What are your options for sourcing an entire computer refresh for your company?
Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Sr. Vice President of Operations and CTO at SafeSourcing.
Computer refreshes within an organization are common. They typically require 3 different elements that require sourcing with a possible fourth if training requires inclusion as well. In today’s post we are going to focus on the options for sourcing the three most common elements (Hardware, Software, and Installation Services) with the understanding that training could be easily added in the future.
Option 1 – Request For Quote all items
In this option the customer already has a detailed specification for everything they need and where it should go. Option one involves taking all aspects of the refresh out to the vendor community for pricing as one event and in the process we would offer a competitive forum for them to adjust their pricing instantly.
The advantages to this approach would be giving companies that can handle each piece, the opportunity to bid in such a way that they can offer additional discounts for getting all of the project spend, but this can also break the vendor focus up in a way that does not lend itself to getting the best savings on each product group.
Option 2 – Request For Quote 3 separate events
This approach breaks out hardware, software and installation/configuration services into separate events for price gathering and compression. The advantage to this approach is that it allows the focus to remain on the “like” items in each event and typically will drive the best savings. Vendor participation tends to be higher because the focus is smaller and can include many more vendors who just handle that group of products/services.
The disadvantage would be that fitting the results back together takes a little more time and sometimes discounts for awarding the business to one company can fall out in the process, although they can still be asked for when a contract is negotiated.
Option 3 – Request For Proposal
This approach would treat the entire refresh as one large project. You can provide the details to vendors who could handle the entire project and request details about who they are, their qualifications and any other additional services or value add items they wish to include. Pricing would be a part of this process with a second price compression focused on those areas you want to try and get better pricing on if it makes sense.
This approach gives all vendors the information they need to handle the project and the potential to have one company run everything. You would have all of the information you need to decide on a potential short list of vendors you could interview and you will have the details necessary to compress items/services that will provide the best savings. A side benefit will be that you generally get a lot more value add services with this approach. The downside to this approach is that it generally excludes vendors who could not handle all three aspects of the refresh which can sometimes reduce the level of competitive responses.
For more information about how you can begin to take a look at upcoming computer refreshes, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.
We look forward to your comments.