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Cost is often the most significant factor in choosing a language services provider. But how do you know you’re getting the best value for your investment? If your organization plans to issue an RFP for language services, review our tips and download our pricing template to help you compare vendors.

Essential information to include in your RFP pricing template

Make sure your language services RFP pricing template has the following elements:

  • Required services & products
  • Languages and dialects
  • Anticipated annual volume in minutes
  • Clear instructions for completion

Tips for your RFP pricing template

  1. Use separate spreadsheet tabs for each language service
    Individual tabs for OPI, VRI, OSI, translation, and equipment can minimize confusion and highlight which vendors offer the most value for each service.
  2. Allow vendors to add rows for additional costs
    RFP pricing templates should allow vendors to showcase all aspects of their pricing model. Limiting rows may not give you the full picture of how your investment will be spent.
  3. Avoid grouping languages together
    Many language services providers charge different rates for Spanish or American Sign Language (ASL) compared to other languages (LOTS). Translation services RFP pricing templates should allow for extra space or rows, as per-word pricing can greatly vary by language.
  4. Provide space for vendor comments
    Allowing vendors to clarify, describe, or add context can provide a better understanding of their pricing model or any added value opportunities.
  5. Include total cost formulas for multi-year contracts
    Some vendors may offer a “discounted” price for the first year of a contract, but make up for the loss in the following years. Asking for the total price of the contract can help your team evaluate the true investment without distracting gimmicks.
  6. Ask vendors to include a list of fees
    “Nickel and dime” fee charges add up over time. Your RFP pricing instructions should ask vendors for transparent pricing, including how you’ll be charged for account support, contacting an operator, or rushing a translation project.
  7. Format spreadsheets with printing in mind
    If you need to print pricing information for your records, make sure your template fits on standard 8.5” × 11” We recommend using narrow margins and landscape orientation to allow space for additional/wider columns as needed.

Download the ideal language services RFP pricing template

CyraCom's new RFP Resources help you throughout every step of the RFP process from learning how to write an RFP to comparing responses.

Access the full version of this post, our RFP Guides, our recommended pricing template, and more.


Lindsay Lawson

Lindsay Lawson

An experienced researcher, writer, and editor on language services-related topics, specializing in interpreting and translation services, how language works.