Supplier & Solution Selection

Supplier & Solution Selection

The challenge

Choosing the right supplier and systems solution is just the beginning of a successful information systems project – and so it’s crucial to get the right combination. For most organisations, the range of possible solutions – and the range of possible suppliers – is dauntingly vast. The risks (and the penalties) of getting it wrong are just as scary, and most organisations in the sector have only limited experience of the specialist procurement techniques involved. Getting the right advice and guidance is a critical first step.

The challenge
How we can help

How we can help

Adapta has been helping charities, membership bodies and others choose the right suppliers and solutions for many years. Over the decades, we have established a secure approach to selection which we call “Adaptive Procurement”. The approach takes a holistic view of the task to find the right people and products, as well as considering the resources you have available and the prevailing culture the implementation partner needs to recognise and appreciate. Our approach to selection focuses as much on the supplier themselves as on any software or services they provide, and our structured series of key steps takes into account organisational chemistry and commitment alongside technical functionality and fit.

For those organisations able to resource the key project roles internally, we can provide support, backup and overall guidance; for those organisations that need us to, we can offer a complete set of project management and technical resources to help throughout.

How we can help How we can help

What we will deliver

Our Adaptive approach to procurement comprises eight main stages which we agree with you in advance to combine, shorten (or skip entirely) as appropriate to your situation.

Stage 1 - Setting up the project governance, in which we can offer to help you establish the best management framework for the project, taking into account practical issues of availability and experience

Stage 2 - Establishing the rationale, in which we can help you to articulate and document the business case of investment

Stage 3 - Reviewing business processes, where we can offer experienced consultants to work with your teams to analyse and document the current ways of working and the areas for potential improvement

Stage 4 - Preparing a request for information and shortlisting suppliers, where we can offer templates and guidance to set out your business and technical requirements in the best format for suppliers to respond to

Stage 5 - Prototyping, which sits at the heart of our adaptive procurement process and involves engagement with shortlisted supplier to develop an example system based on your particular needs

Stage 6 - Selecting the preferred supplier, where our team can help with references and other due diligence as well as with the difficult final decision-making

Stage 7 - Planning the implementation and negotiating the contract, at which point, we can deploy specialist consultants to advise on implementation planning and who can support (or lead) the commercial contract discussions with the preferred supplier(s)

Stage 8 - Working through the initial discovery phase, which is the first step with the chosen supplier and benefits from our continued help as the scope and scale of the project becomes clearer.

What we will deliver
How we can help

Our credentials

As a team, we have helped to select – and, more importantly, go on to help implement – many information systems and services of different kinds; we know what works and what doesn’t; we know the pitfalls and how to avoid them and we bring more than 200 consultant years’ experience to our support for your project.

All information systems projects are different – not because of the technology but because every organisation has a different history, different experience and skills and a different way of doing things that make each organisation the charity, membership body or trust the organisation that it is. Our consultants have worked with more than 300 organisations in the not-for-profit sector and we bring all that experience to our work with you.

Our credentials

What our clients say

, Rebecca Pritchard
Client Quote

Rebecca Pritchard
Former Director of Operations, Crisis

"Adapta have been honest and realistic with us throughout. They are clear where they can add value and where we can do things on our own – so it feels like a partnership..."

, James Kliffen
Client Quote

James Kliffen
Head of Fundraising, MSF UK

"You have had a huge influence in our fundraising, and I would enthusiastically recommend you to other charities (and often have)..."

, Phil Durbin
Client Quote

Phil Durbin
Former Head of Corporate Systems, Salvation Army

"Unlike many consultants, Adapta won’t tell you what you expect to hear. They will be very honest and challenging and, even if some of what they say is uncomfortable to hear, it means you end up getting better advice."

, Dawn Varley
Client Quote

Dawn Varley
Operations & Strategy Director, Badger Trust

"I knew I could task them with my problem, and leave them to undertake the work in a professional yet friendly way, bringing their expertise and experience to the project…"

, Iain McSeveney
Client Quote

Iain McSeveney
Finance Director, Medical Aid for Palestinians

"I’m very pleased with the professional way that Adapta managed the project for the selection of MAP’s new accounting software. It was obvious that they have great experience in the charity sector and on the range of suitable accounting software currently on the market..."

, Rachel Rand
Client Quote

Rachel Rand
Strategic Director - Finance and Corporate Services, NCB

"I would not embark on any IT project without first meeting with Adapta to understand how they feel they could support me. I have found their guidance and practical support invaluable…"

, Rosalba Leonelli
Client Quote

Rosalba Leonelli
Head of Finance, Client Earth

"Thank you to you and your team for developing and facilitating an excellent workshop. You fully understood our needs which were evident in the workshop structure and content…"


We strive to support a dynamic, impactful sector that leads through innovation and collaborative thinking. We are continually amazed by the incredible work the sector does and the support it gives to make a difference to millions of lives in the UK and across the world. View the organisations we work with here.

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Case Studies

Our case studies provide real examples of the support and advice we give organisations, detailing the issues and challenges each faced and how, together, we were able to help them.