Have an RFI response to score? Here’s some tips and criteria to consider

Scoring a Request for Information (RFI) can be tricky especially if, as a client you’re unsure of what any possible future solution could look like. Having scored numerous RFIs I’d like to share some tips and criteria you should consider when building any type of scorecard.

  1. Keep the scorecard simple

Include a simple set of statements that you’d ideally want the vendor to deliver against. An example might be ‘the vendor has shown an understanding of the brief’.

Use a simple way of scoring how well the vendor has done. You could even keep it as simple as ‘does not meet’, ‘meets’ and ‘exceeds’. Avoid using any type of numerical scoring and weighting until you’re conducting a Request for Proposal (RFP). Scoring for an RFP will be more complex as you’ll be scoring against detailed requirements and parameters.

2. Allow room for comments

If you’re scoring a vendor’s response make sure you’re taking notes to back up your scores. You need to ensure the comments are legible as you might be requested to share your feedback with unsuccessful vendors.

3. Be prepared to be transparent

Show a willingness to share your feedback with vendors. In some cases you might want to show the scorecard with vendors prior to any pitch so they know how they’re being judged.

But what should I be scoring?

When defining your scoring criteria statements think of the following as a guide.

  1. Understanding of the brief — has the vendor shown an understanding of what you require?
  2. Understanding of the business — has the vendor shown they understand how your business works and operates?
  3. Answered your core questions — has the vendor answered the questions you set out in the brief? Did they omit some answers?
  4. Capability limitations — how honest has the vendor been in telling you what they can’t do?
  5. Third party interdependencies — how clear has the vendor been in outlining other parties that might be involved in any final solution?
  6. Solvent and stable — has the vendor provided evidence that their business is solvent and a sound possible long term partner?
  7. Quality control, flexibility & client servicing — how effective has the vendor been in illustrating how they manage quality control? How flexible are they in adpating to client change requsts? How would they manage the on-going in-life relationship should they be successful?

There’s plenty of scorecard examples online but it’s worth keeping things simple.

Good luck.