Technology Solutions Planning in Libraries: Part Eight – Technology Selection

This is part of a series of posts which is based on a 3-hour hands-on workshop I offer on this topic. Be sure and check out the preceding post:

Technology Solutions Planning in Libraries: Overview
Technology Solutions Planning in Libraries: Part One – Develop the Project Plan
Technology Solutions Planning in Libraries: Part Two – Establish a Planning Committee
Technology Solutions Planning in Libraries: Part Three – Gain Market Intelligence
Technology Solutions Planning in Libraries: Part Four – Requirements Gathering
Technology Solutions Planning in Libraries: Part Five – Types of Solutions Available
Technology Solutions Planning in Libraries: Part Six – Technology Solution Evaluation
Technology Solutions Planning in Libraries: Part Seven – Request for Proposals

 

Technology Selection

 

Analyze RFP Responses

  • Read through the RFP responses
  • Be wary of sections which have been vaguely answered or avoided altogether – this may hint at a weakness with the company/product
  • A company which has taken the time to carefully answer your questions gives the impression of attentiveness in the future
  • Consider the fact that if you’re too “small potatoes” for a sales proposal, what will the service be like if you have a technical problem?

 

Arrange Demos

  • Schedules demos of the top 2 solutions for committee members

 

Make Selection

  • Give committee your overall impressions of the RFP responses
  • Reprise the pros and cons for each solution
  • Give your recommendation

 

Conduct Pre-Contract Negotiation

Before informing the vendor of your selection, you may attempt to negotiate both price and contract terms. Many software vendors are negotiable on their prices. You may also wish to get recommendations from your legal department. Some terms you may want to consider negotiating for:

  • An annual renewal clause as opposed to a multi-year commitment
  • The addition of a non-appropriation of funds clause which states that if your organization does not receive its funding earmarked for automation/other, the library is not bound by the contract

 

 

Draft Final Budget

Your final budget should include the following line items:

  • Necessary hardware/software
  • Solution product costs
  • Data conversion costs
  • Installation costs
  • Training costs

 

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