When was the last time you took a serious look at your procurement practices? Your procurement team may be in a rut. It’s common for buyers and supply chain managers to become accustomed to a certain way of doing things. Since supply chain management is such a process-based activity, best practices often get lost in the routine. This is precisely why it’s so important to reflect on your current practices and identify areas for improvement. Here are four key questions to ask yourself when reflecting on your current business practices:

1. How Efficient is your Procurement Cycle?

Shortening the procurement cycle is one of the simplest most straightforward ways to cut your costs, however a shorter cycle doesn’t always mean a more efficient cycle. Do you know how the average time it takes to complete each step of the procurement cycle? If you haven’t already, take an afternoon to map out the workflow and estimate the length of the cycle. This is a great activity to help you and your buying team visualizes the process and brainstorm ideas for improvement. If you notice problems with the length of the cycle, sourcing time and inefficiencies can be greatly reduced by using en eSourcing tool such as FlexRFP™.

2. Are you Leveraging Data?

It’s common sense that businesses must use data to better inform their practices, but is your business leveraging data to improve the procurement process? Using an eSourcing tool such as FlexRFP™ is one great way to track and manage your procurement data. You will be able to see your procurement data on a much more granular level than with traditional sourcing methods. Once you are able to examine your historical data in detail, you will gain a much better understanding of your spending landscape.

3. Do you have Strategic Supplier Relationships?

If you are satisfied with simply having positive vendor relationships, then you really need to take a closer look at the way you view these relationships. Having positive vendor relationships isn’t going to save you any money or increase revenue streams. The most profitable companies create strategic partnerships with vendors that go beyond a “good relationship”. You should be working more closely with vendors to problem solve, establish mutual goals, and identify areas of improvement.  FlexRFP™ software offers a collaborative solution for RFP that allows buyers to more easily collaborate with suppliers and turn a positive relationship into a profitable partnership.

4. How Transparent is your RFP process?

Increased transparency in the RFP process is beneficial to both the supplier and the buyer. Old-school procurement practices often led to data silos and limited transparency. Suppliers as well as internal stakeholders were often missing key information that might help them understand the “big picture”. As a result, sourcing was typically disjointed and inefficient. With the FlexRFP™ tool, businesses can feel confident their RFP process will be clear and transparent from the start.

If you are ready for an eSourcing solution that will help you save money, reduce inefficiencies, develop strategic supplier partnerships, and help you understand your spending landscape then FlexRFP™ is the right tool for you. Contact EC Sourcing today to find out how you can streamline your procurement process.