Ensuring success in your next call centre tender evaluation is more than just using good project management techniques.
A few months ago, a client called and asked for help. They were going through the process of tendering for some new technology for their Contact Centre infrastructure. They approached us for help because the project had come to a bit of a stalemate.
The tender process had gone through the usual milestones and the business had already gone to market with a requirements document for new technology.
The client had received the tenders back from various vendors, engaged the vendors in product presentations, and worked through site visits to see the product in operational mode.
On top of this, the client had also compared the most favoured responses.
However, the Project team were split 50/ 50 spilt on who should be awarded the business.
They could not decide on one preferred vendor and could therefore not make a recommendation to their Board for final approval of purchase.
I was tasked with reviewing their processes and documentation to ultimately help them decide on the most applicable tender for their business needs.
The process we adopted was to initially review their project plan and tender evaluation documentation as well as interview the project participants to see how they had come to their individual decisions during the tender process.
The client’s Project Plan was strong and had been used as a comprehensive tool. However the evaluation process they had gone through was not as strong as needed.
The tender evaluation process had no specifically measured “like for like” measures in terms of the individual vendors’ technical systems capabilities and pricing structures.
On top of that when interviewing the project participants it became apparent that some had based their ultimate decision on quite emotive factors.
The strong competence of some the vendors sales representatives had been seen as a strong attribute on which to award the tender.
The actual capabilities of the technology and the best fit for their business had not necessarily been taken into consideration by some of the project team members.
A solution was easily deployed to resolve the client’s problem.
Firstly all of the tenders were revaluated using our proven Call Centre Tender Matrix Comparison Documentation.
Secondly the Pricing components were detailed in the comparison matrix in such a way that like for like were being compared.
Thirdly all participants and scored both the vendor presentations and the associated site inspections on specific criteria appropriate to the business needs which had been re-identified and passed back to the business for ranking.
As the newly defined results started filtering back from the project participants it quickly became clear who were the top two main contenders, and those tenders that didn’t meet the requirements.
When all of the documentation and comparisons had been finalised a formal comparison session was run. This session had a predetermined outcome set against it: the group had to identify the most appropriate vendor and unanimously agree on a recommendation that could be passed to the board.
In the formal comparison session, the project participants quickly realised that the reworked evaluation matrix identified those areas of the clients’ business requirements that were not provided by some of the vendors, excluding them from further consideration.
The “like for like” pricing comparison quickly and easily identified “hidden” costs and “add on values”, that had not been acknowledged in their previous comparisons.
The revisiting and re-evaluation of the vendor presentations and site inspections via the ranking of specific attributes from each project participant also gave greater clarity as to which tender response was the best fit for the business.
As we went through theses exercises with the project participants they quickly became aware that my logic and the use of specific evaluation documentation quickly took the emotive components of tender evaluation out of the process and instead gave the project participants clear and factual data sets and information on which to base a decision.
All ended on an upbeat note with the project team making a unanimous, informed decision back to their board.[ssba]