It’s no secret that the entire RFP (request for proposal) process can be a chore. Even if you’re working with the best team, the process is still a lengthy one, and it may be a part of procurement that you don’t look forward to. However, there are tools out there to help. Tools such as RFP management software are relatively easy to use, don’t have too steep of a learning curve, and can help you streamline the entire RFP process.
However, finding the best RFP software available from among the many choices can be a tough decision.
Read on to learn about how to choose the best RFP software for your needs, as well as the features that all RFP creation software should have.
The Best RFP Software: Features to Look For
As you perform an RFP software comparison, you’ll ultimately choose RFP software with a standout feature that is advantageous to your specific department and company.
However, there are general features every type of RFP software should have, particularly the best RFP software. As you search, make sure your software has:
- Team notifications. Your software should be able to send alerts out to the team when one member needs more information or to a supplier that falls behind. This could be as simple as a vendor comparison, but the software needs to be responsive enough to handle these requests.
- Collaboration. Similarly to notifications, your software should be completely transparent to allow and simplify collaboration between members (and departments).
- Vendor tracking. You should be able to see where every vendor is in their response process.How to Choose the Best RFP Software
- Automation. You should have the ability to fill out an RFP (or RFQ or RFI) quickly and easily using an RFP template in software selection.
You may find that some suites may have other types of features, such as more vendor management features, eAuction features, or E-procurement features. You may want to keep software programs separate, so they have more robust features, or have a suite that offers features for each area of procurement management. If your goal is to choose the best RFP software, focus on RFP only.
The Best RFP Software: How to Reach a Decision
As you look for the best RFP software, realize that it’s not a solo decision, and it’s one that should be made as a team. Firstly, the decision will be more than requesting a demo and downloading a trial. As most RFP software is crafted to a company’s needs, the software manufacturer will likely want to give you a custom quote. As you test the software, to determine if it is indeed the best RFP software, you’ll want the entire team to see the demo.
You want to make sure all of the core elements are there before you begin to look at other features (such as vendor management features) that may benefit your company. If the software is missing core elements, extra features may be of no use.
One last thing to consider is how easy the RFP library within the software will be to maintain and use. This is a fundamental concept as you work with and test out the demo. You have to make sure that the majority of your team is comfortable with the interface and likes using it. Also, is it intuitive and collaborative for team members who only use RFP software occasionally? This type of software should be accessible to everyone. If there are key features missing or features you would like to see added, ask the developers if this is possible.
If you’re interested in hearing more about the best RFP software or you would like to request a demo, contact EC Sourcing Group today by calling 973-936-9672 to see how we can help streamline your RFP process.