Vendor Selection Case Study

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Vendor Selection Case Study

  1. 1. Case Studay for Charting a strategy for vendor selection<br />Client Overview: Bing Design <br />Industry: Marketing Communication<br />Background <br />The agency is a small marketing communications firm (17 employees when this selection was implemented). Clients include large corporate clients, colleges, hospitals, and non-profits. The agency needed a company wide calendar. Employees were in-house and virtual (Dayton, Columbus, and Colorado Springs). Not having a companywide calendar made it difficult to schedule meetings, communication vacations and out of office time. Meetings were scheduled blindly which then caused multiple revisions of time and date - through multiple emails/phone calls. Once the meeting was scheduled it was not visible.<br />Objective:<br /> To select a companywide calendaring application <br />Challenges <br />Bing Design faced the following challenges:<br /><ul><li>IT infrastructure- no exchange server
  2. 2. Majority of employees had little or no knowledge of MS Office solutions
  3. 3. Majority of employees did not see value of using a global calendar
  4. 4. Users were on Mac’s and PC’s
  5. 5. Virtual and Internal users – time zone differences
  6. 6. Budget was limited</li></ul>Bing’s Approach <br />Phase 1:<br />I did a detailed preliminary research of applications that could be installed in the current environment. Identified major players in the small business environment that offered calendaring options and investigate what other marketing communication agencies and other small business were used.<br />Majority of solutions research offered additional capabilities would these options be used and would they be worth the additional cost? <br />Extensive primary research of the five shortlisted players was conducted and created. Criteria to use to conduct research and request for proposals (RFP) to solicited bids. <br /><ul><li>Articulated what was important to the agency
  7. 7. Summary of current systems
  8. 8. Budget
  9. 9. Implementation
  10. 10. Web based solution vs. client based solution </li></ul>Applications researched – <br />Client and Profits - time and project tracking for creative professionals – Bing already used this solution for client billings and timecard input <br />functionfox - time and project tracking for creative professionals <br />NowTime – Calendar and contact management tool <br />HyperOffice – online collaboration set of tools <br />Google Applications - online collaboration set of tools <br />APPLICATION CRITRIA<br />Evaluation CategoriesExplanationFunctionalityCurrent features and benefits of the solution to allow the user to do their jobs betterPerception of impact it will have on employeesChallenges associated with installation, training, cost, maintenance, enhancements, and agency growthTime zone Security Ease of useSpeed StabilityVendor StrengthAbility of the vendor to support the solutionAbility of the vendor to delivery promised system on time and high qualityPrice Does the price point bring enough perceived value to the agency ITCan the existing hardware and software platform support the solution and support software upgradesRisk Technology Risk – Potential that newer or unproved technology will cause problems. That current platform will not support technologyConversion Risk – How will conversion be executed and can any information be convertedOperations Risk – The possibility that client operations will be negatively impacted either during or after the conversion <br />Phase 2: <br />Put team together that included IT, internal user, virtual user, and me. Team efforts for making the final selection were supported by a somewhat structured approach for vendor selection, which included:<br /><ul><li>Trial Usage – if available
  11. 11. Live demo
  12. 12. Written and verbal questions to vendor – ‘apples-to-apples ‘ evaluation</li></ul>Benefits <br />Bing benefited from going through a vendor selection experience, in the past users were not part of the selection process, and gave perspective to users and management why it was important to involve cross section. <br />Key benefits <br /><ul><li>Solution providers were thoroughly researched
  13. 13. Through the process everyone understood why it was important to have a global calendar
  14. 14. Evaluation of different solutions culminated in cost savings </li></ul>Results:<br />Bing was able to clearly select the vendor that would provide the most robust solution at the best price - Google Applications. The calendar significantly improved communication and employee scheduling processes – including out of office time, meetings, vacations, and sick days<br />No capital expenditure on the application – the cost was research, installation, and training time<br />The Google Calendar opened the door to the other services offered in Google applications (documents and sites)<br />Lessons Learned:<br />Create a score sheet for each system and a work sheet to evaluate conversion, support and operational risks<br />Clearing understanding that this type of process would take longer than expected since it was a new process to the agency <br />

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