Request for Proposal (RFP) Customer Support Services

WEConnect International
  • Location
    Remote, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career / Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Jun 09

Position description

WEConnect International is seeking proposals for the provision of Customer Support Services and/or Help Desk capabilities. We are a member-led, global non-profit that brings motivated, large corporate, multilateral and government buyers together with qualified women-owned suppliers around the world. It works with more than 160 multinational buyers, with more than $1 trillion in combined annual purchasing power, that have committed to sourcing more products and services from women-owned businesses based in more than 130 countries. WEConnect International identifies, educates, registers, and certifies women’s business enterprises that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women. For details on our organization, please refer to our website at

General Objectives

Contractor shall provide Customer Support Services on behalf of WEConnect International. The services will cover 24-hour time zones across the globe, serving more than 130 countries. This will be a 24x5 operation with language needs (listed below) following the time zone of the market.

Support to women-owned businesses and member buyers wishing to engage with WEConnect International will include: 

· Assistance registering their business on an SAP Ariba-based platform, via a proprietary portal;

· Responding to queries related to registration and certification of their business as woman-owned; buyer membership; and re-directing them to business support services. This will result in the creation of a knowledge center or library of documents that will be helpful for Help Desk inquiries. For example, if a women-owned business does not know what the equivalent of an LLC would be in India, the knowledge center will have a copy of that document to share with the caller. WEConnect International will provide the content and documentation for this knowledge center;

· Identification and referral of appropriate technology problems and questions to SAP Ariba for appropriate case resolution and ticket responses.

· Proactive outbound support for women-owned businesses who have initiated registration or certification and have only partially completed the process, with the goal of assisting them in completing the process.

Specific Objectives 

· Examine the current state of play and run diagnostics of the existing technology platform (see Annex A Current Technology Platform and Integration Requirements);

· Identify existing business, technology, operations, and administration gaps in the Customer Support Service, from which specific reform proposals would be provided to support a fully operational Help Desk; 

· Assess the potential organizational role that the Help Desk could play in affecting or improving the level of services to the organizational stakeholders;

· Develop a detailed blueprint, plan of action, and process activities for the development of the Help Desk. This should anticipate the timelines to acquire the business solution, establish a transitional setup if necessary; and build a sustained, medium-term capacity with the permanent designated organization;

· Design, develop, and implement an International Help Desk in accordance with international best practices of online community services and one stop-shop portals for the handling of registrations, queries, and case resolutions/ticket responses; 

· Ongoing process improvement to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of Customer Support Services, including methods for interaction such as IVR, chat bots, and other proven tools;

· Provide recommendations for optimal Help Desk operational arrangements and capacity development needs for the functioning of the one-stop shop members’ support; 

· Work with WEConnect International to build the knowledge center library of documents that will be used in data sharing with the women-owned business;

· Develop a sustainable financial model; 

· Provide maintenance and Customer Support Services for three (3) years from the Go!Live date. 

Scope of Work Tasks 

The consultant is expected to undertake the following tasks: 

Task 1: Contractor will conduct an organizational analysis to identify the Help Desk model most suitable for WEConnect international, with due consideration of the optimal organizational structure, technology systems, and human resources capacity requirements. 

Contractor would be required to consult broadly with stakeholders in the enterprise sector, membership community, and other organizational decision makers. This would include consultations on the current state of play, identified needs of the membership community, and on preliminary organizational proposals.

Task 2: Contractor will design and develop the Help Desk Operational and Business Model/Concept, including:

o Mapping of the business processes

o Catalog of the services and products that will be part of the Help Desk operations

o Budget for a feasible operational model (Capex, Opex and operation support). The analysis should also assess expediency of establishing a transitional startup framework, while permanent capacity is strengthened within a designated group of the organization.

Task 3: Contractor will implement and install the WEConnect International Help Desk acquired solution, including: 

o Technology installation (Full Technology Platform) and Go!Live

o Recruitment and training of staff 

o Reporting on each customer interaction, and trend analysis of customer interaction, in sufficient detail to allow identification of opportunities for improvement of WEConnect International offerings

o Develop administration and operational protocols (manuals and documentation) 

o Develop and implement data analytics, metrics, tools, and a methodology to support business and policy maker informed decisions.

Task 4: Contractor will manage the day-to-day business administration and Help Desk operations.

Task 5: Contractor will provide Maintenance and Support Services for three (3) years from the Go!Live date.


