Dunkin’ Donuts RFP Number 4

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Not quite sure how many RFPs Dunkin’ Donuts need to do (or why they keep doing them) but by our count the latest one (this time) put together by IT consultancy Accuvia Consulting this is number 4.

The RFP is for ‘Digital Menu Board solution and Creative Design Services‘ and has already gone out to 18 digital signage software vendors. Why the RFP needs to have such a wide circulation is a bit of a mystery and it seems to us that something distributed to more than a dozen vendors will be seen as “a bit of a broadcasted joke” by the really serious vendors in this space.

Responses to the RFP are due by Friday, August 20th – they are hoping for a pilot installation by October 2010.

The problem is that 99 per cent of the Dunkin’ Donut stores are franchisee-owned and operated so any software vendor who thinks they will get 1,000’s of (gift wrapped) stores by winning the RFP is, err, well, delirious.

The other question that of course keeps cropping up is this; “is there already a preferred vendor in the mix?” i.e is this yet another blighted RFP doing the industry a sad disservice or is this as honourable as it should be?

Let’s give Accuvia Consulting and Dunkin’ Donuts the benefit of the doubt for the moment on that specific topic but one thing’s for sure and that’s all our friends in our #DSTop10 and elsewhere are getting a little tired of answering the SAME old questions for these sorts of guys.

The Digital Signage RFP, circa 2010 needn’t be very complicated…

  1. prove to me you will be in business for the next three years
  2. show me why your menu board is better than the others
  3. convince me your pricing model is the way to go

We surely all know who the top 12 digital signage vendors (or so) are? From that list and say with the addition of half a dozen, perhaps local or national specific vendors, it’s relatively straightforward to select 3 or 4 of those who are best suited or have proven track records in the vertical or sector you are looking at.

The best consultants that Dunkin’ Donuts can hire are NOT those who can put together a humongous RFP but those who can (and will) impartially say to them; “go in-depth in your labs with the likes of STRATACACHE, WireSpring, Harris Broadcasting, Real Digital Media and NEC and then decide which 3 to go to pilot with”. There’s no reason to waste everyone’s time answering long lists of questions – we loved one of the questions in the RFP about whether the solution supports video townhall meetings? – it’s a freaking menu board for heaven’s sake!!

There are a few consultancies who are impartial enough to do this selection process properly (and indeed put their reputations on the line) but unfortunately there seem to be very few organisations who are smart enough to recruit or listen to them.


4 Responses to “Dunkin’ Donuts RFP Number 4”

  1. Kyle Porter Says:

    Hey! I’ve responded to one of those :) good luck vendors!

  2. Bryan Crotaz Says:

    I loved answering one a few years ago with three consecutive questions:

    1. Does your signage player support LED screens? (well it’s a VGA output – what do you want to plug it in to?)
    2. Does your signage solution support 10,000 screens? (OK now I’m wondering what your LED budget is)
    3. Does your signage solution play back 4k video? (er… not many screens support it, unless you have a 4m wide 3mm LED. Um sorry – 10,000 4m wide 3mm screens…)

  3. Joyce Vogt Says:

    I hope we can get some of these vendors to realize that these can often be an exercise in futility. I worked inside these large retail giants. I was part of the eight rounds of RFP for content management back in the day. It is how they learn. An RFP tends to be a brain dump of unique intellectual property that one will never get back and, sadly, one will never see any justifiable benefit. Great article…I’m glad someone is sharing the hard truth.

  4. Predictions for the Digital Signage Industry | Digital Signage Blog | Says:

    […] off). They’ve already started racking up big corporate clients. Other big companies, such as Dunkin’ Donuts, have also engaged established firms to handle RFPs. Others have stuck with single shingle guys. […]

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