IT Managers are sometimes uncertain as to how much effort to invest in selecting a supplier of products or services. A formal search, evaluation, and selection process is appropriate and recommended in some situations. It is useful only, however, if it addresses the key requirements and real supplier differences. Moreover, it can cost more in labor and effort than it is worth. The questions that often arise are:
- Should we just purchase from the regular supplier or look at its competitors?
- If we approach several potential suppliers, what should we be looking for?
- Do we need a formal evaluation process, such as a Request for Proposal (RFP)?