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C U R C I O W E B B Conducting a Vendor Search Presented by Brian Dennen Curcio Webb, LLC August 25, 2010
1 Copyright © 2010 Curcio Webb, LLC About the Presenter Brian Dennen Curcio Webb’s Retirement Administration Practice Leader Performing independent HR consulting since 1998 Regularly helps companies from strategy through implementation Has led over fifty vendor selection projects
2 Copyright © 2010 Curcio Webb, LLC About Curcio Webb Founded in 1997 – one of the largest independent consulting firm performing HR and benefit administration-related consulting Dedicated to objective human resource, benefits administration, and investment consulting No alliances with administration vendors or products Don’t work for or accept compensation from vendors or investment managers – all revenues generated from clients Conduct vendor selection projects for various sized organizations in a wide variety of industries – including the selection of administration vendors, actuaries, health care consultants, and executive compensation consultants
3 Copyright © 2010 Curcio Webb, LLC Topics for Today Vendor selection planning How to pick vendors to include in your process Key aspects of the search process Elements of a Request for Proposal (RFP) Ideas for decision-making What to do once you select a vendor
4 Copyright © 2010 Curcio Webb, LLC Before You Start… Question if you should even undergo this project Line-up internal support - get senior management buy-in, determine who will make decisions, and identify a passionate project sponsor Determine need for outside support Assess internal resource availability Assess internal expertise Select vendor selection team HR/benefits/compensation Procurement/purchasing Legal IT Tax/accounting/treasury
5 Copyright © 2010 Curcio Webb, LLC Create Your Strategy… Do you have a need to reduce the number of vendors you manage? What issues are deal-breakers? What might cause you to cancel the project? Do you need to prove the likelihood of meeting financial objectives before starting a vendor selection process (business case)? What is your governance structure? What are your vendor performance expectations? What change management would be required to manage various project outcomes? Answers to these questions will determine your key selection criteria
6 Copyright © 2010 Curcio Webb, LLC Proposed Approach Step 1: Kick-off Step 2: Perform fact-finding Step 3: Create and distribute RFP Step 4: Assess proposals Step 5: Meet with finalists/conduct site visits Step 6: Conduct final selection activities Step 7: Select vendor
7 Copyright © 2010 Curcio Webb, LLC Step 1: Project Kick-Off Create project team Review potential delivery models Determine project scope It’s ok to not completely know scope/delivery model Is important to know what to ask for Create key selection criteria Select vendors to solicit Confirm project timeline Think about change management – how will new vendor be managed, who will manage the implementation, and what resources are needed and for how long
8 Copyright © 2010 Curcio Webb, LLC Determining vendors Talk to peers about vendors they use Determine service expectations/fee tolerance If unsure, talk to vendor first Don’t solicit more than 6 vendors per service area Learn about marketplace changes – vendor consolidations, new entrants, changes in ownership structure
9 Copyright © 2010 Curcio Webb, LLC Step 2: Perform Fact-Finding Ensure plan materials are up-to-date (if not, document variances) Gather characteristics that make your organization and plans unique Document potential changes to your environment – plans, systems, organizational, geographical Gather internal and current vendor costs This is the opportunity to benchmark your services. However, sometimes benchmarking (with strong contract negotiation) is sufficient to achieve desired outcomes.
10 Copyright © 2010 Curcio Webb, LLC Step 3: Create RFP Key elements of the RFP Describe project scope/rationale for project Provide a project timeline List your key selection criteria (as discussed earlier) Document unique characteristics/absolute requirements Describe contract provision expectations Outline “meaningful” performance expectations Collect fees in consistent manner Ask pointed questions to identify differences between vendors Get to key selection criteria Process oriented We see little value in RFIs
11 Copyright © 2010 Curcio Webb, LLC Before Proposals are Due There will be a need to respond to vendor questions – uniformly across all bidders Create methodology for “scoring” proposals Base your scoring on your key selection criteria Allow for some subjectivity Begin total cost assessment
12 Copyright © 2010 Curcio Webb, LLC Step 4: Assess Proposals Score proposals Identify proposal issues Don’t place too much emphasis on fees Narrow down list of vendors to a “manageable” number
13 Copyright © 2010 Curcio Webb, LLC Step 5: Meet with Finalists Host vendor meetings or conduct on-site visits Ask vendors to respond to service issues Keep meeting topics and times consistent across vendors Meeting dos: Meet your team View technology/supporting applications, and how they will work with your complexities Understand implementation timelines/resources Meeting don’ts: Discuss fees and contract terms Make comments about other vendors Conduct more meetings than necessary Re-score the finalists
14 Copyright © 2010 Curcio Webb, LLC Step 6: Final Negotiations CC heck references!!! FF inalize scope UU nderstand out-of scope items and fees CC onfirm fees, contract terms, and performance standards UU nderstand fee offsets BB e willing to give a little to gain a lot!
15 Copyright © 2010 Curcio Webb, LLC Step 7: Select vendor Present solid business case Award business Agree on timetable to complete contract Plan for project kick-off Notify organizations not selected
16 Copyright © 2010 Curcio Webb, LLC Now What? Assign key roles Project sponsor Vendor manager Project manager Start to build internal project plan Review internal organizational structure Create project governance structure Initiate transition communications Develop plan to retain staff (if outsourcing) Don’t underestimate project management requirements
17 Copyright © 2010 Curcio Webb, LLC Common Pitfalls Not obtaining senior management buy-in Lack of implementation planning Project governance is addressed after vendor is selected Change management needs are ignored Decisions are solely made based on cost – with little consideration to value Failure to set performance expectations Trying to negotiate contracts based on other standard internal contracts
18 Copyright © 2010 Curcio Webb, LLC Recap Vendor selection project planning How to pick vendors to include in your process Key aspects of the search process Elements of the RFP Ideas for decision-making What to do once you select a vendor
19 Copyright © 2010 Curcio Webb, LLC Questions
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