Your company will deliver the following outputs of the assignment:

  1. Inception Report including the Work Plan - three (3) weeks after contract signing
  2. Current Assessment Report following the organization’s analysis – four (4) weeks after inception
  3. Help Desk Operational and Business Model/Concept – four (4) weeks after completion of organizational analysis
  4. Installation and training report – three (3) months after completion of Deliverables 1 and 2
  5. Operations management report – 12 months after Go!Live with an additional 12-month option
  6. Support and maintenance – three (3) years from the completion of Deliverable 5
  7. Training Manual and Transfer of Knowledge Report – 12 months after [email protected]
  8. Quarterly Operational and Maintenance Reports 


Your company and Key Expert qualifications: 

· Knowledge of Women-owned suppliers’ organizations and global procurement processes;

· Provide proof of a minimum project budget of $500,000 for three (3) projects during the last two (2) years;

· Key experts will ideally possess knowledge in Business Process Mapping (BPM), Certification ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Systems, Project Management Agile Methodology;

· Experience in developing sustainable financial models for business solutions; 

· Experiences in technology innovation tools, implementation of open source, multimedia and social engagement models that include participation and communication of individuals within a global online community;

· Your company must show corporate and key experts’ multi-language capabilities in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Chinese, Japanese, Turkish, Italian, and Polish.

The Consultant is expected to pull together a team of appropriate experts to undertake the individual tasks as outlined in the work plan. All experts’ submissions should be supported by duly signed CVs. The names of the proposed experts, their input and position shall be indicated in the business and in the financial proposals. The team should comprise (but not limited to) the following expertise:

· Team Leader with relevant education and experience in technology planning and implementation for one-stop show Customer Support Services platforms 

· Customer service experts, solution architects, and support team

· Training and capacity building experts 

· Account Manager

Evaluation Criteria 

The selection will be based on the “best value for money” approach. 

Proposals will be scored based on the following criteria: 

· Solution requirements – 40%

· Project management and implementation plan – 20%

· Experience of proposed team – 10%

· Prior demonstrated experience with results – 10%

· Cost – 20%

Application instructions

Submission Requirements

Proposal guidelines

· Issue Date: June 3, 2022 

· Proposal Response Deadline: July 15, 2022 5:00 pm local time (EST) to: [email protected]

· Vendors must submit any written questions concerning this Request for Proposals via email to: [email protected] no later than 5:00 pm EST on June 15, 2022. All questions and communications regarding this RFP must be directed via email to the address listed above. Each message should identify the sender’s name and company. Responses to questions will be posted on the WEConnect International website. No individual responses will be provided.

· Submit proposal to include a full description of system features and capabilities, response to meeting the functional, technical, and cost requirements, previous experience, and draft implementation plan and timeline. Proposal not to exceed 25 pages. This does not include the cost proposal and resumes of the proposed project team.

· Cost proposal in USD of all costs associated with design, development, implementation, licenses, and training of the solution. Maintenance costs should also be included as well to ensure that the total cost ownership is transparent. A line-item cost proposal should be presented.

· Proposals should be received in .pdf format and email should have the subject line “WEConnect International Customer Support Services.”

· Contract award date is expected to be in September 2022.

Submission should include the following: 

· Corporate experience in providing technology planning, development, implementation, and Customer Support services;

· Specific experience in providing technical support/Help Desk services for an online community one-stop-shop -based platform;

· Client References (Name of project, Budget, Description and Contact Person – name- address phone and email) minimum of 3 references in the last 24 months; 

· Proposed methodology; 

· Key experts that will undertake the work, and CV(s) with summary of their relevant qualifications and experience.

· Proposed Service Levels and capacity of your company to meet capacity requirements 

· Work Schedule for an eighteen (18) months contract award. All activities must be completed by March 2024.

· Maintenance and Customer Support Services proposal for three (3) years from the Go!Live date.


The Firm will prepare its fees in USD and provide cost breakdown structure based on outputs. All taxes should be included as per government policy and paid in full by the contractor directly. WEConnect International is a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization and is not responsible for collecting or paying national or local taxes.


The Firm will confirm that its solutions, project management approaches, and any other applicable proposed processes will comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements, as well as any other applicable privacy laws/regulations for data classification and handling.


Annex A - Current Technology Platform and integration requirements

WEConnect International does not intend to be prescriptive about the technologies you propose for the Customer Support Center. We ask that you include in your proposal requirements for integration of the WEConnect International technology stack with your proposed solution.

  1. External platform – WECommunity is our online platform that allows Women-Owned Business from around the globe to connect with Member Buyers looking to diversity their value chains. WECommunity was launched in partnership with the US Agency for International Development and SAP Ariba, along with support from Accenture, ExxonMobil, Procter & Gamble and IBM. The current database provides access to more than 15,000 suppliers in 130 countries.
  2. WEConnect International has a Client Relationship Management (CRM) system that captures data on contacts, leads/prospects, opportunity pipeline, account, membership data, email accounts.
  3. Mail Chimp and Constant Contact - our email repository and marketing outreach systems.
  4. MS SharePoint - as our standard enterprise-wide team collaboration, document management and storage system. 
  5. Hubilo is our events platform. 
  6. Hootsuite for social media. Post to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Ads, Instagram, and YouTube on a global basis. 
  7. WordPress – for the website. 
  8. Adobe Creator and Canva are used for graphics. 
  9. Survey Monkey is used for surveys. 
  10. Microsoft Exchange for email, calendaring, contact, scheduling, and collaboration.
  11. WEConnect International has a Learning Management System (LMS).

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