RFP (Request for Proposal) is a tool that helps ensure a business procures goods and services at the most competitive rates. It is an invitation that a company publishes for vendors to submit their proposals, which the evaluation team uses to assess responses and finally award the contract. That being said, the RFP process is a time-consuming and complex and drains the procurement team’s resources to a great extent. That is why many companies hire RFP support services to create effective RFPs. Such services help companies save time and create RFPs good enough to win new contracts.
Let us begin by understanding the RFP process.
What is the RFP Process?
The RFP process includes a procurement team’s steps to create and broadcast an RFP and collect and analyze the responses received. RFP is a way to tell the prospective service providers what products or services a company is willing to purchase. It communicates a company’s expectations and requirements, depending on which the vendors pitch their proposals.
The process is broadly classified into these six steps:
- Gathering the company’s requirements
- Writing the Request for Proposal
- Receiving and evaluating the proposals
- Shortlisting the suppliers and communicating with them
- Determining the selection
- Contracting the final vendor
Each of these steps is a labor-intensive and time-consuming task done with utmost attention and care. This is where RFP support services come into effect. They add value, provide insights into the departments, and help select the best vendors suitable to their requirements and expectations.
Are you confused about how these support providers help?
Five Ways RFP Support Services Help Win New Contracts
These services streamline the RFP process using best practices and technology. These are the five ways they help improve a company’s chance to win new contracts.
Increased Number of RFPs
Since the RFP process consumes time and effort, companies can handle only a few RFPs in a year. However, with expert support from RFP professionals, they can handle many more RFPs within a short time and win more contracts. When support providers prioritize efficiency and eliminate team efforts, they automate the processes to help cut the sourcing time by as much as 50%. Support providers help improve a company’s RFP flow and response processes, allowing them to take in more proposals.
By fitting more RFPs into the schedules, companies can attract more prospective suppliers. An increased number of suppliers means increased competition in the bid process, leading to better services and more control over the expenditure.
Reduced Chances of Error
Since RFP support providers remove the human effort from data-heavy or menial tasks, it automatically reduces the risk of errors during the process. Besides that, team members can focus more on other value-added, interesting activities. RFP service providers automatically pull data from CRM, ERP, and other integrated systems to load information into the Request for Proposal. There is no chance of error when using data-based solutions to review and update vendor profiles.
There are chances of errors while tracking RFP progress along the event’s lifecycle, notifying stakeholders about their essential tasks, calculating and measuring proposals, and analyzing vendors based on a set criterion. Obtaining price tables and comparing bids also needs expert hands who can do it without errors or discrepancies.
Wider Range of Purchases
RFPs are not just for complicated sourcing events. When the RFP process becomes automated and simple, it brings value to a wider variety of purchases and sourcing events.
Top support providers use best practices to integrate a company’s RFP processes with the rest of their procurement systems. It brings a host of benefits to the team by adding value to the technology it is already using. As a result, the company can use its procurement data in insightful and innovative ways.
How can a company start streamlining its RFP processes? By taking help from an RFP support provider. It helps them make more efficient RFP processes by improving bids and increasing capacity to create more RFPs. Using seamless procurement tools, they unify all sourcing events and add insights across the procurement process. It provides a central source of information to the procurement teams, thereby helping them win new contracts.