For government, education and non-profit organizations everywhere, the RFP process is a necessary hurdle for making technology updates. They require a mountain of paperwork and hours of effort without any promise that you'll get what you want. Even worse, there's no guarantee you'll end up getting what you need.
Some of the following frustrations will ring true, but know there is an alternative solution available for government entities, educational institutions and non-profit groups (I'll cover it at the end).
Frustration 1: The Paperwork Pain
Purchasing a new office phone system (or any other technology, for that matter) isn't as simple as researching and buying the best option for your office. Organizations need to write-up RFPs, collect competitive solicitations from numerous manufacturers and providers, analyze and select which ones best fit your needs and then deal with contract paperwork upon acceptance.
From start to finish, the average RFP process can take three to six months to complete. The more complex the office phone system is you're shopping for, the longer you can expect the RFP process to take.
Frustration 2: Misdirected Funds
While you usually do have to "spend money to make money," doing so shouldn't have a negative impact on your business. Oftentimes, budgeting for the RFP process ends up misdirecting funds away from the actual purchase organizations are looking to make.
The time and resources put into writing the RFP, sifting through all the responses, defending the selection during approval or even hiring a consultant to assist in the process of adopting new technology are all time and resources that could otherwise be put toward the technology itself.
Frustration 3: It's Tricky
Determining the phone system technology your organization requires can be its own headache. Are you looking for Mitel softphone solutions that provide top-notch functionality for a mobile workforce, or one with cutting-edge video conferencing and sharing options? If your RFP request doesn't line up with the operational needs of your office, you're likely to receive competitive solicitations that don't meet your demands.
Frustration 4: Slow Moving
Given the average time it takes for an RFP process to run its course, most organizations find it extremely frustrating to adopt new technology. With so many slow and frustrating steps, the move from outdated equipment to the technology you need can seem agonizing. Who wants to wait over half a year?
The Solution: NJPA Cooperative Purchasing Contracts
National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) is a public service agency that operates on the national level, providing its members with cooperative purchasing contracts that meet the precise needs of their organization. Government agencies, school districts and non-profit organizations can now more easily access national and statewide/regional cooperative solutions that speed up the purchase-to-implement process in technology adoption.
NJPA contracts are available to any member entity, and membership is free. NJPA does all the legwork by submitting competitive solicitations to manufacturers and other providers for a variety of products and services, including office phone systems. Next, NJPA assesses the value of each solicitation and seeks approval from their board members on the very best solution.
As a member of NJPA, shopping for a new office phone system is as easy as selecting the pre-approved competitive solicitations that match your needs. You no longer have to worry about writing the perfect RFP or spending countless hours comparing offers.
Best of all, NJPA cooperative contracts satisfy all the requirements of the RFP process, allowing your organization to remain compliant with budgetary restrictions while shortening the time from purchase to implementation. Want to see how NJPA can benefit you? Contact a Marco rep: