The Best RFP Management Software in a Pandemic
Finding the best RFP management software can be challenging enough, but finding the right RFP management tools in a pandemic can be even more challenging. This uneasy feeling emanated throughout 2020 that perhaps COVID-19 would be eradicated if we “flattened the curve.” It appears as if the landscape has permanently changed in our post-COVID world.
This by no means indicates that purchasing and procurement operations won’t continue to see efficiency and driving growth, but flexibility needs to be a strong suit. Read on to learn more about the best RFP management software you can utilize in a pandemic and other management and RFP tools you should consider.
The Best RFP Management Software: What Are the Struggles?
To determine the best type of RFP software you need right now, it’s a good idea to look at the challenges your company has been facing during the pandemic while performing RFPs. As an RFP manager, you likely already have insight into some of these challenges. Generally, some companies have been reporting their issues, such as:
- Decreasing volumes. For some the number of RFPs hasn’t decreased, but the volumes shared with the market have decreased due to the pandemic.
- Decreases in RFP volume overall. Depending on your industry, you’ve likely seen a decline in volume. A small margin of industries has seen an increase during the pandemic.
- Collaboration struggles. With so many still working from home, team cohesiveness and collaboration is a problem. This can be especially true for those in the IT and RFP project management departments, but overall, everyone struggles to stay focused.
These may seem like common-sense problems, but they should lead you into the next topic at hand: should you opt for the best RFP management software to streamline operations during the pandemic?
The Best RFP Management Software: Matching Features with Your Problems
It’s perhaps a good time to take a good look at your RFP bid management software and ensure it’s meeting your needs. It’s also worthwhile to do a complete library refresh. If your software doesn’t include a library with this option, then you know it’s time for an upgrade.
Next, while this isn’t the best RFP management software per se, make sure you’re regularly able to communicate with your vendors and suppliers via some platform, such as Zoom, Asana, Teams, or Slack. These tools allow your team and your suppliers to come together and communicate remotely and effectively and in real-time. Not everyone is fond of video calls all the time, which is why Asana and Slack are great (and inexpensive) options.
Now, more than ever is a perfect time to keep an eye on that budget. You want to ensure you have software where you can optimize spend and run spend analysis. You were likely thorough before, but as of now, you need to know where every penny is going.
There are also some things beyond software to consider that can kickstart your RFPs.
The Best RFP Management Software: Beyond Software
Morale may be low on both sides of the coin when it comes to your team and your suppliers, and there are a few ways to improve this:
- Be prepared to answer COVID-related questions from your vendors. They may be feeling uneasy, and they may even bluntly ask about your plans for the future, anticipated future volume changes, or about your security plans for the moment. If you’re able, put their minds at ease.
- If things are slow, have an open discussion with your vendors, and discuss the possibility of new projects, if it makes sense in your industry.
- Check in with your team as often as possible, but not in a “naggy” way. Work needs to keep rolling, but honestly, asking how they’re doing goes a long way.
- Have kickoff calls (virtually) for every new project so that both suppliers and your team are all on the same page from day one.
Using the best RFP management software for the pandemic and a little bit of kindness, your RFPs should remain steady throughout 2021.
To learn more about the RFP management software that can help you withstand the pandemic, or to request a demo, contact EC Sourcing Group today at 973-936-9672 to set up an appointment.