Past Events
Thursday 31 October 2019

The Rise of the RFP: How to embrace and get the most out of your RFP processes - RECORDINGS AVAILABLE

ALPSP Members can access the audio and presentations from this seminar, where available, by clicking here. Please note the terms and conditions of use as stated in our Privacy Policy.

Venue: Arundel House, 6 Temple Place, London, WC2R 2PG (map). 

Chair: Nancy Roberts, Head of Technology and Content, Maverick Publishing Specialists

Twitter #alpsprfp


As the publishing landscape evolves, so too does the range of suppliers and partners with whom scholarly publishers need to work. RFPs are becoming an increasingly important part of the activities of all publishers, large and small, and generally represent a significant investment which should be well managed. In this session we’ll examine the various ways in which sourcing decisions can be made, with views from both purchasers and vendor. The aim of the day will be to provide comprehensive, practical support to help attendees choose the right process, and the right partner, for their particular needs.

This session will cover:

  • Understanding the terminology: RFPs, RFQs and RFIs, CFBs, IFBs – what do they all mean and what are the differences?
  • What selection criteria should be applied to choose one of these processes to follow?
  • When is a full RFP a good idea, and when is it overkill?
  • What work should be undertaken in preparation for an RFP? Data collection, success criteria, goals, who to involve and when
  • How to ensure you have internal buy in for the purchasing decision.
  • What governance/decision making process should you follow?
  • How to structure the RFP process to support both buyers and sellers
  • Inhouse or outsource? Should you run your RFP process yourself, or should you seek expertise from a consultant? How do you decide?
  • How to measure responses fairly
  • Negotiation – when and how; tools for negotiation planning; negotiations strategies 101


Speaker Biographies

9:30 Registration and Coffee  
10:00 Introductions and overview of Terminology
Nancy Roberts, Head of Technology and Content, Maverick Publishing Specialists

Nancy Roberts picture
10:30 Case Study: BMJ. A review of a recently-completed RFP process, from the start of the process to the present day
Catherine Harding-Wiltshire, 
Director of Operations, BMJ
This session will be from a Publisher perspective. Gaining trust, evaluation not just on price and technology but on gut, sense of community and values. Catherine will be talking about the bits from an RFP which aren't written down although she will also cover the business as usual on an RFP, so putting it together and what are the pitfalls around the whole business.
Catherine Harding Wiltshire Picture
11:05 Tea and coffee  

Fireside chat: Clays/Cambridge University Press RFP processes 
Simon Crump, 
formerly Cambridge University Press and

Andrew Copley
, Sales Development Director, Clays
An overview of undertaking an RFP from first contact to final contract, with perspectives from buyer and seller.

Simon Crump pictureAndrew Copley
12:10 An MD's Perspective: Lessons and Learnings from recent RFPs
Rod Cookson, 
Managing Director, IWA Publishing
Complex projects pose tricky questions for everyone. For small and medium-sized publishers, the first of these is whether to issue a Request for Proposals (RfP), or whether to simply trust that a project can be fitted in amongst other daily activities. Is the work involved in preparing the RfP a sensible investment of time? Will it save time and money when a project goes ahead? How do you ensure that what is in the RfP ends up in the final contract? And what happens when projects proceed without an RfP? These and many other questions will be explored from the perspective of a learned society publisher with 17 journals and a small book list.
Rod Cookson
12:45 Lunch  
13:30 The Publisher as Strategic Partner: how societies and publishers can collaborate for the long term
Erin Osborne-Martin, 
Senior Society Partnership Development Manager, Wiley
In many ways, the RFP process for choosing a publisher to partner with is similar to choosing any other vendor. But when looking for a publisher, it’s helpful to remember that publishers can be more than just a supplier of publishing services – they also offer an advisory role and can act as collaborative, strategic partners in developing your journal(s). We’ll cover how to use the RFP process to ensure that you’re getting the most out of a potential publisher’s expertise and setting the ground work for a successful partnership that delivers on your publishing goals.

Erin Osborne-Martin
14:05 What a supplier actually does when they get an RFP
Mark Carden,
Consultant and former EVP Sales at Ingenta
Requests for proposal are often prepared with little regard to motivations, behaviours and capabilities of potential suppliers. Buyers seem to assume that all potential suppliers are standing by, ready, willing and able to answer their questions, and that suppliers will always wish to create the best possible proposal, at the lowest possible price. Yet the number, quality and usefulness of proposals that the supplier will receive depends hugely on the way that the supplier perceives the RFP, their desire to respond & win, and (frequently) their ability to guess what the prospective customer wants and can afford. This presentation will give an insider's view of the RFP response process, from someone who has led the completion of over 100 proposals to publishers and librarians while working within several suppliers, as well as guiding numerous buyers while working as consultant.
Mark Carden picture
14:40 Tea and coffee  
15:10 Working with your Suppliers to maximise the RFP Process
Alan Croston,
Business Manager, Virtusales
With all the work that is involved when embarking on the RFP process, it is vital that the end result is the best possible solution for your organisation. Getting that right can be challenging. As a vendor that has responded to a wide range RFPs, Virtusales is uniquely positioned to offer insight into what we believe are RFPs that produce the best results and how publishers can ensure they get the information they really need.

Alan Croston pic
15:45 Panel Q&A - Informal discussion and the chance for delegates to ask any specific questions
Facilitated by Nancy Roberts
16:25 Summary of the day from the Chair  
16:35 Drinks and networking  

*Times are subject to change

Who should attend

Heads of house, publishers, technology staff, product managers, project managers, editorial staff, marketing staff, product development staff, production staff. Suppliers and vendors are also welcome to attend.

Booking and registration - Early bird rates for members - Book by 31 July 2019*

Not an ALPSP member?  Want to take advantage of the reduced member rates? Click here to find out how your organization can join ALPSP

ALPSP Members early bird £215.00 + VAT per person 
ALPSP members full price £239.00 + VAT per person
Non-Member £397.00 + VAT per person
Academic rates available upon request

How to book
Please note that you will need to log in to your account or register a new account to book a place on this course. If you have any questions about this, please email Melissa Marshall or any of the ALPSP team.

*In order to take advantage of the early bird discount for ALPSP members, you must (i) make a booking by 31 July 2019 and (ii) be an ALPSP member on the date of the event. In the event that you cancel your membership prior to the event, you agree to pay ALPSP the difference between the discounted price and the full price for the event.”

Any discounts will be applied at checkout.


Upcoming Dates for this event

  • Thu 31 Oct 2019
  • Thu 31 Oct 2019
  • Arundel House, ,