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good afternoon and welcome to our webinar today from IPE systems on how to write an RFP and managing your buying process to help you make that decision my name is Michelle Lancer Smith and I am the chief marketing officer here at ipe system and joining me is John Gotti you sell our lead senior sales engineer hey everybody thank you for joining us today this is actually kind of a interesting topic for me Michelle not our norm and actually like a little refresh refreshing to do something a little different yes it is we receive thousands of RFPs all the time and have to sort through them and work through them and we see clients and customers that do it right and others that really struggle with the process and often times we are asked from our clients how should we go about and do this so this is basically what we've done is collected all of our learnings and what we share with people that ask us and we're going to present it to you for the next hour now that we are going to open it up to questions not using your voice but using your fingers so when you have a question just go to the right hand side of your screen look for the box called questions and type it in and we will try to answer as many as we can as we go along so what we're going to do in the next hour is I'm just going to briefly talk about ETA systems we do have both customers and new folks on the line today so I want to do that take care of that little piece of homework and then we're going to talk about what is an RFP and RFI RFQ with a different reasons for them really how do you plan for an RFP the timeline things you need to include how do you evaluate and score and then common mistakes that Jan and I see all the time so we've got last two tips to share with you so we hope you enjoy today well who is a paid system we have been around since 2001 we're headquartered here in Chicago Illinois out of the Windy City and we provide a fully unified HGH cm or capital management solutions that's HR technology payroll technology and time and labor management technology in a fully integrated solution we serve hourly workforces so we tend to work with clients that have a very complex workforce environment typically distributed might have people moving from site to site location to location it just causes all kinds of crazy shifts differentials you know paying people differently over time difficulty in scheduling people difficulty in getting the right collection devices you can capture their time so that's what we focused on and we have always been in the time and labor management or your workforce management business since the very beginning and what people like about us is really that flexible engine that we provide and because of the flexibility we can take care of and handle the very complex workforces people also really like our support we offer 24/7 all year around support to everybody we don't have a gold and a platinum service everybody gets free premium support and that is from for all of our modules within our human capital management platform from payroll to time and labor to applicant tracking and so on and because it's a 24/7 support they're constantly getting their questions answered we have a great retention rate with our clients you can see some of our clients there but we of course have many many clients ranging from small to midsize to enterprise clients that's a little bit about it you pay let's get into our topic today so John let's talk about the RFP and it's a very humble beginning what was the origin of it how did it start yeah you know it really started out as a way to have a non-biased view into getting a bunch of different proposals all into one so that the end user can evaluate them effectively right and have a have a way of looking at the data in identifying this is a good fit for me or no this one doesn't meet the bill right and is look at the different types that are out there you know an RFP an RFQ very similar write request for a proposal or request for quote you're looking to identify a vendor of choice that way because you're getting pricing on that you're looking to get that information so that you can actually make a decision on on a particular product then RFI is slightly different that's definitely the first start of a RFP process so sure when you look at a government entity there's they're going to go in and do an RFI first just part of their processing and how they have to handle that with the RFI you're not really looking for pricing in there you're looking more to gather information about different vendors or you may not know anything about what you're trying to buy and you're just trying to gather additional information so that you can become educated about that and that's what we definitely see an RFI now an RFI is a short form of an RFP right so we look at our P or our Q versus RFI you're typically seeing the RFI as a short version it's not as many questions everything is more high-level whereas an RFP you're looking at very specifics because you have your own specific needs you want to make sure you meet those requirements and I will talk more about how to how to look at some of that stuff around here so you mention government contracts and in the government world we see an RFI first then they go get their funding and then you see the RFP what do you think is besides that what do you think is the difference in terms of a government versus commercial this whole process I should say so government is very strict policies on on how they have to essentially buy from the public right they have to go out for quotes right and that first process is doing an RFI and actually for them to identify particular vendors that that are going to fit the bill right and then from there once they've created at RFI and they've gotten responses back they now have their initial data to go back and say hey we need a budget for this these are the reasons why right and then they move it over into an art piece now they get the proposals or the quotes and that way they can finally get into that and decision select the vendor have their contract negotiations and then make that that announcement of who the actual Thunder is for that are yeah ah now on RFI's what do you typically see or what is best practice should you ask for pricing information on an RFI an RFI you typically don't see pricing information on an RFI it doesn't mean that you can't ask for it but expect it to be a very high level because you're not giving you're keeping it very short right and you want to make it a short process for that so don't expect the pricing the whole tree when it gets to an RFP where there's more detail and now we start to uncover more things that need to be done and there's more Jocasta that weren't in the inside of that RFI well let's kind of get into the meat of things and talk about what you need to do to ensure the success of a good purchase process I guess and the overall timeline how long does the whole thing tend to take from what you're saying with your client what I typically see especially in the HCM industry is we typically see about a two to three month turnaround from a project planning point of view meaning you're trying to figure out what do we need right you're planning out your knees you're drafting up your your RFP which is giving it all the information we'll talk more of what's included in there in a little bit here too as well to going out to sharing it to the different vendors to the vendors responding and then you're going in and doing the reviews and also doing demos and then you're into your final decision right so it takes about a two to three month timeframe to actually go through that entire process if you're doing it effectively now I'm speaking from HCM it could be shorter for other pieces of software right you know in part of it just ends on the complexity of what you're buying and that's really going to determine what that timeline is going to be but you need to make sure you do your planning right because that's very important in anything that you do really you know if we whatever I kind of look at this as you're creating a report from scratch to find what you want right and that's kind of what I look at this as an RFP you have a project to find what you want but then also give the pieces of information that are needed so that you can get the right responses and have a good way of identifying who's a good vendor is not pork okay well when it's time to get started let's look at what are the first few steps you gotta do to get gone what you want to define who your point of contact is right who's going to be that go-to person where all the vendors go to to ask questions to send out communication to the vendors to really be that the facilitator of even down to the demo stage of this is what's expected this is we're scheduling etc have one point of contact don't have multiples because you're going to end up having too many mixed information from too many different people right absolutely you also want to have a selection committee too so it's not just one person makes the decision you want to have stakeholders that are part of that process who are going to be using that that piece of software you want them as part of that selection committee because they're alternately going to be using you want their buy-in so you want them to have a saying yeah this is going to work for us or to know this is gonna work for us because if you leave it up to one person or one group that doesn't they don't know everything that goes on in every department and how that's going to work for that part right that's why you put together a committee now it doesn't have to be a 59 committee right you still want to keep it to a small group but just make sure you have key stakeholders part of that you also need to set up your timelines right and you want to identify you know hey this is when we're starting the project this is one we're expecting the RFP to be sent out this is the timeframe for questions this is the timeframe for responses this is a timeframe for reviewing and selecting finalists for demos etc so you want to set up what your due dates are so that everybody knows what to expect it holds you accountable to those dates it also holds the vendors to those states as well right I'll stop your bunch of parameters get an idea for what you're willing to spend for the project as well because if you find out that hey all of these are we overpriced we don't have a budget for it then this project can't exists right or I need to go and figure out how to get more funding to actually think this work right and finally you do want to do research on various vendors you know you can if you ever watch what we do in the shadows google it right here you can go in and find vendors in different industries so you know it's easy to do those searches to find them but then you also it's okay it's not enough just to find the vendors and say hey they do this right call them talk them get some product brochures on do a little research of your own about that company and see if are they really a vendor that that might work for me or am I wasting my time with that yeah I definitely agree with that you definitely want to call those vendors talk to the get your sales person if each vendor yes you're going to have to talk to a sales person but you need that contact because you'll see down the road why you need that contact because you're going to have to be able to send them your RFP you'll also need to like Johnson you got to get that budget information otherwise you really don't have a clue how what kind of questions or what kind of criteria to give them so that they can give you a price properly if you don't understand how this piece of software price right and it's also why it's important to talk to the vendors too ahead of time so that you can understand these are the pieces of information that's needed to price it out because if you don't know and you're just saying you know give me a price you kind of want to know how are people pricing it that way I can set up some sort of a form factor of identifying pricing so I can look at everything evenly across Mary absolutely so you got to get educated the other thing too I thought of that we don't have on here but is a good thing is when you meet with that committee and whoever the point of contact is probably typically the year of this whole process you do need a leader ah because there's just too much coordination and decision-making and to be done but you need to spell out probably from an executive champion what is the vision what are we trying to do here what are we trying to accomplish so that everybody's on the same page because as you have different stakeholders involved people have their own priorities based on what they're looking for and so you need the executive to say now this is why we are looking at this and doing the therapy and this is what the company needs to accomplish so these are our goals this is how you need to go forward and then after that executive speaks probably establish some ground rules in terms of when you're talking to vendors or keep demos and things like that we'll talk more about that but I think that executive Championships and vision is very important so that everybody gets on the same page okay so let's get a little bit more into project planning what do you think it's better John you say you start today and say okay based on what we need to do we can have a go live date this time or do you start with your desired go live dates and work backwards for me I think it's important start with your go live date you know when do you want to start when do you want to have this this piece of product live and up and running right and when you can decide on that you can work your way back and identify okay it's going to take you know approximately you know a month for negotiations it's going to take a week for the final answer et cetera so you can work your back way back and identify is my goal life date rationale