November 29, 2022
Proactively engaging with the appropriate internal stakeholders early on is advantageous as it helps streamline subsequent processes—from RFP development and vendor selection/interviews to implementation and long-term relationship management.
Who Should Be Involved in the Decision-making Process?
While each company takes an individualized approach, ideally internal support will come from a range of cross functional teams including HR, Benefits, Risk, Finance, IT, Administration, Procurement and Legal. Once stakeholders are identified, companies may consider outlining roles and responsibilities to clearly identify the part they play in the process for vendor selection and relationship management.
Here are some role and responsibility examples:
- Procurement: Build out the RFP and drive the broker selection process.
- Legal: Provide legal counsel on broker partnership.
- Benefits/Rewards: Guide the broker relationship and inform all stakeholders of the organization’s global benefits strategy. Ensure alignment to employee well-being strategies and bring in additional stakeholders as needed.
- IT: Review technical components and ensure compliance with the organization’s requirements.
- Finance: Navigate fee structure and other costs.
- Operations: Ensure alignment with benefits strategy and local business needs.
To attain buy-in during development and ensure successful implementation, companies should engage local and regional colleagues early on and as needed throughout the RFP process. By actively incorporating local and regional feedback in the RFP design, review, and bidding process, a company can be proactive in addressing integration challenges. Doing so can also facilitate improved oversight, a smooth rollout and effective collaboration between internal and external stakeholders.
Which Stakeholders Make the Final Decision?
As part of the RFP process, companies will need to determine which internal stakeholders need to be engaged and who will make the ultimate decision about whether a global partnership moves forward. The answers vary for each company for a myriad of reasons. But generally, this process is a joint effort between key corporate and local teams looking at capability and cost. At some companies, the capability analysis might be done locally, but the final decision is made collaboratively. In others, local and regional colleagues might provide input, but the decision is made centrally. Alternatively, regional colleagues may be an equal stakeholder. Incorporating the regional team in the RFP selection process can make the regional colleagues feel more positive toward the global partnership.
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