The supply chain is a vital aspect to any organization in any industry. Developing a book of suppliers and vendors that are trustworthy, reliable, and actively respond to RFPs is a challenge for every procurement team. Enhancing the RFP process can help organizations in building a library of suppliers and vendors that they can turn to whenever new contracts become available.
Crafting an RFP process that is appealing to suppliers is an important aspect in the procurement cycle. While many vendors are also adapting automated RFP response software, there are many suppliers that still respond to RFPs manually. Understanding that vendors and suppliers sink valuable time into their response to an RFP is important in the design of an RFP that attracts quality vendors.
Suppliers that engage in RFPs and reverse auctions do so knowing that they may not even win the contract. This means that all the time and energy they invest in responding to an RFP could yield absolutely no return. Considering the supplier’s perspective in designing an RFP process should inform an organization as to what information is vital to include in an RFP, how complicated they need to be, and other important factors that ultimately yield higher response rates, and a higher quality vendor-library.
Enhancing the RFP process isn’t just supplier-side though. Organizations see a plethora of benefits from optimizing the RFP process within the procurement team. One of these benefits is higher quality bids from the suppliers they’re most interested in working with.
Tips to Enhancing the RFP Process Within Procurement
There are multiple ways to enhance the RFP process. Doing so will lead to stronger supply lines, higher quality vendors, and longer lasting supplier-relationships. Prioritizing these factors within a procurement department create higher efficiencies within the organization and promote a culture of continual improvement.
Define RFP Best Practices
In the development or improvement of any system of processes within an organization, starting by defining best practices is extraordinarily helpful. This sets the standard workflow for a process which helps employees follow the same procedure no matter the situation. Taking the time to write out best practices saves time throughout the RFP design process and ensures that high quality standards are maintained.
Defining best practices also allows a company to define the goals and objectives being sought from any individual process or procedure. In RFP’s, that goal is to attract high quality and trustworthy vendors.
Ask the Right Questions
Including the right questions in an RFP is the best way to entice vendors into submitting bids. In drafting an effective RFP companies should only include questions that seek vital information. This allows a quicker response time from suppliers – and allows procurement teams the ability to sift through bids and determine which vendors are worth entering negotiations with more quickly.
The questions included in an RFP should also provide the originator of the RFP with comparable, and measurable information that informs their decision-making process. This further assists the company in comparing the quality of vendors and bids against one another to be more knowledgeable in their vendor selection process.
Save Questions in a Library
After defining RFP best practices and crafting an effective initial RFP that’s loaded with powerful and informative questions, these effective questions can start being compiled into a library. Compiling a collection of effective questions that can be included in an RFP makes crafting future RFPs that much easier and more efficient. This also allows an organization to craft RFPs for any situation that could arise.
Automate with RFP Software
Automating the RFP process through procurement software is swiftly becoming the easiest and best way to standardize the RFP process. RFP automation software also prepares the organization for future custom RFPs that can be created quickly and efficiently. As a budding industry-standard both procurement software solutions, and RFP software solutions are more than worth the investment for companies looking to maintain a competitive edge.
ProcurePort is the premier supplier for procurement software solutions. Offering robust features that help build efficiency into the entire procurement department, software from ProcurePort is the premium choice for procurement professionals. Get in touch with ProcurePort today and see how your procurement team can benefit.