Tips from Fineline’s Rich Mathiesen, Senior Account Manager
Are you considering going through an RFP process, either to get a quote for a new piece of business or re-evaluate your current vendor? At Fineline, we are often asked to come in and provide proposals for organizations who are considering a new partner (often times because the organization believes there’s more that they should be getting from their current provider).
No matter how many times we participate in RFPs, I’m always proud of our ability to make recommendations that will provide better value. Still, I often see that going through the RFP process can be time intensive, stressful for an organization, and at the end of the day it can be difficult to differentiate the proposals! So, if you’re considering going through this process, here are a few recommendations on making the best decision when it comes time to choose.
Find a partner you trust: If you don’t already have an established relationship with a printer, find someone who can provide outside perspective and a partnership mentality. Not sure who to use? Consider someone with experience in your industry. Ask your new partner for examples where they’ve added value to a similar organization – and a testimonial, if you can get one, is always nice too.
Talk about your needs: Don’t be afraid to discuss your needs one-on-one. Too often I see people submit their request online and then not want to talk in person for fear of being ‘sold.’ Our team believes it’s important to understand your needs so we can provide solutions that will meet these needs in the most cost-effective way beforehand.
Think about the ideal outcomes: Need your requests turned in a week? Have critical color or compliance requirements, privacy regulations or inventory management preferences? Knowing what you need ahead of time can make it easier to weed out those printers that can’t fulfill (much less exceed) your expectations.
Too often I see decisions made only on price, only to see the client come back a year later with clarity on what they really needed.
Thinking there might be more out there for you?
Feel free to contact Fineline – we won’t ask for your business until we can improve it.