Scoring a Request for Information (RFI) is not an easy task. First, you must decide how to weigh the different factors of the RFI, and then determine how well each vendor fulfills the requirements you laid out.

Some experts recommend keeping the scoring as simple as possible. “Include a simple set of statements that you’d ideally want the vendor to deliver against,” advises Paul Roberts, a business consultant and founder of StrategyActivist.com. “Use a simple way of scoring how well the vendor has done. You could even keep selections as simple as ‘does not meet,’ ‘meets,’ and ‘exceeds.’”

You should also make comments about your scores in order to be transparent with your vendors. If you have multiple RFIs, which you should, the process can be complicated and time-consuming. Fortunately, you can save time with RFI software that automates the scoring process to save time and achieve more accurate, defensible results.

RFIs Reduce the Pool of Applicants to Save Time

By sending out an RFI to potential vendors, procurement managers can eliminate those vendors who clearly don’t fulfill requirements. Since the process of scoring RFIs is already designed to save time by serving as a “first round” of applicants, it makes sense for management to streamline the process as much as possible. Automated RFI software means managers spend even less time considering applicants who don’t fit the bill for their project.

Procurement Managers Do the Work Upfront with Automated RFI Scoring

RFI scoring software should allow procurement managers to specify parameters and weigh various factors in the RFI document. By establishing requirements upfront, managers spend time thinking about the project, what’s most important, and what to look for when the process advances to a Request for Proposal (RFP) and Request for Quote (RFQ).

RFI Scoring Automation Reduces the Guesswork

Once procurement officials enter parameters and weights of different data fields in the RFI, the software then rates each company and sorts the vendors based on overall scores. Procurement officials can also sort based on specific requirements to find the companies that meet their parameters.

Computers excel at sorting data, and can do it more quickly and accurately than any human being, especially when dealing with numerous RFIs.

Automated RFI Software Can Integrate the Procurement Process on One Cloud-Based Platform

Once the top candidates have been selected through automated RFI software, integrated, cloud-based solutions allow procurement officials to move the process on to an RFP and RFQ, retaining all the RFI data for future comparison.

RFI scoring automation saves time in the early stage of the procurement process and gives management in the government, retail, financial, healthcare, and other sectors a solid foundation from which to choose the best vendors.