Shouldn’t all suppliers be thrilled with the opportunity to do business with your company?
Your eSourcing system should be an asset that makes responding to your RFPs a pleasure and not a dreaded chore.
If fact, if your system helps suppliers respond quickly and keeps them well informed about the process then you can use it as a marketing tool to attract new suppliers.
Here are some of the features that can make onboarding and submissions easier for suppliers:
- Automatic reminders when standard documents need to be resubmitted
- One-button submission of the updated documents with acknowledgement of receipt and acceptance
- Reminders of time-sensitive data for suppliers and internal stakeholders
- Auto saving as each question is completed that preserves all work submitted to that point
- Standard internal reporting tracking supplier compliance with requests
- Online supplier registration with key threshold questions that allow acceptance to move forward or rejection at logical points in the process
Once a supplier is qualified there are hundreds or even thousands of features that can make their life easier or harder. Everyone wants a level playing field. Here are some that can drive bidders crazy:
- All communications are handled within the system and viewable at their company email address
- Answers to clarification questions are not automatically provided to all suppliers
- Bids are controlled with minimal opportunity to add or change fundamental assumptions for line items or groups of items
- Fields are provided that allow for expected price differences by location or service level
- A simple attachment process for required items like product specifications takes too long to do
- One-button upload for data using Excel isn’t available for bids with hundreds or thousands of items
- Each supplier has to search through the entire RFP to select items they can bid on or want to bid on
If your suppliers are praising your system for its ease of use it would make sense to make a list of all their good comments. This will help you sell your process to prospective suppliers.
It is just smart business and you can be certain that very few companies are marketing their system to prospective suppliers.
If you aren’t hearing good things or if you are getting lower participation in your events perhaps it is time to have a conversation with your key suppliers.
This should help you identify areas for improvement in your process.
Action Step: Motivating suppliers to want to do business with your company will help you create a competitive environment that will deliver savings to the bottom line. If you are uncertain where to start a procurement professional like myself can provide guidance and expertise to help your organization achieve the results you need. If you want to go explore this topic in greater detail, please contact me.
EC Sourcing Group is one of the companies I represent because their tools have been created by dedicated and experienced sourcing professionals. They know the day-to-day challenges your team faces and have built their tools to solve them. If you want to know how, I invite you to request a demo or 30-minute discovery conversation so you can experience the platform, process, people, and tools. You can reach me at (973) 718-7071 x875. The call will be forwarded to my mobile phone if I am not in my office which is pretty likely.
Next week I will continue on this same theme so your organization can improve your bottom line.
If you would like to know more ways to reduce costs without changing the way you do business, simply give me a call or send me an email with your contact information and the best time to reach you.
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Until Next Time, I Wish You Great Success in Your Business and in Your Life