For organization wanting to issue a document management software RFP, the following are suggestions for questions to ask vendors and an RFP checklist of features that should be considered. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where to start in RFP Creation
Every customer will have somewhat different requirements so the document management software RFP can be modified to meet those needs. The RFP document should broken into three parts:
- Customer (your) information: The information you should supply about your company and systems in order to receive a good response. Be sure to include how many users of the system there will be both to start and after full deployment and how you want the system to be priced.
- General Supplier Information: The general information you would like to receive from potential suppliers.
- Document Management System RFP feature check list: A sample set of specific questions to be asked about the vendor's document management software.
IT companies or complimentary software providers who are doing a document management RFP on behalf of their clients can get information about the dms partners program.
RFP Information Needed for Suppliers
- Tell the suppliers about your organization and give a link to your web site. Suppliers do not need to have the general information found on your site but it is very helpful to know if this is a company wide initiative or a departmental one.
- Tell the suppliers what your decision making process is including time frames for a decision, when do you need the responses to the document management RFP, and what form do they have to be in (printed, electronic).
- What are your librarian administrative and IT resources to implement the project? Will you be looking for consulting and implementation assistance from the supplier?
- Is there a budget in place for this project or does it have to be justified? The suppliers might be able to help with this.
- Tell the suppliers about the business problem(s) you are trying to solve relative to document and record management system. Sometimes it is a specific issue such as "contract control" or it is just a general desire to move toward a paperless office.
- What are your time frames for implementation and do you need assistance creating a project plan.
Give the supplier needed information to understand the size of the project that will enable them to give you an estimate of costs:
- How many users of the system will there be?
- Of the total users how many do you think might use the system at the same time - concurrently?
- Are the users casual of intensive, are some "read only'?
- How many electronic records might you have to start with?
- Where are the electronic documents that you want to add to the system located?
- What format are the documents in (PDF, TIFF, JPG)?
- How many records do you think you will add per month?
- If you are adding scanned documents, how many per month?If you already have scanners - what type?
- Would you be considering contracting scanning out to a service bureau?
- Do you require more than one server installation (back up or load balancing)
- Will you be phasing in the project or is it "big bang" approach.
- What is your IT infrastructure - what are your preferred technology environments? Are you insistent upon a certain data base or operating system? (suppliers really appreciate this information because it can save them a lot of work in responding if they do not have a technology match)
- Do you have any requirements such as access to source code, or putting source code in escrow that might effect the software licensing agreement? Do you have any agreements the supplier must sign.
- Provide your payment terms and conditions if you are inflexible in this regard. Do you have a travel expense reimbursement policy you would like the supplier to comply with?
Questions to ask Suppliers for an RFP
- Who is the person responsible for the response? Who is the sales contact and who is the technical contact? How long have you been in business, what is your main business relative to document management software, are you the developers, or resellers of the system?
- Do you provide consulting, conversion and installation services?
- Will you make references available if you are short listed?
- Will you provide proof of financial viability if short listed?
- What skill sets does your organization possess that would be available to support this installation?
- What is your approach to implementation; provide a typical project plan for a project the size of the one described in the introduction?
- What is your technology roadmap for the next 2 years?
- Describe your support programs specifically related to product upgrades, bug fixes and general support.
- Provide an estimate of cost for the software licensing and the support agreement based on the number of users and documents that have been described above.
- Provide an estimate of cost for any modifications that may be required if your product does not match the required features list.
- Describe the system hardware / software installation requirements and if you are required to supply them or can they be sourced elsewhere.
- Provide any brochures or other collateral information that will help with this decision. Provide your standard software licensing agreement and Service Level Agreement.
Sample RFP Checklist
The following is a features check list that represents the generic minimum requirements of an electronic document management system. This checklist can be provided in an easy to use excel format with additional columns that ask suppliers to indicate if each of these features is a "standard" or "optional" feature and to provide any comments or clarifications.
Right-click on the link and select Save Link As... to download and save the RFP Checklist.