right it is it is it's something that can be met or not and if it can't be met now I know that now I can see okay this is what it's going to take now we can figure out exactly okay I need to move everything by a month or two because it's a couple extra months that I that I originally thought it would be once I actually did that planning that's why I think looking at it from the go-live date first is the best practice so that you can work back and say yeah I'm in line with this or no I'm not I got push it out and if you do have to push it out then now you go live date as well yeah so in this here we talk about you know you're going out you're distributing your RFP in the the first one you set the date you get a let's say you get a bunch in right um but then look at that bullet number four vendor finalists notification so and then you go on from there so what is the pot maybe the right amount that you kind of want to start with and then what do you want to narrow it down to process so you don't want to have 30 right that's just too much information to look at you still you want to keep it to a big enough group where it's manageable because it what happens is when you get too much data you're we're trying to look at too much data you end up putting things together that aren't there right so if you keep it to about five to seven vendors to start with you narrow it down to three you're looking at small chunks of data to make your decision so it becomes more manageable in terms of I don't have to communicate with twenty people I don't have to communicate with five to seven people and guess what there may be vendors that say you know what there's things in this RFP that we can't eat or out guess what you have the ability to go in and find enough replacement for them right so keeping it at that small amount it's probably if it's really your your best bet because the other thing is that you have to review all this information as well right it's not just they fill out an RFP and then all of a sudden by magic I know whether the right Thunder is no you have to go through that data and we'll talk about how to how to manage that in more effective way as well here in a little bit by using scorecards to really help identify that just to make it easy on yourself right and we'll talk about some of that stuff here so what happens though if you don't get enough initial request for Proposal well the great thing about this is that this is your RFP right you have the ability to make a modification but you have to be fair about it right so if you say hey I only had two people respond I'm really looking to have at least five people obviously you want to go out find those additional vendors but that may also have you push out you know when responses are due because now you're finding the vendors and pushing it out you want to be able to extend that out and let the vendors know ahead of time more than just the day of that hey we're extending it out right is that common courtesy of hey this is what's happening you know we haven't seen enough responses and we're extending it out okay well let's talk a little bit about then actually putting that RFP together what are some of the key components that you see over and over again that tend to work nicely so what I find that's great is that you want to give an introduction about your company what does your company do what what's your some of your core values because sometimes you're looking at core values of your vendor as well as core values from you to make a right match right so you want to see that type of information you also want to give a purpose why why is this going out to art why are we doing this right we also want to give scope of works identify this is what we're trying to get out of this piece of software right and then you also give them the schedule of dates you can include an NDA or company confidentiality statement in there also giving clear-cut instructions on how you want that RFP to be constructed but don't make it so convoluted if--like I saw one last month that I read through it I had no idea how they wanted to construct the RFP in response or in fact right make it clear for the vendor and let them know that this is how we want to see it come back and there's great ways of doing that one is you can we'll talk about again this more a little bit later but you can have a PDF with your introduction and company profile and all of that and then you give them an Excel spreadsheet to fill out for everything that they need to fill out right and then also tell which order needs to go in if it's if you're if you have additional documents that need to be signed ah fine tell me which order you want to see it that way again it's that same process for everybody everybody's got all the same information you're all looking at it the same just follow those things right but you actually also we need to know about that vendor profile you can ask for financial information don't expect it to get it from private privately held companies you know it's something that they're they're willing to give it to you but they're not going to give it to you on our right and they'll typically give it to you later on in the process that they are finalists but don't let that scare you if they don't give you their financial information it's just a you know they're privately held the kind of hold on that as closely as possible right now you also won't need to know and add in their product functionality can the product function or have the functionality that I need right so you're spelling out exactly what your needs are we'll talk about that one look at scorecards and functionality and how to process that also you may want to know about the technology and security processes and things like that also important is what's their implementation strategy right and again the more information you give the better they are to include a an implementation timeline for you depth specific for you based off of what they're seeing right now today now that is an estimate things change right new customers are being added on implementation teams shorten up with with resources so you can expect you know at least the timeframe in terms of the number of days or weeks or whatever it is to to accomplish it stay the same but maybe the dates changed like right in you work with your vendor to get as close that go live data as possible but part of that is also the vendor has to look at you know when you're expect to go live data is and your decision press and identify that yeah this is a feasible timeframe to implement or no it's not because extend it out and they need to be upfront honest with you on that as well right and then customer references this is not something it's not something to expect a customer to or a vendor to give to you in an RFP and plus you're not calling on those references anyways if they haven't made it to the spinals right when they get to the finals ask for customer references then right and at that point have the vendor facilitate the call for