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RFPs and RFIs: Making a list and checking it twice…

December 22, 2022
Paul BilhamPaul BilhamVP of Sales, Omnevo

It's Christmas, and everywhere children are sending their wish lists to Santa, hoping that all their dreams come true on the 25th.

It’s been a while since I stopped sending my own wish list to the North Pole, but I do get the pleasure of seeing the adult equivalent in my working like in the form of RFPs and RFIs, and I am always delighted when Omnevo is invited to participate in these processes.

I look at the list of what’s wanted, but rather than figuring out if you’ve been naughty or nice, I have the job of working out what can be delivered and when. I usually find that I can say ‘yes’ to most things on the wish list, but sometimes there are dreams that are beyond today’s reality. Pre-order for onboard or home delivery? – no problem. Onboard retail, both via POS and IFE – absolutely. Accept Bitcoin for onboard retail payments in an offline environment? - not yet !

Working in sales, I love receiving RFPs and RFIs and always view it as a chance to give an honest insight into what we can do, our view on the market, and how we can collaborate with potential clients. However, many in the industry regard the whole RFP process as outdated and bad for supplier businesses, particularly when it becomes a race to the bottom in terms of commercials. We see situations where suppliers who may have exactly the experience you need to deliver the project are priced out of consideration, while inexperienced suppliers may make claims they cannot deliver, simply to win the work. On more than one occasion I’ve seen clients select a lower cost supplier and then ultimately return to us to re-engage and start the project over.

More positively, with an honest and collaborative approach, the RFP process can deliver the ideal merger of client ambition and supplier capabilities. These processes also give airlines a chance level the playing field, focusing on specific criteria to evaluate and benchmark all participants and find the most suitable supplier in an unbiased process. This works well if it includes a detailed and realistic assessment of what exactly is needed and can enable the development of the optimal platform and a winning outcome for both parties.

At Omnevo, I’m always excited to see a wish list from a potential client and then work through the process of seeing how we can deliver it, including constantly innovating to tailor the platform to their needs. Like Santa, I always hope the wish list is realistic and I can make dreams come true!

I hope you enjoy the holiday season and that your (realistic) wishes come true in 2023.