Having the right vendors working with your company can make or break business operations. Each component of vendor management — budgeting, forecasting, reporting and data analyzing — is needed to ensure you are working with the right vendors at the best prices while still offering competitive products to customers. Yet any part of the process can fail, or lag in its operations to where your company is barely staying in the black. Improving each area, both separately and collectively, can ensure to create a smoother RFP process. Several tips in improving the components of your vendor management procedures:
Remove Redundancy by Seeking Consolidation
Redundancy negatively impacts operations and slows down the retrieval of accurate data. The redundant actions may consist of performing the same non-productive tasks throughout the day as it takes time away from evaluating and contacting vendors. You may also find yourself having repetitive outdated data throughout your computer systems that makes it hard to analyze reports or to ensure accuracy of information to forecast business operations and create budgets.
You can remove redundancy by consolidating repetitive tasks and data entry procedures. Using available RFP software, such as FlexRFP™, allows for your business to have all available data and tools through one interface. Customizable templates help you create entry fields that are the most essential to your business while eliminating needless data that does not impact operations. Vendor management software streamlines repetitive tasks so they can be accomplished at a touch of a button, such as automatically sending out surveys to gathering the top 3 bids in seconds.
Automating Manual Tasks
While removing redundancy can speed up operations and your ability to manage your vendor list, performing tasks by hand can still slow down your strategic processes. Sending out emails to vendors, creating paper requests, conducting surveys and gathering questionnaires are vital to your business yet can take up a great chunk of your time during the day. Add in the tasks of manual inputting data into spreadsheets and filling up line items for your budget, and you can find your operational costs on the rise while your available work time lessens.
Automating manual processes with software that is designed to perform multiple tasks and offer ideal input controls allows you to create the templates and spreadsheets that work for your business. The long-term savings often justifies the initial deployment costs as your budgeting, forecasting, and analyzing tools are all located in one consolidated software suite that is easy to use. You will also have more accurate, real-time data available for reports as you can better manage your time by focusing on more productive tasks.
Adopt Strategic Processes That Are Scalable
Improving your budgeting, forecasting, reporting and analyzing capabilities by removing redundant tasks and streamlining manual work can greatly change your RFP process. Yet the technology and software you should select must be scalable to operations. When your business grows, the technology must allow for increased workloads, more personnel accessing computing systems, and the handling of the growing amounts of data coming in.
No business owner wants operations that cannot grow when a business has an influx of new customers. When supply and demand changes, strategic processes must change to accommodate the increase of orders. A common problem that a business owner faces is that old processes can become overburdened when their operations cannot react fast enough to growing demands. Scalability allows businesses to survive during turbulent times so they can stay competitive and expand when required.
Every business has different operations, requiring different needs to operate efficiently. Evaluate present strategic processes and select the components that can be improved upon through consolidation, scalability and RFP software. The present and future benefits will allow you to stay competitive.