you as well not that they're going to be on the call but have them say hey let's let schedule that call for me with these references that way you let them facilitate that call and schedule it out for you without you having to reach out to that that that reference because vendors don't want to bug their customers for customer references and when you add it to an RFP and they have no idea when this is going to happen you can give them a warning that hey you know I included this you as a reference for this RFP but don't expect a call you know until a couple months out right that's not fair to that customer they're going to forget because that's not as important for them but also you may never call them anyways so set the expectations that hey you know if you make into the finals expect to for for you to give us a customer references and then also we expect you to kind of facilitate that the schedule goes out right yeah what you can do with deception instead of in the RFP asking for the specific names ask about their install base how many customers do you have where they located which industries verticals you know don't expect that up they have a hundred percent of your type of industry that they're doing there might be serving multiple but it's nice to understand what industries they play in because that'll tell you the skills with their people behind the software and what they know so that's really what I would do with that one yeah and then obviously pricing and cost of expectations right because you need to you know what this is going to cost me crying ok so you need you need obviously include that in our processes and again the more data you give the customer the better they can price it for you what about training where would us then to explain training I would explain training in the implementation process because that's going to really be where the Train should happen training shouldn't happen after go-live training should happen free goal live where people are getting trained on the system so that are getting comfortable with it and that's going to be during that process it is nice to understand what kind of train is available to you afterwards because you're always you have people leave and you want to be able to retrain them so the training is important so just to emphasize a couple points that introduction and company profile is very critical as John said because that's where the vendors are going to understand your configuration and they can envision what's the kind of house are their solutions will meet your requirements because they just say seniority type of company over and over again so you give them some key facts about your number of employees in your sites in your locations and so on and so on it depends on the RFP that's important it's probably also what they're going to use to price their proposal off of and so that's important whatever you've learned in your initial research of holiday price make sure you're giving them those those criteria in this introduction in the company profile piece and then the other thing is when you ask them for pricing different vendors price different ways they may price by seat they may price by per employee per month by license or whatever and that will get really hard for you when you're trying to evaluate one person's price over another so use something that can't change such as what's my bottom line monthly cost you know that then to make sure that they explain that to you so that if I have X number of employees and you're selling buy seats and I know my monthly cost is this or if it's some other way so what is the monthly cost but get to that monthly cost so that you have a very definite number that you can compare from one vendor right and you may also want to go there what's the first year cause second year cost their gear costs or things like that because if they have maintenance fees that are yearly or things like that you want to know that again so that you can compare things side-by-side and understand exactly yeah this is what the cost is going to be or this is higher or lower and I have something that's comparable all right well we're going to dive more into the whole product functionality and how do you get that information back because that's obviously the key part of the RFP so how do you recommend setting it up John so the way I like to see this when I'm reviewing an RFP and I'll give you the reason why I like to see it this way is I like to know what's required what's a nice to have or love to have and once I'd like to have right so um and the reason for that is is that when I'm going to that process I start to understand more about your business so it's not just that front information number of employees and you know all that other you know what what's my company do and all that it's also when you're looking at the features as a thunder you're starting identify ok this is what they're looking for right now you can start to form a basis of everything that they're looking for and it's also letting the vendor know these are things that are very important to me right this is required and say I have a hundred things that are that are required and I can only do 50 others right as a vendor you know what that tells me this is probably not a good fit I'm going to bow out right and that's why it's nice to show that information because again that vendor is start starting to know more about your business and what kind of functionality are looking for and what you're telling them this is required this is a nice to have right and so it's just it's helpful for the vendor it's also helpful for you because you know what just what's required for you and you can also score these in the right way as well very important piece so when you set it up like this you kind of you need to get even more information than from the vendor and the feature set that they're providing how do you recommend they answer your requirements statements so have have a set of obviously this is part of the instructions right you want to set what are the values when they're actually filling out that that sheet right you know is it standard for the system is it on a roadmap it's something is it not developed yet but it is on the roadmap is there some customization that's going to be needed I've even seen some that are you know it's configurable by the customer so so again this is up to you and how you want them to respond but these are some of the ones that I see that are good it just helps identify yeah this is standard or system it's great move on future to the roadmap you know customization and they're going to fill out the codes there right the comment allows that vendor to extrapolate on something that says you know it's a future on the roadmap okay great why does it do that's something that you can actually ask and have as part of the instructions say hey if its future indicate when it's expected to come out right or if it's a customization you know describe what that customization might look like right so it gives you that additional information and you may see something that says that they'd answer a standard they still enter a comment because they want to clarify it because sometimes that requirement it's a gray area it's not simply a yes or no it yeah it can work but it works in this way right it's still really a standard feature but as a vendor I want you to know this ahead of time because I feel feel it's important for you know that this is how we're going to so so from this point let's let's put ourselves in a scenario right and now we have let's say six different RFPs came in you now have to take what the product functionality this spreadsheet of all these requirements and how the vendors answered them and you have to do some sort of scoring and you have to basically to come up with a number but not everything is created equal here right so if if you look at the the top box if something is standard alright they say it's standard in the system and you said it's required you got to have that's worth a lot of points where as something that you would just like to have and maybe you would have to have it customized and spend money on it it's not worth its lesser points it's not it's not as ideal right so this is there's a lot of ways to do this this is just one idea of one recommendation of how you could score all of these coming back on this product functionality piece and you can see here we awarded points based on this table so if the then of you said this feature I love to have which is that middle column would love to love to have it not required but we love it and the vendor comes back and says well it's going to be on our roadmap in the next six months well that's for some point so that's worth four points whereas if you said it's love to have and they've got it today that's worth more points to you so it's a five yeah I mean essentially what you're doing is going to sound technical but you're creating an album right but the great thing about Excel is that and we'll talk about why Excel is so powerful for these is that your Krita sexually there's algorithms for the calculation of saying hey if it's standard is required it's this point you can even say that hey if it's if it's required it's this many points into the love to have it's this many points you know this is the highest point tool to like to have it this is the highest point total and then you can say by the way and have Excel calculate all this you know if it's standard it's 100% of the points if it's future is 80% of the points it's a it's customizations it's 40% of the points or whatever that is so you have the ability to adjust that based on what you want it to be but ultimately what you're doing with the score card is you're making it easy on yourself too many times I've seen RFPs come in and the vendor is just looking at question and answer the entire rp1 I hate filling those out we just got to get it out there I know I am absolutely as a vendor I hate filling it out as the and I can only imagine the person on the other end reading it they have to read through five of these and these could end up being 20-30 pages change that's a lot to go through right so when you actually create these scorecards and having the vendor just fill out you know Lee hey this is a standard feature you know etc and you assign these points to it what you're ending up doing is you're actually creating a very non biased view into the vendor and identifying hey these are my total points possible this vendor has 18 guess what they're you know they're their number two on my list another vendor has 20 points right so it allows you to identify based off my point totals this vendor is going to work out very well for me based off of my requirements whereas these bottom three you know they're at you know seven points that's really not going to work out I can I can eliminate people very easily just by looking at their score right without having to read a novel 5 so exactly yeah yeah so definitely something to be learned from us seeing so many of them on how some people are just asking for a lot of pain yeah it's okay to to ask you know hey give an overview of this portion of the product right it's okay to ask for that but that that's more for just added bonus to identify okay this is what it feels like or how they're explaining it and then now these are the requirements can they handle them right you still want to ask those requirements you know can you do this yes great no you can't okay great you know you scored in an appropriate way just makes it easier for you to evaluate you know five vendors or five and thunders versus reading pros now and there's really no reason to ask them anything that you can't read on their website either so it and I'm not just saying that because of its offender but if you ask some basic basic questions they are going they're marketing people will just basically cut and paste it for marketing collateral which you can read somewhere that's again why you have to get down to the future stuff and get into things that are not covered on public places right and that's also why you might do an RFI first before the r2p because you just don't know what those feature sets you're looking for hmm and that's why you would do an RFI where it's just more general you're not avoiding anybody any contracts there you're just gathering information right so from here once you come you basically take your card and you figure out for everybody what their points are on each requirement so each line item and then you total it up and then you're going to total it up by each section so for instance in a human capital management RP and I know some of you are on the in the webinar today because you're looking at our piece for other areas but take each section of your RFP and do a total points possible what's possible there and a total points what they earned all right so you have it for each section because you're probably going to want to refer back to that where did they score high where did they score score lower which categories of your are see yeah and that's also important identify - okay well this is our strong suit they've got they hit every point possible in this particular category and then you can also add weighted averages into it as well because maybe certain functionality or sections should be weighted more than others right and you can actually create that again Excel is great for this to be able to just do these calculations for you but you can also do weighted averages to get you a point total that way as well exactly so from here just thinking on the left-hand side before you you basically need that to read your RFP and you read your your product functionality and how they've done right I believe done an acceleration you've got that so but we wanted to take it just a little bit farther from because you want it you want to look at the whole thing you're going to evaluate them on other things besides that functionality you're going to evaluate them so now I'm looking at the right-hand box