When it comes to procurement, technology can make a significant impact.
Most businesses understand the challenges of finding a reliable supplier. Sure, there are “throwaway engagements” where your focus is purely transactional, the sole focus might be quickly identifying who can get the job time. But for larger, more strategic endeavors, the scope of your evaluation likely transcends the supplier’s current capabilities. Indeed, your looking to find a partner with whom you can build a long-term, mutually beneficial working relationship.
As a business, streamlining your sourcing, allows you to save time and money, build better working relationships with suppliers, and ultimately ensures the success of your procurement cycle.
What’s the difference between an acceptable RFP versus a stellar one that engages suppliers to put forward their best possible response?
The benefits of eSourcing may be clear for buyers, but streamlining the procurement process tends to be met warily by vendors. The apprehension stems from the impression that any level of process automation commoditizes their products and services, and that eSourcing platforms are largely one-sided in favor of the purchaser.
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.)
One of the best things about working on an eSourcing platform is that I get to talk to people in an incredibly broad set of fields because procurement is a universal function across all enterprises in all verticals. Since I talk to such a broad range of people, it is always striking when I hear the same complaints over and over again: it suggests the existence of a big problem.
When it comes to making big-ticket purchases, buyers should try to make their evaluation process as rigorous and objective as possible. The cost of a bad decision can be devastating. A request for proposal (RFP) provides a framework for rigor and objectivity that organizations can broadly adopt as a best-practice cornerstone of their purchasing process.