Managing the tender process Plan, Plan, Plan

Managing the tender process Plan, Plan, Plan

Leading on from our last article – Replacing your CRM/CMS – steps for success, the next step is to run an impartial and focused tender process.  Below you will find our thoughts and ideas on how to make this a success.

As we mentioned previously the Discovery phase is key, investment in this step will pay dividends now.  The tender must align with your business requirements focusing on both short and long-term goals across the organisation.  Choosing a supplier based on assumptions and not facts sets you up for a bumpy ride. The top four operational challenges stated in Memberwise digital excellence survey 2019, were all related to technology  – inadequate integration, multiple databases, lack of personalisation and integrated systems not meeting requirements – all this is within your grasp to resolve, with a structured approach.

The Planning Phase – 6 steps

1) Every question on the tender must add value to your final decision, use the business requirements to govern this process. There is no upper or lower limit when it comes to the number of questions but if they are adding value to the final decision, they are worthwhile.

2) Research suppliers, based on peer reviews, forum research, secret shopping etc… understand the good, the bad and the ugly. The importance here is to be open-minded, there will always be frustrated clients – but this is not always the supplier’s fault! Don’t be biased by new technology; focus on the business requirements and then look for what fits your business. This industry has a fairly select list of suppliers, if needed, don’t be afraid to widen your search.

3) Be open with your budgets from the start – this will help you gauge the focus you will get depending on the size of the project, but also ensure that you get a realistic response to the tender.

4) After investing in the planning allow the suppliers time to respond, depending on the complexity we would recommend a minimum of 3 weeks. This will allow the suppliers time to evaluate the questions and ensure that they fully understand and align with the project. Ultimately a win win for you.

5) There will be questions from the suppliers during the response process, collect these together and we would recommend replying to all once a week with the answers. This ensures that you continue to have a level playing field across all suppliers.

6) Creating a simple scoring system helps with the general review, especially if all the panel is aligned and looking out for key areas. Remember it is not as simple as the highest score wins, but it will help drive the discussion and review across the panel keeping a focus on boxes that must be ticked.

Ensuring you have a level playing field is key and this will help you make the final decisions. We will provide some thoughts on selecting a supplier in our next update.  Think through the interview day with care, while logistics of the day are sometimes left to the last minute – they are key to ensure that you get the best review. If you have done the preparation work, this process falls into place.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help, while this step can be quite time consuming – it will be worthwhile and help you make a balanced decision on your digital future.

If you want to read some more of our thoughts and advice on your digital journey we have created articles designed to focus on the key areas.

Business requirements for your new CRM/CMS solution
Supplier Selection
Managing the project from end to end
The Last Mile
Data empowers decision making

Chrysalis Digital provides a digital transformation service designed to help build a more agile, efficient and innovative organisation. With its broad cross-sector experience Chrysalis has helped many organisations map their digital path and through careful planning and assessment, choose the right technology partners.   Chrysalis Digital is 100% agnostic when recommending CMS and CRM suppliers to its clients.

If you need any help with the next steps in your journey please call Ben Sturt on 07469 768990 or email

06 December 2018

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