you're going to evaluate them on price you're going to evaluate them on maybe service training education you're going to evaluate them on the demo that you asked them to see something and you're going to end up evaluate them on their basic vendor profile what's their install base like are they easy to do business with are they located in your geography whatever is important to you so you're going to have these different categories and a John was the same that's probably where you want to do your weighting and oftentimes vendors will tell us and I'm vendors excuse me hunt companies will tell us what they're waiting for is going to be they'll tell us the rubrics those of you that have children so they get a rubric for every you know research paper they do they'll tell you what the rubric system so if price is like a major major decision tell them if it's service if it's function or whatever you don't have to disclose them but some do so then you weight each one now what we did here in this example as you can see we took the score of the product functionality one that John just walked you through and they had a score this vendor had a score of 451 so that's the points they received follow the blue line the blue row here 451 points in product functionality and we weighted it 25% of the overall category so then it really is only worth one hundred and twelve point seven five points okay and that's how then we can you can do that now we gave you an indication of how to figure out product functionality we don't have time today to say okay how do you give them scores for pricing how do you give them scores for service and demo and so on but you need to decide that upfront right what are you going to look at pricing is it just bottom-line price monthly cost is it contract length whatever so look at that when it comes to demo have your demo piece of paper for all your stakeholders ready so that they know what they're listening for during the demo to check off for and that you can get a score but what it was key is that then you can apply the the weights and you can come up with total scores so that you can decide who is better or not better okay all right so we talked about a lot of things but this is kind of a nice summary should you use and don't what are the top ones that come to your mind um like I said about the question and answer don't do that please don't like I said it's not fun for the vendor it's not fun for you to read through all of that um when you send out your RFP the portions that you want somebody to fill out don't send it out in a PDF form right it's hard for people to export that out to Word to excel to get in the right formats for you so it's okay to set up your instructions and your company profile and that information in a PDF and quite frankly that should probably be sent out in a PDF because you don't want them changing that um but anytime they're filling something out you know have them do it out of an Excel spreadsheet that's the easiest way as we talked about that score carding the easiest way to do score cards for them as well based off of product functionality just makes it very easy um you know using word you're not going to get that type of you know access to be able to do formulas in there and things like that and if you can do it it's very tedious and cumbersome it's just a lot easier to do it out of Excel um also um there are other formats as well you know we talked about Excel they'll be able to have them fill it out there are tools online that you can actually use you a tool that I've used in the past is our 365 where you can upload your entire RFP in there so it'll give the instructions it'll do the waiting for you does all of that for you all on that all online and you can actually just send out that link out to the vendors to let them know that hey there's an RFP out right don't just use out-of-the-box templates because I and this is a common mistake I've seen is art pieces come in and I'm reviewing things and I see that this customer is asking them this is just an example they're asking you know how do you handle global payroll and I'm go to their website and I see that they're nowhere near anything in terms of global in terms of payroll why are you asking this question right and you know you ask them that I'm like are you are you do you have global payroll they say no that was just something that was out of the temple michael capable read through what you're using and remove what's not important cuz you confuse your vendor and then it will get bad responses exactly um you know customize your sections that include things that are important for you take the time to identify what your requirements are versus your like two halves are nice to have things like that um you know and like I said don't be afraid to use cloud software tools for uploading that data as well okay well once you do that you've got to get the word out that you want people to respond to the RFP how do you see it come across your guests um so there's different ways right so one there an email can be sent out to the different vendors but again you want to research who that contact is right with your sales person right because ultimately they're gonna be responsible for that RFP and making sure it gets completed they may not be the ones filling out that RFP but they're going to be in charge of ensuring that it gets back okay post it out on your webpage make an announcement on your webpage you know have it out there so that anybody can can sign up for don't let that be the only way that people find out right talk about researching and creating a list of vendors um that's that's that's that's the way you've got to do it if I it is the best way yeah um identify who that contact person is for each vendor right who are you sending it out to who-who are going to be following up with um try to make it as easy as possible to find maybe you can share it on social media as well hey we have an RFP out there follow up to write that's awesome you know also important to follow up with the vendors and say hey you know it's a few days before I haven't heard anything from you do you have any questions right um excuse me you know also important is identifying you know is the vendor going to respond or not right because the sooner you can find that out the sooner you know whether you have to find a replacement for that right so you know follow up with them and find out hey are you going to search spot you know and make it fair right if you find if you do have to do replacement one extend it out make it fair give that new vendor the time to properly fill out that RFP there are so many times I've seen rfp's come in that and they're due two days later and it's hard for for for companies to fill those out in that type of time right right so if that does happen be sure to be nice and extended out and extend everybody's due date obviously it's going to change your timeline a little and again it's okay if you're to your art you need to make those modifications so one thing