Although vendor-written, this contributed piece does not promote a product or service and has been edited and approved by Network World editors.

Requests for Proposal (RFPs) are rarely easy or even straightforward. No one wants to forget anything, so RFPs typically become long, unwieldy lists of questions — the proverbial kitchen sink.

And that translates into even more work when the answers come back — hours and hours of scrutinizing answers to narrow down the field to the short list. Sadly enough, all too often the RFP process raises even more questions and adds to general confusion. It’s not uncommon for a business to re-issue an RFP for a second round due to inadequate submissions.

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How to improve the RFP process