Anyone who has worked in procurement understands the minor nightmare that can be part of sourcing, that is identifying vendors who can supply needed goods and services to your company. Very often the process can be extremely tedious and time-consuming, and department-wide the necessary shared communication can be very difficult to maintain. Preparation of Requests for Proposal (RFPs) is not only a very labor-intensive procedure, but the cumulative paperwork for these can be hard to analyze and draw any conclusions from. In addition, if your company happens to be one associated with any level of government, there are also numerous guidelines and regulations that must be observed in order to comply with standard practices.
The FlexRFP™ Software Solution
The FlexRFP™ software solution to all this is to provide a system that standardizes, organizes, structures, and allows for repeatability in the preparation of RFPs. Because it supplies an entire library of templates, the right template is always available for the kind of request being prepared. And because these are standard templates, the whole procurement department will be using them and communicating with each other about them in a collaborative effort. Using a FlexRFP™ template, a request can often be setup and launched in less than five minutes, but in any case you can count on it being a savings of half the time you might have spent on a manually-prepared RFP.
More Benefits of FlexRFP™
FlexRFP™ has full archival and storage capabilities to cover the potential for future audits and Sarbanes-Oxley requirements. Since all purchasing and accounting practices have been documented, retrieval on-demand is a simple matter. Also, the supplier bid input controls featured in the software allow you to receive only the content you want, eliminating more incoming paperwork that adds no value to your procurement process. Then too, much greater transparency is added to the sourcing process and its eventual outcomes.
The supplier and project tagging feature permits you to group RFPs in collections that are meaningful to your company so that analysis becomes much easier and accessible. You will also find that your paper trail is reduced because standardized templates are being used, and the mountain of RFPs has been reduced to a few. And to tie things all together, FlexRFP™ has built in questionnaires, surveys and score cards that supply more information for analysis and future use by your company.
Another option available to users of the FlexRFP™ system is that of customizing each field on a template. On some of the most-used templates, it will probably be of great value to setup fields specific to the procurement practices of your company so that data returned is the most relevant it can be and provides the most usefulness. When these fields are established on any given template and it is made available to the department, the standard RFP template will be one which has the most relevance to your business, resulting in the greatest time-saving and efficiency for future analysis.
If it is convenient to your procurement practices, data from Excel spreadsheets can be easily input to a FlexRFP™ template – so that thousands of line items can be downloaded, or the same number of suppliers can be input. The fact that this software works very well with Excel can be another huge time-saver for your procurement department.
These are some of the ways that FlexRFP™ can really help your company save time and effort in the area of sourcing, collaborative communications and compliance for auditing and other regulations. It’s the 21st century way to do sourcing!