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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

RFPs and Proposals: E-BAP-E-Learning Business Acquisition Process

Often I am asked to comment on how business is conducted in the e-learning field. How do new companies (or even existing companies) bid on new business? How should I structure the Request for Proposal process? What are the steps in this process?

Here is an outline of a process called the E-learning Business Acquisition Process (E-BAP). If you are looking for a vendor to create e-learning or if you are a vendor looking to find business, this is a generally accepted process and works well in structuring the purchase of e-learning.

The process consists of nine elements. Each of the elements contains supporting sub-elements.

It should be noted that many organizations follow this process when soliciting and evaluating proposals for the solution of learning needs within their organization, but not all. As with most processes some variations occur.
For example, in some competitive situations, e-learning companies first present a presentation with information about corporate capabilities and past projects and then, if they “win” the presentation portion, an invitation to bid is given. Then a proposal is written and submitted.

Regardless of the order of the steps, the same functions occur within the majority of competitive e-learning bid situations. The purpose here is to list the steps of the E-BAP and to understand their impact on winning a proposal.

Each of the steps in the E-BAP is important for ultimately winning the e-learning business. The steps of the E-BAP from the vendor's perspective are:
1. Receive RFP
2. Analyze RFP
3. Ask Questions to Clarify Problem/Bidder’s Conference (optional)
4. Write Proposed Solution
5. Client Accepts Proposal (or not)
6. Gather Work Samples/Develop Working Prototype
7. Sales Presentation to Client
8. Client Accepts Solution (or not)

The steps of the E-BAP from the client's perspective are:
1. Analize e-learning need
2. Create RFP and Determine Evaluation Criteria
3. Contact Vendors and Distribute RFP
4. Respond to Questions of Vendors during a Bidder’s Conference (optional)
5. Receive Proposals
6. Evaluate Proposals
7. Ask Vendors to Present Solution
8. Evaluate Proposed Solutions
9. Select Vendor and Negotiate Statement of Work and Contract


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1 comment:

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