Responding to Tenders

When you’re looking for a new system, you’ll probably draw up a list of what you need. You’ll have a list of functional requirements, you’ll want to know about security, support, and about the supplier. And you’ll want to know about the cost.

We have always tried hard to be really transparent about all these things. Our pricing has always been public, and isn’t something we negotiate about (so you don’t have the suspicion that you’re subsidising a better negotiator). We have various factsheets on our website or this blog which try and answer the questions you might have about us and the product. And we really like doing walkthroughs so that you get to see an actual system, and have a chance to actually use it, so that you know what you’ll be getting before you commit. And there are often questions or further conversations we’ll have to ensure that you’re happy.

Sometimes we’re asked to complete a formal tender document to support your decision making process. For may years now our policy has been not to do so. Our experience was that it was an awful lot of work for us, and that the organisations requesting tenders really wanted a much more expensive custom built system. And although it might seem free to you, you are of course paying at some point for the production of all that documentation and making presentations. Suppliers don’t have spare money around to do this: it all comes from the price you eventually pay.

So if you do want to go through a formal tendering process, and you do want Lamplight on your list, we’d ask that you:
1. look at the pricing page of our website, and read some of the other documents that might answer your questions. Tick them off your specification sheet.
2. book a walkthrough. Have your specification open as you do it, and tick off the functional requirements as you see them. Ask us to show you things if we don’t cover them.
3. ask us other questions that haven’t already been covered, either during the walkthrough or afterwards to address any other issues.

This should provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision, and you’ll be doing so on the basis of functionality you’ve actually seen, and had a chance to use.