Three reasons to skip an HRMS RFP

Distributing a Request for Proposal (RFP) to multiple vendors in search of an HRMS has been a process that many organizations have been practicing for years. The intent of the RFP is to help organization leaders compare and contrast various options and identify what solution is the best fit.

However, reviewing checked boxes on a 40-page document may not be the most efficient way to find your next solution. Check out these 3 reasons for why you may want to skip the RFP process in your next HRMS evaluation:

1. Time consuming 

There is a lot of time and resources involved in the RFP processes. From defining the scope of the project, appointing an RFP committee, evaluating RFPs, selecting top vendors, and finally signing a contract, the whole RFP process can take anywhere from three to eight months

  • Evaluate the project (one to two months)
  • Plan and document (one to three weeks)
  • Research and target Vendors (one to three weeks)
  • Develop and write RFP (one to two weeks)
  • Distribute RFP to select vendors (one to two weeks)
  • Allow time for vendors to return proposals (two to four weeks)
  • Evaluate vendor proposals (one to three weeks)
  • Compile a List of the Most Favorable Vendors (one to three weeks)
  • Select the vendor (one day to day week)
  • Develop a contract (two to four weeks)

In addition, vendors that may be a really good fit for your organization may pass on submitting an RFP due to their own limited resources and not having the bandwidth to complete and properly format RFP responses within a strict deadline.

Consider using the time and resources you would normally allocate to an RFP process and entertain other options like engaging with a consultant or spending the time conducting your own thorough research on potential partners.

2. Limited details

Despite all of the time that you and your team invest into creating a detailed RFP, the RFP will not be able to capture all of the details you will need to know for your specific project. Each project is different and there may be extensive followup questions for each item. For example, you may have questions on integrations or may want to know how a certain feature will impact your processes.

Implementation of any product often comes with challenges or unexpected events. An RFP document can’t outline the entire scope of the project or provide you with the answers to all of your “what-if” scenarios.

55-75% of enterprise software projects fail to meet their objectives so be sure your selected vendor can deliver software and services that will help you reach your goals. Note that some vendors may check off boxes on the RFP just to make it to the next step in the process, but won’t provide detail on the full functionality of a feature and how it is used. Don’t waste your time selecting and further evaluating a vendor that falls short of your requirements.

3. Pricing

RFPs aren’t transparent and can be very misleading when it comes to analyzing the true cost of purchasing an HRMS. An HRMS is a massive system and includes a lot of features that can be turned and off and can greatly fluctuate price.

HRMS vendors may offer rough budget numbers or advertise a flat dollar amount per employee per month (PEPM), but unfortunately, there are many fees that simply cannot be fully addressed in a single document. Here are a few questions that are not usually covered in an RFP, but drive cost:

  • What is the cost for printing live checks?
  • How much does each carrier connection cost?
  • What level of support can you expect to receive? (You may have to purchase an additional package or pay per report)

Next time your team wants to go down the RFP path, evaluate the amount of resources, time, and people you have to allocate to this process. Weigh out the pros and cons, consider your options, and decide how much you value product functionality and pricing prior to spending your time with vendors that may look good on paper, but can’t deliver when it comes time to serving and supporting your organization.

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Ally Edwards

About the author…

Ally Edwards is the Marketing Guru at PeopleGuru, a provider of cloud-based Human Capital Management software for mid-market organizations.

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Ally Edwards

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