Anyone who’s worked on a TMC RFP knows what a royal pain in the butt these projects are. Lots of reasons for this – it’s an infrequently sourced category, there are no standard data elements, questions or pricing schedules, and there is no easy way to score bids.
Don Swartz, principal of Corporate Travel Buyer Resources, figured there had to be a better way. As a former TMC guy and active consultant on TMC bids, he had a ringside seat to these and other problems.
Don’s solution? Streamline and standardize. Impose reasonable limits on buyers and sellers. Make things easier and faster. Stay focused on the goal: Help buyers make good choices from several well-crafted offers.
The result? A notable reduction in cycle time in each of the four major components of a sourcing project. And as buyers everywhere will appreciate, a corresponding reduction in the cost of managing the TMC RFP project.
Buyers can solicit a maximum of six bidders. The tool, BidCentral, allows buyers to upload their travel data for bidder review and discovery. Buyers solicit pricing for each of the current services they now use from the incumbent TMC, as well as for proposed upgraded and new services.
The buyer separates her questions into logical categories, which allow bidders to assign them to different people to develop the answers. Q&A is done online. Scoring is done using a 0-3 point scale. Any item receiving a zero (unacceptable) score gets discussed between bidder and buyer. All bidders with a minimum acceptable score get to present live to the buying team.
There’s a lot to like about this process. It’s designed by an expert in TMC RFPs, it uses technology to do a lot of the heavy lifting, and it requires buyers and suppliers to agree on reasonable limits in order to produce a much less painful process for all involved.
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