RFP Events: Time Expands or Contracts to Time Allowed

In thinking about recent RFP events, the time seems to expand if the horizon is long or compress if the need is immediate.

I believe that it is a smart approach to go into an RFP event with the mindset that you have a lot less time than you really do.

There are plenty of examples where it makes sense to thoroughly examine every aspect of a bid due to the critical nature of the purchase.

Many events can be completed in far less time because the impact on your operation will be small if something goes wrong.

I will use the example of a recurring indirect spend item that has been purchased for 5 years to give you some food for thought.

What do you really need to know to succeed?

  • Price for each of the contracted purchases
  • Actual price paid if different and the reason why
  • Changes in specifications, if any during the 5 years
  • Alternative suppliers that are available
  • Supplier innovations you are aware of or can inquire about
  • Quick estimate of switching cost
  • Updates for insurance and any other compliance requirements
  • Tools used in prior events that can be updated quickly

If you have these shouldn’t you be able to dramatically reduce the time to execute the event?

Put the 80/20 rule into place for your events and you should be able to go home at a reasonable hour each day.

Work with your team to reduce redundancy and eliminate unnecessary steps.

Come up with a list of steps that can be eliminated or modified to save time.

Every individual that is part of the procurement cycle can identify flaws and opportunities to do things more efficiently.

Set a goal to complete the next event in half the time. You will surely save a significant amount of time even if you don’t make your goal.

Apply the steps that worked to the next event and keep learning.

Celebrate your success and pass it on.

In our company, we recently attached a process that was constant source of frustration.

In less than a week we came up with an alternate process that saves us more than 40% of the time.

All we had to do was focus on it.

The reality is that the process was so painful we couldn’t live with it any longer.

Simple is better and necessary to keep our sanity.

A dedicated procurement professional can help you uncover opportunities and employing an outside expert is a proven way to get things done and avoid political turf wars.

Action Step:  Every organization can get better. Finding and creating success is often a matter of taking the first step. 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 want. If you would like to explore this topic in greater detail, please contact me.

If you want to explore a purchasing or procurement topic in greater detail, 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 my recommendations will be right for everyone, so don’t expect a sales pitch. You can reach me at 973-936-9672.

Organizations of all sizes are reducing costs and increasing efficiency, without changing the way they conduct business. If you would like to know how, 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©

Think about it.

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

Mike Jeffries