Assess Technology Implications
Technology implications of proposals are inspected before award to ascertain
how the solutions proposed by potential suppliers may affect Postal Service
projects or programs.
The technology implications of a solution can have immediate and long-term
effects on the Postal Service. The solution can lead the Postal Service to
start using different applications, servers, or particular companies for
supplies. Purchases for the remainder of a program may be affected by the
The complexity and size of the purchase will dictate the time and effort spent
checking the technology implications. To perform this check, the following
areas must be considered:
• The Postal Service personnel checking technical implications
• Personnel's knowledge of the Postal Service
• Feasibility of the supplier solution
• Effect of the solution on the Postal Service
• Viability of the solution and emerging technology
The Purchase/SCM Team is responsible for the overall direction of the
purchase. If appropriate, Postal Service technological resources (e.g.,
information technology [IT] personnel, engineers) should be included on this
team, because the evaluation involves a highly technical product or service.
The selected personnel should have the expertise to make technical
judgments on the adequacy and relative value of the submitted proposals.
The success of the project should be defined in business terms, not in
technical terms. When the Purchase/SCM Team checks the technology
implications of the proposal, they must possess a thorough knowledge of the
products or services the Postal Service plans to purchase. Such knowledge
includes product features, especially those characteristics that are critical to
the product's success or failure. Performing these checks will clearly identify
technical implications in proposals.
The Postal Service staff should also know about the relevant projects,
programs, and infrastructure that pertain to the solution.
The proposal should be subject to rigorous checks to confirm that the solution
complies with the Postal Service's technological standards and guidance.
The potential supplier's proposal must demonstrate an understanding of the
requirements and outline an approach to performing the work, as reflected in
• Knowledge of the Postal Service mission and purchase objectives
• Awareness of the environment in which the product will operate
or the work will be done
• Stated comprehension of work tasks
• Proposed innovative solutions
• Use of current technology and methodologies
• Awareness of potential problem areas
• Overall feasibility of the approach
Numerous questions will need to be asked. The Proposal Evaluation Team's
knowledge of the solution is paramount to the success of the evaluation. It is
important that the solution matches the needs of the Postal Service.
Questions must be applicable to the purchase and can include:
• Does the vision of the potential supplier's solution match the
vision of the Postal Service?
• What skills and resources does the potential supplier intend to
• Does the potential supplier rely heavily upon a labor-intensive
process or operate at a level of automation that does not truly
benefit the Postal Service?
• Are the supplier's configuration management processes
underpinned by a suitable configuration management tool?
• Does the proposed infrastructure adhere to defined standards,
including those for interoperability?
As necessary, the Contracting Officer is responsible for conducting any
necessary discussions between the Postal Service and potential suppliers
during the evaluation.
The technological implications of the purchase can be numerous. Each area
of the technology solution contains ramifications to the Postal Service.
Questions that should be asked and answered to gauge the implications of
the solutions include:
• Does the Postal Service have, or have access to, the necessary
skills and competencies to support the intended
• Will the following be affected: software/system interfaces,
software configuration, engineering process, training, reviews,
maintainability, coding standards, compliance with the requisite
software engineering standards, new technologies, and new
process support systems and tools?
• What kind of technical support is needed to back up proposed
• What is the functional depth and flexibility for complex customer
relationships and segmentation?
• What are the levels of skills and resources that have to be
provided by the Postal Service to work with the supplier's
• What is the timetable for the development stage? How does this
impact on the availability of the Postal Service's resources?
• What is the suitability and extent of implementation work that will
be required to deploy the software?
• Will spare parts and peripheral components like batteries and
replacement drives need to be kept?
• What is the impact to the total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis?
When checking technical implications, the viability of the technology and
emerging technologies should be considered (e.g., technical viability: a
software product's architecture must be inherently flexible and able to keep
pace with evolving technical standards). Suppliers that have stayed with
proprietary and legacy technology are still in business today, but viability is
questionable at best.
Emerging technology should also be a factor when selecting a solution. One
common way to identify emerging technology trends is to follow the trails of
strategic partnerships between companies. Analyzing the state of technology
allows the Postal Service to be aware of implications of choosing a certain
solution. Additional information appears in the Analyze State of Technology
topic of the Decide on Make vs. Buy task of Process Step 2: Evaluate
Conduct Market Research and Benchmarking Analysis topic, Decide on
Make vs. Buy task, Process Step 1: Identify Needs
Analyze State of Technology topic, Decide on Make vs. Buy task, Process
Step 1: Identify Needs
Hold Discussions topic, Evaluate Proposals task, Process Step 2: Evaluate