By Staff Report
Oct. 20, 2020
Workforce.com has a steady flow of requests for proposal (RFP) from companies looking for a new workforce management software solution. So we decided to help make the process even easier by offering a complete workforce management RFP template that can easily be edited and used for finding the right vendor for your organization.
Parts of this template are specific to workforce management systems, but it can also be adjusted for any type of software search.
This process is tough for companies seeking new software, but it can also be long and complicated for the solution providers. The key to making it a smooth process for all parties involved and shortening the time spent trying to cut through the clutter is to make the initial RFP as simple and direct as possible without leaving any important details out.
Below is a shortened version of what we included in the template, but we are also providing the full template available for download and use here: Workforce Management Software RFP Template
Your workforce management RFP template should include the following:
Background and current process
Give the vendors a description of your company mission, the business challenge you are trying to solve with a new software vendor, and what is and is not working about your current process if applicable.
Be sure to include key dates, submission requirements, and contact information early on. A vendor will likely come back to this over and over as they prepare their response, so it’s efficient to keep the top priority information front and center.
General terms and conditions
This is never the fun part, but it’s important to make your liability and expectations clear. If you have standard legal language, include as much as you can here to cover yourself.
Desired business outcomes and stakeholders to consider
Listing a precise business outcome and how it will be measured will help vendors speak directly to what matters to you most. Also providing a list of stakeholders and their titles allows the vendor to help you with change management and upselling the solution to all your colleagues involved with this project.
How will you help us achieve this outcome? (character count limit)
This question can help create an executive summary of each vendor’s solution for you to help speed up the selection process. Including a character count will make it more manageable so that the vendors stick to their high-level selling points instead of rehashing all of their features to you again.
Identify current solution and what you want to be different in the next provider
This is an important point if you’re looking to replace an existing solution. You’ll want to include any required software integrations, hardware requirements, and unique needs to your workforce or locations.
All you need here is a simple, straightforward list of payroll software, HCM software, and other relevant software for vendors to use to self-qualify themselves in or out quickly.
If you have any qualifications for the type of company you want to work with, include that here. Do they need to have experience operating in certain countries? Do they need to be a certain size? Do they need any specific certifications? Is there anything unique about your billing process that needs to be observed?
This is where you put your giant wish list. Be as detailed as possible and just use an excel worksheet or Google spreadsheet to keep track of the answers. This can be the most tedious part, but it’s your chance to involve the other stakeholders so that you don’t get major objections on the vendors late in the game.
Ask vendors to provide a screenshot of the platform whenever possible
This is a quick way to assess the user experience. If a vendor checks all the boxes but their system is outdated and hard to navigate, that will make your job of user adoption that much more difficult.
Links to reviews
You can’t just take a vendor’s word for how things will go once you choose their solution. You can always ask for referrals, but a good first step is to see what type of public reviews they have. Trusted industry analyst firms like Gartner and software review sites are helpful but don’t forget to also search for frontline worker reviews in the App store or Google Play store. Sometimes they tell a different story.
Links to case studies
This is your chance to directly ask about their experience and success with companies like yours.
RFP timeline and project timeline
Set expectations with a chart like the one below. This will cut down on unwanted status questions from all the vendors you contact as you work through your process.
|Issuance of RFP||[Issue date]|
|Questions about RFP due||[Question deadline]|
|Response to questions distributed||[Answers distributed]|
|Response to RFP due||[Closing date]|
|Respondents notified regarding participation in Phase 2||[Phase 2 notify date]|
|Presentations at [company location]||[Demo date]|
|Selected vendor notified||[Award notify date]|
Implementation schedule or time to value of your solution
You need to know whether implementation of this new software will take a month or a year. This is where you can require vendors to give you a high level view of what their implementation process will look like to see if it matches your organization’s culture. You should also ask if they have an estimate on time to value. If their solution promises to provide you time or cost savings, how long might it be before you start to see that value promise realized?
Security and risk
This is often discussed later in the process, but adding it in the RFP will save you from getting your hopes up about a solution that will be rejected by your IT team later.
You can leave this open ended if you like, since there is always room for negotiation. But if you want a specific breakdown of the pricing based on your use case, it’s faster to just provide that info upfront.
Proposal evaluation criteria
This should differ based on a company’s unique needs, but the following is a good sample of what to keep in mind: