RFP Academy: Time Warped

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It’s astounding…time is fleeting…RFP madness can take its toll.

Is your understanding about how much time it takes to run an RFP for an Outsourced Chief Investment Advisor (OCIO), 401(k) consultant, recordkeeper or plan auditor accurate…or is it warped? 

As you may know, it’s your fiduciary duty to oversee your service providers. Whether you’re evaluating an incumbent or looking for a new partner, you may be worried this process will take more time than you’re able to commit, or you believe it’ll take less time than it actually does. But what’s the truth? 

The truth is dependent on a variety of factors, including whether you choose to do-it-yourself, to do-it-yourself with help, or to hire search consultants to run your RFP.

Option 1: It Can Take Longer Than You Think (The DIY Approach)

While this option will save you money in the long run, it takes significantly longer to DIY the RFP process for service providers.

A thorough RFP consists of 60-80 well crafted questions, and is sent to a curated list of 6-10 well-vetted candidates. Each candidate proposal submitted ranges from 75-125 pages. Add in time for candidate follow up and due diligence, finalist presentations, contracting, and negotiation, and this approach will take you between 130-150 hours total. 

Option 2: It Can Be A lot Less Intrusive (The DIY with Help Approach)

Sample RFPs to assess consultants, OCIOs, recordkeepers or plan auditors are available online, as are a variety of tools to help you distribute and follow up on an RFP. Utilizing these resources can reduce the time it takes to run an RFP to between 75-100 hours. 

Option 3: It Can Take A Lot Less Time Than You Think (The Search Consultant Approach)

Working with an experienced search consultant can help you ask your service provider the right questions, conduct finalist meetings with candidates, select the best partner and services, and negotiate fees, as well as significantly save you time. This approach will only require between 15-20 hours of your time. 

Don’t let your RFP fall into a time warp!

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