When internal mobility teams conduct an RFP/tender, one of the biggest challenges they don’t anticipate is how they’ll manage and evaluate all of the responses they’ll receive. It’s easy for the size of a questionnaire to grow when numerous departments and stakeholders are involved. In the pressure to get their bid packages launched, many teams end up adding numerous questions, thinking it will be the easiest, most thorough way to address everyone’s needs. The problem is, if the size of the questionnaire gets out of control during creation, review times can end up taking months instead of weeks. Internal evaluators end up assessing pages and pages of answers for multiple mobility bids. Much of this can be avoided by asking fewer and more targeted questions from the start.
If the hope is to gain a long-term, strategic partner, choosing the right mobility provider relies on truly understanding a bidder’s capabilities, experience, capacity, and culture. Companies can increase the likelihood of finding the right match, before going out to bid, by taking the time to answer a few questions. Sourcing teams should ask themselves: What results am I hoping to achieve by changing vendors? What are our most painful issues? Where is our provider’s alignment with our company goals going to be the most crucial? The RFP/tender should always be reflective of these priorities, along with the end-goal of finding a provider who can best meet company needs and culture.
Below, we discuss the types of questions that can help businesses quickly and objectively identify a provider that will be the best match.
“X Factor” Questions: Define who the candidate is
“X factor” questions help companies to understand exactly who a responding company is. They’re designed to elicit information about the company’s approach, culture, philosophy, and experience. The way an RMC chooses to answer these questions can quickly provide sourcing teams with insight into whether or not the provider’s values and operational methods align. Sample questions might include:
- As a provider, can you describe your company’s role in the mobility industry and how you define yourself amongst your competitors? What value does this role present to us?
- Why is your company the best fit for our goals? (Be sure to clearly define your goals in the RFP.)
- How do you measure the value you bring to a client and how do you see this value changing as the relationship evolves?
- In what areas (geographic, functional, and/or commercial) would your solutions outperform the competition?
- How many clients do you support in our industry and what do you consider to be the key factors in delivering an excellent experience to their transferring employees?
Metrics-Based Questions: Ask for numbers and data
Looking at facts and figures is the easiest way to compare providers. It’s also the best way to ensure that the companies you’re soliciting have the right experience in the services and places that matter most to you – that they can truly do what they claim they can. Ensure that your questions don’t leave room for generic promises and unsubstantiated claims by asking for measurable proof in responses. Simplify your sourcing by requesting key data points that mean the most to you and examine these areas first to narrow down to candidates that will receive a more detailed review. These questions could include:
- What is the average client tenure of your top 25 clients?
- Using move volumes, where would we rank in your list of clients?
- How many long-term international assignments did you manage last year?
- In the past 12 months, what were the satisfaction rates of employees moving under VIP programmes?
- What has your Net Promoter score been for the past three years?
Thought Leadership and Innovation-Based Questions: Find a partner that can drive improvements
Separating promises from proof goes a long way to expedite the review process. Just as with metrics-based questions, thought leadership and innovation-based questions should ensure that answers include proof of what candidates say they have done or are capable of doing. These types of questions are useful when soliciting information around expertise, processes, and potential to drive efficiency. Examples of these types of questions may include:
- Can you provide examples of the research and/or publications you have produced or contributed to in the past three years?
- What has your annual spend on technology development been for the past three years?
- What were the most recent innovations you’ve introduced?
- Can you share details regarding the implementation of a complex client programme and describe any improvements resulting from your transition methods?
- What is a unique or creative way that you have provided value to one of your customers?
Future-Result-Driven Questions: Find a partner that will evolve with your company
Finally, make sure you’re asking questions that reveal whether your potential providers understand your company and have a plan for how best to meet your goals, now and in the future. When possible, it is ideal to provide policy information, historical volumes, or other operational details, which also allow you to ask more specific questions about how a supplier will manage your unique programme – and evolve with you as your needs change. Get a vision of your future by including questions such as:
- What recommendations do you have to improve our programme performance while still maintaining a highly supportive programme?
- What options can you offer to help us reduce overall costs?
- How will you help our mobility programme contribute to our overall business goals?
- What percentage of services in our programme will be delivered by third-party suppliers and how will you ensure consistency in experience and service quality?
- How will you help us to navigate any trends and upcoming events that you feel will most impact our programme?
When it comes to creating a mobility RFP/tender, it’s far more important to ask strategic questions than it is to ask a lot of them. Doing this not only saves sourcing teams time when they’re evaluating candidate responses, it also helps them to find a provider that is better aligned with your company’s needs, goals, and culture. Identify and clarify these company attributes before beginning the process and formulate questions that demand measurable answers. The result will assist you in finding and establishing a long-term partnership that will benefit your employees and your mobility programme for years to come.
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Dee Koharchik | Director, Sales Strategy
Lisa Marie DeSanto | Manager, Content Marketing
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