that happens often is people the vendors have questions honey thinks the best way to handle questions personally I think it's better so when you have your point of contact right so having that point of contact where all those questions come to is is important now you have just one person facilitating it versus multiple right identify when the questions are due the last time somebody can ask a question right and when you do that you're able to gather all the questions and then you send out one email to everybody letting everybody know what the responses are to out all those questions fair playing field right that's what we're looking for with an RFP is in fair playing field you want to have all the answers and all the questions that were asked by all the vendors you want to know what those all of those responses as well another thing you may even think about is having set time print periods where you hold an actual meeting and all of the different vendors can show up and they can ask their questions live right there then right it's another thing that can be done ultimately it's up to you on how you want to handle those questions you may start to get questions after that due date and guess what if you're getting a lot of questions you can extend that question period out but again make sure everybody knows this right it's creating that equal playing field so that everybody knows that hey we've just extended questions out an extra five days please get all your questions in and we'll be sure to get them answered and let them know how quickly you're going to answer those questions as well right so if it's hey it's Dubai all the questions are due by 11:30 and we're going to respond to them by December 3rd right let them know what what they can expect it's just that courtesy again let them know that yeah we're taking this serious and we're going to respond to your questions at this time because all the times they can't put their solution together until those questions are in they usually play a huge role and vendors want to not only get their questions answered they want to see what other people are asking right and sometimes those questions come in because there are being used for pricing purposes as well all right yeah well we're getting close to the top of our hour I think this slide really helps wrap up a lot of the things that we talked about today you want to just summarize some of the two things you want to make sure everybody on the phone walks away with yeah so obviously important pieces actually you know planning out your RFP right and that is actually fighting the right vendors right and setting those RFP out to those vendors then it's actually scoring the vendors and how you can score them and appropriately identify in a non-biased way who is the right vendor there was a right likely choice for vendor in here all right select your finalist plan those finalists to do demos right have scheduled timeframes for those Devils don't schedule demos back-to-back don't schedule demos on the same day the reason for that is is that if you're going to a demo one right after another you're going to melt or or murders things together that you shouldn't you really want to have that clear-cut distinction between the two because your person that's evaluating even though you're giving it a sheet to evaluate they may think oh wait did I see that in this or did I see that in the other one so it becomes hard for them to to really evaluate that right um and then you know finally when you select your finals because those customer references at that point have that vendor facilitate those calls with those references as well make it easy for you right but the onus back on the on defender to set that up for you exactly I think talking about references we actually have a slide on it for those of you that want to kind of keep some of these tips we will send out the slides to everybody on the line but definitely you know get those references it's kind of like a just-in-time when you're ready to talk to the key people your final selections go get those references at that time yeah some that I've seen being used more and more is actual video references as well right yeah so it's not so much that you get to ask the questions but you get to see that you know ahead of time hey this is a reference this is what they have to say about the company it's also good to see the person there that's giving that reference and are telling you about how they've experienced that vendor right not telling you to not you know call a personnel to do a reference that way but just consider doing a video reference as well as its upper option mm-hmm now when it comes to the vendor presentation uh what are some of the tips that you have there then those can be tiring yeah so I've seen I've seen customers that they they have a scripted demo they tell you this is what I want to see and this is what I want to see it guess what your vendor knows how to demo the product they know how to have it flow from one to the other to make it look at its best light and that's also what your try and see yes you want to see certain pieces of functionality that's why you have a questionnaire for each person that's in that demo so they can mark off yes I saw this or no I didn't but also give them a requisite of these are the things that we're looking to see in a demo right but don't tell them exactly how they're going to demo it to you right because you still want to give them the freedom to to present to you in what in the best light possible right that's that's their time to shine but also they're going to make sure that they mark out that yeah I hit this point I hit this items I hit this point right and by giving them them hey these are you need to specify the requirements that you're looking for as well let them figure out how to add us demo too right that's really on them to figure that out ask for them to record it as well so that you can go back to it right you may not have all the people in the room for the presentation right record it that is critical because after you hear three or four you're going to get confused but if you have a recording to hear it again it could really be the make or break of you know did you make the right decision selection or not right you also want to identify how are we going to handle questions during the demo right and you know what what suggest our timeframes for for the kind of say that loosely you can suggest timeframes for different things to cover what if the vendor comes back and tells you no actually it's going to take me this time much time to do this go with that but you can you can work questions for each one of those sections and just have time for and say hey once we get to the end of this section it's five minutes of questions right or you can say hold all questions until the end and then we're going to ask those questions right and if you leave it to lead to the end to me I kind of have mixed feedback with that if you know you have somebody who I don't the