We’ve dedicated quite a bit of time speaking to the virtues of the RFP process. Indeed, if you’re sourcing any complex good or service, running a Request for Proposal, is a great way to gather and evaluate the data the will ultimately support the decision you make. While running a comprehensive sourcing event makes sense in many scenarios, there are other situations where price is the overriding criterion. If that is the case, and the product/service being sourced is steeped in commodity rather than complexity, you might have a good candidate for a reverse auction.
Topics: Reverse Auctions
For business-savvy organizations, requests for proposal (RFPs) aren’t just simple procurement tactics. To them, each RFP represents an opportunity to drive value by engaging both future partners and stakeholders.
One of the more common tasks of companies undertaking a new sourcing project is issuing RFPs. Sometimes, the RFP drafting process is viewed as a relatively minor part of the entire project rather than being treated with the same degree of care as other aspects like scoring/evaluating. A thoughtful, well-considered RFP is a key stepping stone on the path to adding to or updating your vendor portfolio. Giving it short shrift, on the other hand, could have the opposite effect and negatively impact the company’s growth, profitability, and efficiency.
For a lot of businesses, a well-considered and thoughtfully-implemented eSourcing strategy could offer numerous benefits. Increasing sourcing efficiency, bringing down overhead costs, and improving supplier relationships are just some concrete examples. Given that, it’s almost surprising that businesses are all too willing to overlook these advantages due to certain eSourcing myths.
(Thanks, Charles Le Brun for the great Hercules painting! Greek myths...now, those are interesting.)
I don’t know whether the concept of “the monster in the closet” is universal, but among my elementary school peers, it certainly seemed that way. Now, as a parent to two elementary school children, I've noticed that the closet monster continues to work dutifully, waving away any talk of retirement. Each night, before bed, my daughter walks over to the closet and presses it shut. She even does this when the closet isn’t open. Around the world, there are thousands — perhaps millions — of children who adhere to the same routine. And for what? To the extent these monsters are real, they are actually quite adorable...or at least that’s what Monsters, Inc. would have us believe. We really have nothing to fear from closet monsters.
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.