Procurement teams face a number of challenges as companies take an increasingly critical look at their processes in the hopes of producing more value. It might not surprise anyone that the value-driving RFP process is still regularly met with resistance from departments outside of procurement. Even procurement teams have been known to push back, describing the process as too time-consuming and antiquated. Sourcing professionals know that RFPs are critical components of a well-run procurement practice, but pressure — both external and internal — can result in teams’ skirting or completely abandoning the process altogether. The risks are significant as the organization is far more likely to be dealing with the consequences of an ensemble of mismatched services and low-value purchases as a result. Here are the 4 of the biggest challenges facing your RFP process today.
It’s easy to get lost in a sourcing event. In addition to making sure you nail each step of the RFP process itself, you’re also trying to wrangle data, vendors, and internal teams across a variety of communication and management platforms — none of which seem to speak to each other. There is an understandable temptation, and sometimes even pressure, to cut corners for expediency's sake, but you’re fully aware that cutting corners will lead to a less-than-ideal outcome. While for some organizations, the RFP has devolved into a box to be checked, top sourcing professionals understand the value of running a high-integrity, rigorous process. Below, we’ve put together a list of tips to keep your team on track, and maybe even show you some steps you didn’t know were missing.
Procurement doesn’t work in a tidy bubble; everything the team does is both influenced and catalyzed by the needs of other departments. Any improvement to the procurement team has a positive impact across every department that spends money. And if you have any departments that aren’t spending money… well… give us a call, we’d love to learn how they do it.
Supplier relationship management is tricky, and many organizations are unknowingly mismanaging their supplier relationships. From tunnel vision to a dangerous vendor “lock-in,” a mismanaged supplier relationship almost always impacts your bottom line… even if — and probably especially if — you can’t see the problem.
Imagine…. You’ve just finished an incredible dinner at a Michelin-rated restaurant. It’s the capstone on an amazing day that included massages, spa treatments, and tickets to a show. "It’s crazy," you think to yourself; you’re not even doing business with this vendor yet, but it feels like there is some special connection there. Or perhaps that’s just the wine talking.
At this point, you’re convinced that your purchasing process bears the hallmarks of the problems that come from manually-managed RFPs. You’re shopping around for RFP management software to streamline your process and gathering information just as you would for any other purchase that your team makes. (Maybe you’ll even get meta and run an RFP to find an RFP Management solution!) No doubt, you have your own questions that need answering, but here are seven questions you absolutely need to ask before you purchase RFP management software.
It’s the cold truth of procurement that when it comes to your RFP response and winning new business, you have to compete with other vendors. Unfortunately, when the buyer is ready to choose a winning vendor, there can only be one. It’s like the Highlander series of movies, only far less bloody.
Procurement professionals who send multiple RFPs each year will generally have a library of RFP templates. While this makes a lot of sense and could save a good bit of time in the sourcing process, there’s also a much higher chance of replicating mistakes across RFPs by using the same template over and over. Here’s the breakdown of the good, the bad, and the ugly for RFP templates, and what you can do to make sure your requests are as effective as possible.
The RFP is the celebrated driver of many large purchasing projects, but the RFI is the underutilized secret to success for sourcing good vendors.
Your company adopted a strategic sourcing process to save time and money. While RFPs in your strategic sourcing process should do both, RFP processes themselves are full of mismanaged time and resources.