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Student Information System RFP managed with SupplierSelect

Auckland University of Technology (http://www.aut.ac.nz/) has successfully used SupplierSelect for evaluating and selecting a Student Information System for managing 25,000 students. 33 university staff collaborated through SupplierSelect on defining requirements and evaluating vendors' bids.

Student Information Systems (SIS) are crucial to the running of a modern university. Such systems provide a single view of a students data - billing, housing, academic performance etc. In some ways they are the analog of ERP systems for manufacturing or distribution companies.

Auckland University's RFP project faced a number of challenges. Firstly, a Student Information System is intensively used by many university staff in different functions, with different priorities. Therefore these diverse and sometimes divergent and priorities must be coordinated in the RFP. Secondly, New Zealand's public sector procurement guidelines are some of the most rigorous in the world. This can greatly increase the administrative burden for running an RFP project.

SupplierSelect is designed to meet precisely these challenges. Multiple evaluators can collaborate on defining requirements and on assessing vendor offerings. Strict procurements guidelines for vendor communication, process transparency, and fine grained auditing can be enforced by clicking one or two options when setting up an RFP project.

For this project Auckland University of Technology registered 34 evaluator users, and defined 430 questions, broken up into 7 sections with additional subsections. The questionnaire was begun by importing an Excel spreadsheet , and was then customised and extended online, using SupplierSelect's RFP question editing functions. Many questions were closed (multiple choice), but with comments available, as described in a recent article about creating good RFP questions.

For the RFP evaluation, scores from different evaluators where collated using SupplierSelect's multiple score set functionality, with many users choosing to use evaluate RFP responses offline before importing the scores back into SupplierSelect for aggregation and analysis.  4 different weighting sets were configured, each reflecting a different scoring methodology, rather than the typical approach of having different weighting sets to reflect different people's or departments priorities.

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