The budget year is coming to an end, and your business needs to upgrade its telecommunication systems. There are two choices when it comes to making a purchase: the standard Request for Proposal (RFP) process or a cooperative contract from the National Joint Powers Alliance. What are the differences between the two? More importantly, which one is better for your government agency, school district or nonprofit?
Submitting a request for proposal is a process that, for better or worse, has been essential for updating and upgrading technology in the office. The process starts as you identify manufacturers and providers that could provide suitable equipment.
Next, you devote significant time to defining your RFP requirements, specifying equipment needs and advertising your competitive solicitations through the RFP process. Next, you collect and compare them. Many times, RFP responses are either low cost and low quality or high quality and high cost.
If your options don't fit your needs and/or your budget, it can mean scrapping the project and waiting another year before starting the RFP process over again or settling for a solution that isn't quite right.
The average RFP process lasts anywhere from three to nine months. In reality, most government agencies and nonprofits find that the RFP process takes six to nine months - or longer. Fortunately, there's a better way.
The National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) has spent years building a nationwide network of vendors and providers that are preselected for excellent service and first-rate telecommunication products. The aim of NJPA is to make it easier for government agencies, school districts and nonprofits to secure the technology, products and services they need.
In order to benefit from NJPA cooperative contracts, all you need to do is become an NJPA member. After that simple step, you can begin a conversation with local dealer representatives by outlining the services and features your office requires and issue a purchase order that features terms and conditions you'd like to include.
NJPA has already taken care of the legwork. Their network of preselected vendors is carefully selected to meet the needs of its members, and the RFP process is completed in advance. By the time you see a competitive solicitation from an NJPA provider, it has already been evaluated and approved. NJPA works with providers like Mitel to ensure its members have access to the best solutions possible at an affordable price.
All you need to do is cut a PO after reviewing competitive solicitations, and wait for the equipment to be delivered. Your local dealer representative will work with you to install your equipment and train your staff. How much time does this take? You'll have new equipment in your office in as little as six weeks. It's that simple.