word is but they're they're kind of taking it take over the the meeting and they're just asking question after question question if you know you'd have somebody like that then you know maybe waiting until the end is the best choice for a because you don't want to derail the demo based off of that one person asking a million questions and there are people that will do that and then your other stakeholders don't get to see get enough time in their section right I don't know what the best way of saying yeah and we talked about yes so no you know your audience and know your selection committee and how you think they're going to act and what their behavior is going to be during the demos yeah and then I'll help you decide how you're really going to to handle questions just let the vendor know you know how the questions are going to be handled and the vendor may tell you like hey you know what I prefer to have all questions at the end of the demo just yeah because they might be on a roll on or they may have be presenting a story to you and you don't get to see the whole picture until the end so give some flexibility there to give them so that they can give you the best presentation they can then don't forget a scorecard for that presentation so you have a scorecard you know for that RFP and for those features but you probably need something different for the demonstration so everybody's listening for certain things yeah yeah all right common things to avoid one last time what do you want to leave for tips you know keep in constant contact with with the different vendors also if you do contact them I think it's best to do a BCC to copy everybody so that you're not giving away everybody's email address just copying everybody I see I seen responses back to questions where they just show you everybody that was on there and yeah that's not a good idea don't don't let them together all the vendors there kinda want to respect privacy there um you know expect to get questions from the vendors that we and they're asking the questions because something isn't clear right and if something isn't cleared they're wanting that that additional information answer those questions again you can decide how you want to answer the questions but you make sure you answer the questions to all the vendors not just the one that asked a question just to be fair to everybody do expect meas for sharing financials from a privately held company expect that from them don't expect them to just put out there with their financials are don't require the RFP to be delivered via a hard copy or cd-rom I think I mean I'm one of the very few that those have a cd-rom on my computer most people have laptops now and CD ROMs are not part of laptops anymore they're typically an extra peripheral don't expect it to super brown um you know talk about being able to do it online or if they are going to send it in they can email it in they can send you a USB stick most employers he drives up or just ports available to them you know make it an easy as possible you can even just decide on a Dropbox folder that you want to drop them off to the individual vendors that they go in to drop it off there but just you know a hard copy and a cd-rom one you're wasting paper with the hard copies to a cd-rom you're it's hard to find a let's call seedy brighter brighter anymore yeah so go electronic yeah we're in the year 2018 yeah try to be as fair as possible be objective you know be fair to all the vendors that's why there's our VPS because you're trying to have a non bias with you towards every Thunder trying to give everybody a fair shot at that to be your customer right you're trying to give them that fair shot and attach any additional documentation that that need to be shared a summary of required documents for the Thunder no give them all the information that they also on due dates don't specify behind you know what people work now you know I won't say 24/7 but they work late they work later than 3:00 p.m. all right I've seen people say that they need a hard copy delivered by 2:00 p.m. on this date why you know just say end a day right just you're being used yeah yeah the other thing you can think of too is you can say that you will have a dark period after the RFP is submitted and that you will not be talking to vendors or answering any more questions you'll you know anything you'll put out you put out to everybody we are now evaluating we will have our in selection at this time that's okay to do that you know instead of you you don't want to salespeople calling you yeah and one more thing to add as well as communicate to everybody you know not just a finalist an orange prison when you make your final selection communicate to the finalists obviously but also communicate to the ones that have it made it it's just common courtesy to let them know that hey you know you didn't get make the final final list right and you can leave it at that and just and move on if you want to give an explanation explanation but just at least give them the the notification that hey you didn't write right exactly well we are out of time and I don't see any questions so thank you John very much you know I think I hopefully everybody on the line get some good information from today so thank you for joining me yeah thanks for shaman thank you everybody that joins us today so this is kind of a fun topic for us because it's not one of our norms but we thought it would be an interesting one to do just because we see so many different RFPs and the issue our peas ourselves here that we thought it was it would be a great topic to cover because we see so many times that things come in you're just kind of scratching your head how is this person going to evaluate all these defenders based off this RFP all right so so thank you again yes so at the end of today you're going to get a short survey it's just a couple questions on let us know if you'd like to know more about us and --pay systems again we are in HR technology provider we provide workforce management and payroll HR solutions and we would love to help you so we actually do have other jobs and John does demonstrations all the time so he would love to be able to take you through our system and our our full suite of solutions to help folks also afterwards you will be able to get a copy of the slides we'll be sending that out and we'll also be sending you information about an RFP I guess it's an e-book that will help you understand how to put an RFP together so that's a nice follow-up that's coming along and everybody will get that so hopefully you'll enjoy that again on the screen here you can see our full list of solutions and modules that we have everything from applicant tracking to HR benefits time and labor payroll and performance management again at ipe systems we would love to be your partner in providing you your HR technology hopefully we can talk to you again thanks for your time today have a great rest easier day goodbye
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