RFP Due Dates Are Closer Than They Appear

Are RFP due dates always sneaking up on you?

Have you been put in an embarrassing position because you couldn’t meet the timetable of senior management or your supervisor?

Most eSourcing platforms are designed to only handle certain types of events.

Maybe that is why most systems are being used on less than 40% of total spend.

Some are perfect for 3 bids and a buy.

Others can handle thousands of items and hundreds or even thousands of suppliers.

Simplicity is the core part of platforms that focus on the casual or infrequent user.

Certain ones are tied so tightly with ERP platforms that the user must utilize them regardless of the challenges.

Many questions should come to mind if you are ready to explore a change.

If your CEO needed one item or service this week how quickly could you execute the request?

If your company is seeking new suppliers outside of high tariff countries for multiple products how long would this take your team to execute?

How will you determine what you really need?

Other than procurement, how will collaborators and stakeholders benefit?

How will you choose a platform that users will embrace?

How will you build your case once you do find a platform that appears to meet your key needs?

Here are some benefits of using your platform that can handle a wide range of events with equal ease:

  • New events can be created in total or in part from a past event
  • Any event or part of an event can be saved as a template
  • New events can be created via one-click uploads from Excel
  • All data is entered in the tool rather than on attached spreadsheets – this alone reduces analysis time by 60%
  • Meta data from every event is searchable by users, collaborators and business owners
  • All data previously managed with spreadsheets now resides in the system enhancing analysis, understanding of trends and collaboration
  • The volume of historical data that can be analyzed grows exponentially, enhancing strategic sourcing and competitive advantage
  • Supplier vetting is streamlined by automatic requests and reminders based on a predetermined timetable
  • Preset groups of vetted suppliers can be invited to events with a few clicks
  • Each line item can be parsed so suppliers only bid on what they can produce or service – this greatly simplifies the supplier experience and analysis time
  • Express RFP templates allow for dozens of events to be launched the same day for recurring events like shipping lanes

This type of functionality has many benefits including;

  • Suppliers are motivated to participate because it takes far less time and they don’t have to pay to play
  • Each user, collaborator and business owner can create customized reports that will be saved with the event and can be copied into new events.
  • Multiple permutations and what if scenarios can be created on the fly and saved for future events if it makes sense
  • All communication is contained within each event so there is one version of the truth – this also helps with internal reviews of business practices
  • The knowledge and analysis created during an event can be used by anyone else in the group even after the originator leaves the company. You won’t have to waste time figuring out complex spreadsheets that someone else created.
  • Spreadsheet errors will be a thing of the past

Spreadsheets can be a valuable tool but compared to eSourcing tools they are antiquated. The time previously wasted on cutting and pasting can be used on more strategic items.

The ROI on your investment in an eSourcing platform will come from times savings plus increased competition in each event.

The internal knowledge base will allow you to negotiate with all the data at your fingertips.

Suppliers will realize the game has changed. They know they will need to sharpen their pencil and step it up if they want to keep your business.

Building your business case can be done in a few days not months.

How much happier and productive will you and your team be when you have a flexible platform in place.

If your company wants to dramatically enhance the efficiency of their procurement efforts, perhaps it is time for a chat.

In my experience, every organization has many opportunities that haven’t been investigated.

Ask better questions, make changes and 2020 will be your best year ever.

Action Step: If you are uncertain where to start the process of change, a procurement professional like myself can provide guidance and expertise to help your organization achieve the results you want.

If you want to go explore this topic in greater detail, please contact me. I invite you to request 30-minute discovery conversation. In my experience the next step will be apparent at the end of the call. I never assume that what I have to offer will be right for everyone, so don’t expect a sales pitch. You can reach me at 973-936-9672.

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.

You Won’t Drift to Success©

Commit to taking the next step.

Until Next Time, I Wish You Great Success in Your Business and in Your Life

Mike Jeffries