There are many steps in the supply chain and sourcing and procurement that are tedious, but they must be completed to run the business smartly and efficiently.
An RFP (request for proposal) offers details about your project and asks your potential suppliers and vendors to provide their capabilities and bids so you can get goods and services to help complete your project.
Often, this process is performed manually, and it can be time-consuming. However, RFP software can assist in streamlining the process.
If you’re able to select the lowest responsible bidder more quickly, you can get the project completed faster and on budget. But, you must also select the best RFP automation software for your needs.
Read on to learn more about RFP automation software, what it does, and what features you should seek.
RFP Automation Software: What It Does
Automation—for RFPs— isn’t new, but RFP management software has come a long way in recent years. Previously, you could automate certain pieces of RFP management, but not the entire process or certain aspects of the software process was too hard to do so you continued to use manual methods.
Those working in procurement management found it tough because while some processes were manageable in spreadsheet software, they would become frustrated and think, “there must be a better way” and perhaps “a template in RFP software might help.”
Today, you can opt for cloud-based RFP automation software that can streamline nearly the entire process. As a buyer, some of the processes you can automate include:
- Supplier evaluations
- Pricing tables
- Proposal scoring
- Response reminders
- RFP progress tracking
- Supplier profile review
- Supplier updates
- RFP question selection
- Supplier selection
Before, you would have had to set reminders on your phone or calendar or try the age-old method of tying a string around your finger. But, modern-day RFP software can handle all of these processes.
RFP automation software benefits your vendors and suppliers as well, which makes collaboration easier.
Your buyers can access features such as:
- Data analysis
- ROI tracking
- Knowledge management and library updates
- Task management
- Security questionnaires
- Workflow tracking
Using RFP automation software is beneficial for both you and your suppliers, including your strategic suppliers.
RFP Automation Software: Features to Look For
The best RFP software is highly dependent upon its features and how you plan on using it. It also depends on what you need as a company.
Essentially, you want to look for RFP automation software that removes all of the components you used to perform manually. You don’t want half the content in the software and half in spreadsheets, if possible. You also may want to have software that has intelligent answer recommendations, a Subject Matter Expert (SME) workspace to make collaboration much more efficient, a content library, analytics and reporting, and assignment workflows. It has more to do with your current software package and what it’s able to do as well as your needs as a company.
RFP Automation Software: What Are the Benefits?
Of course, there still are procurement managers that like the old-fashioned manual way of the RFP process because they’re used to it—it can be tough to embrace change. However, the number one benefit of this type of software is increased productivity because of the amount of time saved.
Time saved equates to money saved because you can use that extra time to attend to other matters or run more RFP’s sooner. If your department can run ten RFP’s per year manually, there is a good chance that you can run 15 or 16 RFP’s with the right RFP automation software. RFP software also lends a hand to consistency and compliance and allows you to better look at data and analytics. Lastly, RFP software reduces the pain when an associate leaves since all of their RFP’s will be in a consistent format in the software. Overall, it’s a move in the right direction for both you and your suppliers.
To learn more about RFP automation software or to request a demo, get in touch with us today at Find out how RFP automation software can help streamline the Request for Proposal process for both you and your suppliers. by dialing 973-936-9672 to set up an appointment.