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A free kit to build the perfect Mobile Travel Tech RFP

A Request For Pricing (RFP) for a new digital or mobile platform signals the intent to ramp up engagement and added revenue streams for travel businesses.

For those heading up marketing, commercial, IT and procurement departments, this is an exciting and challenging opportunity. It’s probably going to be one of the single biggest initiatives of the year. A lot rests on selecting the best partner for your business. 

Travelport Digital reviews dozens of RFPs every month from global organisations keen to upgrade their existing mobile platform or start from scratch with a new app. Some of these documents are well researched and put together while others could do with some help. This RFP kit aims to assist you in the mobile partner selection process enroute to achieving the optimal outcome for your business. It consists of 3 key documents that will inform and guide your decision-making:

  • 6 key questions to help shortlist suppliers in your RFI
  • How to write a mobile travel app RFP
  • RFP Template and accompanying how-to-use guide

6 key questions to help shortlist suppliers in your RFI

When you begin the process of selecting a mobile partner you’ll have to develop a shortlist of the companies you want to hear from. Your Request for Information (RFI) should be sent to those that appear to tick all your required and desired criteria boxes. This calls for a structured approach to the process of selection and elimination; Travelport Digital have devised a list of key questions that will help you separate the wheat from the chaff.

The leading question should be centred on the prospective partner’s expertise: do they understand the travel industry and do they know about the power of mobile for increasing engagement? Also, do they have a reputation for success, are they seen as industry leaders by their peers? In addition, do they have a fully-stacked in-house team that can develop, test and market the product, long after the project delivery date?

You should also look for the agency’s commitment to safeguarding your product (and ultimately your reputation) once the app is in the public domain. It’s important to ask about the nature of the support they offer - is it a 24-hour resource? Speed is important in the rapidly changing landscape of mobile development. How well defined is the vendor’s workflow process? Does it fill you with confidence that they’ll deliver on time, every time?

Responses to these questions will help you narrow the options down further, providing you with a streamlined list of potential partners that you want to complete the more detailed RFP.

How to write a mobile travel app RFP

When does it make sense to go through with the RFP process?  Well, RFPs are a good procurement tool for needs that are well understood and easy to describe to a high level of specificity. When you are making a complex purchase, like a mobile platform for your travel organisation, setting out all your requirements in writing clarifies the finer details. This, in turn, helps categorise which requirements are essential and which are desirable.

Since complex problems are generally best solved with dialogue, alternatives to the RFP include investigation and understanding as the first steps. Personal interactions with a vendor shouldn’t be underestimated in terms of efficiency, either. However, if an RFP is the desired approach, the questions you need to ask centre on getting a clear sense of how the companies work internally, as well as with their clients. Wide-ranging topics such as user experience, responsiveness of design, platform and project management are just some of the points to be broached with vendors,

While some attributes of mobile development are easier to score than others, RFP proposals should be easily comparable across vendors. There are many metrics to look at in terms of making such a comparison - but often trying before your buy is a good tactic. If you like the apps that the vendor has produced for other companies, there’s a good chance you’ll like what the vendor could produce for your company.

In addition, buyers should be careful not to overlook or omit standard RFP questions, for example, company information and if they use third-parties for elements of the product. A well presented document that is mindful to include all essential information about the vendor, makes a great first impression.  

Request For Pricing (RFP) Template (1) and accompanying how-to-use guide (2)

The RFP template in Travelport Digital’s kit is a 16-page editable Word document that can be used for travel businesses compiling an RFP for any number of vendors. The highlighted fields should be filled with company-specific information before being passed to the vendor to complete the collaboration.

The accompanying how-to-use guide explains the RFP under the various subtitles. These include: Introduction, Background, Business requirements, Technical requirements, Delivery requirements, Project management, Terms & conditions, and Vendor responses.

Download the Travelport Digital RFP kit to begin your journey to a new and improved app that will be your customer’s best travel companion.

Note: this blog and resources have been updated from an original post in April 2017 to take into account new mobile technologies and tech stacks.RFP kit download

David MacHale - Digital Marketing Director

David is the Digital Marketing Director at Travelport Digital. He is a digital marketing specialist with almost 15 years experience working with B2B and B2C brands in the travel, retail and learning tech industries. David has been at the forefront of introducing next-generation product platforms such as Oculus Rift, 360 video, gaming and mobile apps. Today, he manages the marketing strategy, content and digital platforms for Travelport Digital as well as supporting new clients on their engagement journey.

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