project. A good vendor will be able to adapt to your culture and institutional norms and still provide an appropriate level of control. Watch out for vendors whose processes diverge too much from your own or who appear rigid and inflexible.

Now that you have our criteria for evaluating your candidates, it’s time for the next stage.

In our next post, we will cover Stage 4 – Evaluate the proposals.

At Pergamon, we have the flexibility, experience, and track record to help you complete your projects successfully.