Transitions always concern issuers. Even a well-run changeover usually involves some user inconvenience. Beyond inconvenience, there’s always the possibility of serious glitches—or that the new solution was misrepresented or misunderstood, resulting in re-contracting headaches.
You may be thinking: But we’re the incumbent provider. We won’t have to transition. Can’t we just say: “Not applicable?”
That’s not wise. Even if you foresee a nominal transition, respond to all the RFP questions in this section and identify key individuals assigned. Anything less could cost points.
Maximize your transition advantage
Use these four ideas to make the most of your transition advantage:
Develop a detailed plan with resources: To obtain the available points, identify all the actions involved and the individuals who will manage transition. Use trade-offs to justify your plan as the best option, cite your transition record and itemize benefits for the client.
Embrace improvement: Some incumbents avoid recommending changes because they fear jeopardizing the prospect of a pain-free transition. Instead, ensure your solution is the right one for the client, now and for the future—and only then—plan and resource the transition. Your transition will still be less risky and costly than your competitors’—and your solution will now be fully competitive.
Accelerate the schedule: Identify changes you can implement during the client’s anticipated mobilization period. Develop a transition schedule that delivers these improvements sooner than your competitors could possibly manage. If possible, quantify the benefits your customer will obtain from early completion.
Ghost your competitor’s transition plan: Build a transition plan as if you were new to this contract. Don’t exaggerate, but use your knowledge to develop a detailed process. Compare this, item by item, with your own plan. At a minimum, this will highlight your advantage in risk, time and cost. And, if one or more competitors offer less robust plans, their credibility will suffer in comparison with the detail you provide.
Get the points, get the cred
Under time pressure, it’s tempting as an incumbent to give the transition short shrift. Instead, treat it as you would any other section—and reap the benefits in evaluator points and credibility.