Making RFPs (or request for proposals)is a necessary part of your procurement management strategy. Before the development of RFP software, purchasing and procurement departments would go through the process manually, which would take quite a bit of time and effort.
When you’re asking suppliers to place bids manually, the time it takes to go back and forth until the lowest possible bid is reached can be lengthy. RFP and RFP automation software is meant to help streamline the process, strengthen relationships with your vendors, and to help make your overall procurement process more efficient.
Read on to learn more about the best RFP automation software features and see how this could fit in with the suite or strategies you’re currently using.
The Best RFP Automation Software: Why Automation?
If you haven’t yet begun to use RFP management software or any RFP suite at all beyond spreadsheets and other word processing programs, you may be wondering why you should switch. RFP software, especially software that includes automation within itself, benefits both you and your suppliers in the long run. As a buyer, you’ll see the best RFP software with streamlining features such as:
- Response reminders
- Vendor scoring
- RFP question selection
- Pricing tables
- Progress tracking
- Vendor profile review
Your suppliers can reap the benefits of the best RFP automation software as well, with features such as:
- Data analysis
- Proposal progress tracking
- Knowledge management and library
- Answer selection and AI
- Task management
Also, many of the benefits that are good for suppliers are also pluses for you as well. You can always make a software comparison to see which may be the best choice for you.
The Best RFP Automation Software: Features to Look For
The preceding lists were features that every type of RFP software should have. Beyond that, there are specific features and benefits that the best RFP software should have. If you want to make a difference in maximizing your efficiency, you want distinctly unique automation features. Of course, every company’s needs are different, so you may need to shop around for a bit to find the software that best suits you. Look for key features, such as:
- Ability to create custom client pages
- Automated approval messages
- Notification when a supplier opens your proposal
- Electronic signature compatibility
- Automated frequently used documents
- Document tracking
- Send and sign documents across multiple devices
- Seamless integration with Microsoft Word
- Error checker for proposals
- Video compatibility for digital proposals CRM system integration
- Audit trails
- Access to prior revisions of your documents
Of course, there are many software types out there, and the best RFP automation software will be packed with features. To try and find what’s best for you, think about your specific needs.
The Best RFP Automation Software: Overall Benefits
The overall benefits of using the best RFP automation software are obvious. One of the most obvious ones is how much time is saved with automation, which, of course, increases productivity and efficiency. Of course, this equates to monetary savings over time. Also, using RFP software lends a hand to consistency and compliance. A collaborative type of software that has an extensive knowledge base and a searchable library is a great idea. Data capture and the analytics that arise from that capture is also a great benefit. It helps with cost and enables you to make other decisions, such as those about employee productivity.
To hear more about the best RFP automation software, or to request a demo from us, contact us today at EC Sourcing Group by dialing 973-936-9672 to speak to a member of our team.