There are quite a few steps when it comes to building an RFP (request for proposal), and in modern times, most corporations and businesses use RFP management software to aid them in the steps of the RFP process.
Those in the market for RFP software, performing an RFP software comparison is a wise idea, as there are features that may be in one suite or software package that may not be in another. When you use the blanket term “RFP,” it can refer to much more than just a request for proposal, as it can mean a request for quotation (RFQ) or a request for information (RFI), so you need software that will be helpful to your specific use case.
Read on to learn how to perform an RFP software comparison, and to decide which type of software may be best for your company.
RFP Software Comparison: What Does RFP Software Do?
To perform a proper RFP software comparison, you should understand what the software is intended to do. Each suite or type of software may be somewhat different; you may find that some packages come with vendor management features, for instance, while others do not.
However, you may have integral vendor management features included in your E-procurement software, so this could be a non-issue.
Generally speaking, the best RFP software will:
- Perform all RFP functions (RFP, RFQ, and RFI)
- Have automation functions (such as auto-filling of forms)
- Have automated analytics so you can quickly see results post-RFP
- Perform simple tasks for you (reminders, schedules, etc.)
- Provide DDQ (due diligence questionnaire) templates
- Provide SOW (statement of work) templates
- Be integration-ready with open API’s
During your RFP software comparison, you may also find that some types of software have payroll and other financial functions integrated within the software, or the software may be collaborative across departments.
A good rule of thumb is to read RFP software reviews or to request a demo prior to purchase, so you get a good feel for the software. If the software isn’t intuitive, or difficult to use, pass on it. Software should make your job simpler, not harder.
RFP Software Comparison: Streamlining the Process
As you proceed with your RFP software comparison, think about a general RFP process and how this may work with software. In general terms, an RFP process looks something like:
- Gather the team. An RFP is never drafted by one person alone; so be sure to assemble your team. There should be one primary project manager, one person who will draft the document, and other contributing members.
- Determine a timeline. Like any project, an RFP needs a firm timeline. There should be a placeholder for when the first draft should be completed, when the draft should be reviewed, and when the draft should be submitted.
- Draft the final RFP. An RFP is a complex legal document that should be clearly divided into sections, such as an introduction, scope, description, requirements, expectations, etc. Be sure to get requirements from all interested parties.
- Submit the RFP. Give the RFP to the suppliers/vendors who are to receive it.
- Review the responses when they come in. Take care not to make a decision until all responses have been recorded.
- Demonstrations. Be sure the majority of the teams sees them all
- Sandbox tests. For the finalists, test the software to ensure your comfortable
- Negotiate, if needed. Sign the contract.
As you’re reviewing and making a thorough RFP software comparison, think about this process and your company’s goals and how particular software will fit these goals. Remember that you want to streamline and improve efficiency.
To learn more about RFP management software, or to request a demo from us, contact EC Sourcing Group today at 973-936-9672 to see how we can help.