Business process automation impacts every part of your organization.

When your BPA implementation runs smoothly, you will streamline your workflows, reduce your expenses, and boost your efficiencies. But if you choose the wrong BPA partner, your project timeframe and costs can spiral out of control – negatively impacting every department.

That’s why it’s critical to find the right BPA partner.

A strong partnership begins with your project’s RFP. When you write a clear RFP, you will increase your chances of attracting a partner who will help you achieve your goals. Here are the dos and don’ts of a successful RFP:

1. Don’t leave potential partners in the dark

Many organizations fail to discuss their current state in their RFPs. If you don’t share this information, you may get responses from vendors who can’t help you achieve your goals.

What do you want to automate and why?

If you aren’t clear on your current state, conduct a study before you put out an RFP. This will help you identify what’s broken, so you can set goals for your end state.

2. Do get clear on your goals

Your RFP should outline your goals and requirements. For example, what do you want your end state to look like? What KPIs will your measure your results against? What are your key deadlines and milestone dates?

In their proposals, vendors should state how they will help you meet each objective. Look for a vendor that demonstrates a strong understanding of your goals and can address each of your requirements.

3. Don’t forget to ask these critical questions

Your partner’s proposal should discuss how their technology and methodology will help you achieve your goals. Here are some questions that each RFP should address:

  • What technology do they use to automate processes? For example, is it freeware or proprietary?
  • Are these tools proven? How have they helped organizations that are similar to yours?
  • Does the vendor use tools that are specifically designed for the types of processes that you want to automate? Are these tools customized for your vertical or line of business?
  • Does the vendor have the certifications required to complete your implementation?
  • Does the vendor have a proven methodology to ensure the success of their projects? How, exactly, will they provide the deliverables?
  • Does their methodology include planning, assessments, building the solution, testing, deployment, and ongoing support?
  • What risks do they perceive with the implementation? How will they help you mitigate these risks?

4. Do request success metrics

How can you be confident that your BPA partner will deliver results?

Ask for KPIs from their previous projects. These metrics will give you a good idea of whether the vendor will complete your BPA project on time and within budget, as well as help you achieve your goals. You can also ask for customer references, but KPIs are a stronger indicator of a vendor’s track record.

Their success metrics should speak to their extensive experience designing for BPA. While expertise in your vertical is helpful, it’s not necessary. It’s more important that your partner has worked within your line of business. A process in one department can have a ripple effect on other departments, so your partner should have a deep understanding of how a single process can impact an entire organization.

Avoid This Common BPA Mistake

The biggest mistakes that organizations make when reviewing BPA proposals is going with the lowest priced option.

A good deal on paper doesn’t always translate into a bargain once the project is complete. Many vendors offer a low base price to boost their chances of winning your business. But this rate only covers the most basic items, so you’ll pay extra for essential services and customizations.

Instead, look at everything you will get for the quoted price. Choose a vendor who will deliver on time and within budget – without any hidden fees.

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