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Domain Experts for RFP Evaluation

Larger RFP projects often feature a team of evaluators working together on the analysis of vendors' responses. Work will generally be divided according to the specific skills and knowledge of each evaluator.

For example, an IT RFP might contain the following sections, allocated to the users indicated:

SectionEvaluator
1. Company Financial Strength Bob
2. Product Functionality Alice
3. Deployment & Integration Fabricio
4. Support Options Fabricio
5. Pricing Bob

Alice, an IT consultant, is an expert on the functional characteristics of this product category. So she is the ideal candidate to assess vendors in this section of the RFP.

But there's a problem. Alice is not a permanent member of staff, and the company's procurement policy dictates that sensitive price information is only visible to core staff members. Previously, it was possible to work around such problems by exporting a subset of vendors' answers into a Word document, and then asking Alice to record scores in a spreadsheet.

Domain Experts provides a more convenient and robust solution.

"Domain Experts" are users that, by default, do not have access to any of your RFP Projects. Access must be granted explicitly to specific sections within an RFP before that RFP becomes visible.

Setting up Domain Experts

When creating or editing a User account, there is a new field - "Type". This can be set to "Standard" (the default) or "Domain Expert":

Domain Expert users cannot access the main evaluator area of SupplierSelect. When they login they are redirected to the Domain sub-site at the URL /domain/ where they can only see Projects that they have been explicitly granted access to.

To assign permissions for a Domain Expert the same Domain sub-site should be used. To access this site click the "Domain Experts" link from the evaluator's Dashboard. Then, navigate to the relevant Project, and click on "Permissions" and select the Domain Expert user that you wish to grant access to. 

You will be presented with a tree menu representing the Project's questionnaire, with checkboxes on each Section and Sub-Section. To grant access to a section, simply check the box. Note that if you grant access to a child section, access will be implicitly granted to all ancestor sections. The right-hand tree shows the sections that will be visible to the selected Domain Expert. 

In the example above, Domain Expert "Chris1" has been granted access to sections 4.2.1, 4.2.2, 5 and 6. The "Visible Sections" view on the right is a preview indicated exactly what Chris1's view of the RFP will include.

Domain Expert Functionality

The Domain subsite provides a limited sub-set of the main SupplierSelect evaluator's site. The purpose of this site is simply to enable Domain Expert users to evaluate vendors response for those sections of the RFP that they have access to. Functionality provided includes:

  • List Projects to which the user has been granted access
  • Open Project and view Respondents list and the Project Questionnaire (only showing sections with specific permissions)
  • Read vendors's responses and download attachments.
  • Save scores for vendors answers

Usual SupplierSelect permissions apply as normal. So a user with the Permission "Save Scores" can save a score to their own Score Set. User's with permission "Save Agreed Score" can save to the Agreed Score Set.

Feedback

This is the first release of Domain Expert functionality. Although it is fully functional, we are tagging it as a "beta" release - we expect to be refining the new functionality continuously over coming weeks.

If you have any comments, feedback or suggestions please either add a comment to this page or email support@supplierselect.com

 

 

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