How to Do an RFP the Right Way

The traditional RFP has been the gold standard for vendor selection for many years. But, while times are changing, the RFP process is not. Watch 10Pearls CEO, Imran Aftab, give his take on a more sustainable and productive solution. 

Once upon a time, the only way to seek out potential vendors for product development was the Request for Proposal (RFP). While it was intended to be a document that promoted objectivity, established clear requirements, and reduced risk — time has shown us that  the opposite can also be true. 

The truth about today’s RFP process

RFPs can be expensive, time-consuming, and ineffective at sourcing the right partner. What if both parties clearly established and understood goals, a target budget, and a timeline early on? What if the first step in transforming the vendor selection process is a shift in mindset? 

“Give them the budget constraints, and then see how they are going to spend your money. What is the process they’re laying out? What will they do? What kind of people are they putting in the plan? What past experiences do they have?”

Imran Aftab, 10Pearls CEO

Being transparent about your goals and constraints will help you reach a mutual understanding and established shared goals more quickly. Hiring vendors based on their experience and qualifications instead of asking for cost and extensive project details upfront will only contribute to a project’s success. These are all things a traditional RFP often overlooks. 

Embracing a better vendor selection process

Perhaps the immediate solution isn’t as clear-cut as eliminating the RFP altogether. Instead, leading organizations are phasing out the traditional RFP  for alternatives that allow businesses to build products and get them to market faster.  

We’re living in a time when agility reigns supreme — making it much more valuable to respond to unpredictable events than it is to plan for them. Businesses that focus on developing readinessand select vendors that share these valuesinstead of simply executing a plan won’t just adapt to change, they’ll be leading it.