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Harjit, John had summarized well in his reply. I would just add one point regarding FDS. I assume you’re talking about the Function Design Spec that details all the technical design and implementation of the vendor LIMS. If that’s the case, I haven’t come across any vendor including FDS directly into the RFP response, if any (I’ve worked in this industry for 20 years and have seen many RFP responses). The most I’ve seen is the high level explanation of each requirement. Having said that, I do agree the vendors should do more.
Amber, nice to see you here and hope you are doing well. It has been many years. As for FDS… You are generally right in your observations. On the other hand, with most all large government bids for LIMS, we are required to answer with details that are much like an FDS. I rarely see that level of detail in the private sector but I also point out that the private sector has a lot more flexibility and can go through an agile process for evaluation and selection while government takes on a more waterfall approach. I would not suggest following the government approach to selection at all. It gives the appearance of being thorough but all to often they do a ton of due diligence only to have lost sight of the forest for all the trees sticking in their eyes. The FBI has litany of failed LIMS projects and their rfp’s had details and requirements that were very precise that yielded a number of failed implementation attempts.
In summary, go to the level of detail that makes sense but get the vendor to do the work of communicating the lims that meets your needs. Do not dictate the format, let them do their best and then pick the best based upon the vendor and product you have the most confidence in. You cannot take the human decision and comfort level out of the process.
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