Why now is the best time ever to launch an electronic RFP

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JamieMartino_100.jpgBy Jamie Martino, IT, Telecom and Technology Strategic Sourcing and Operations Executive

We are living in unprecedented times. Our personal and business lives are disrupted and individuals and business owners are equally anxious. Work from Home has now become the new norm for the typical Office Professional. Depending upon the role that you and your company play in the global economy, you may find yourself incredibly busy or, conversely, with more time on your hands than you might desire.

At any given hour of the business day, we choose to work "in the business" or "on the business". Too often, we prioritise working "in the business" due to daily demands, leaving strategy, analytics and planning as an afterthought. The current environment may be the best time to significantly improve your business, margins, and vendor relationships through an Electronic Request for Proposal (eRFP) launch.

Why now? Determining if this is the right time for your sourcing event will depend upon the market conditions for the good\service (taxonomy), access to data and the resources at your disposal (both internally and thru your strategic sourcing partnerships for professional expertise and software).

Here are the top 4 reasons why now may be the perfect time to run an eRFP:

1. Leverage: The Covid-19 challenge has disrupted the normal business cycle and decimated the Sales Funnel for many markets. Sales Professionals are under pressure to update forecasts and minimize disruption in revenue growth. Additionally, companies are highly motivated to retain current business. This situation translates into a systemic shift in Leverage from Seller to Buyer in many taxonomies: technology services (Broadband) and Business Services (insurance and travel).

2. Availability of Sourcing Technology: eRFP platform technology has matured and is now available for a diverse set of taxonomies, customized to meet the unique needs of each. In addition to a host of commodity-specific platforms like Intelli-Sourcing from Avotus (IT & Telecom), eRFP functionality is installed in many popular P2P platforms such as Coupa, Ariba\SAP and Jaggaer.

3. Time: In many markets, both Sourcing Professionals and Sales Personnel have been relieved of endless office meetings or have seen significant initiatives placed on hold.

4. Value: Sourcing professionals are accustomed to being asked to quantify the value from a professional strategic sourcing program. As we weather the challenges of the current environment, many company's margins and earnings are coming under immense pressure.

This situation is driving cost-cutting thru reductions in employment. A recent snap poll by Procurement Foundry (3/3/20) showed that 22% of Sourcing Professionals responded that they are focusing on finding\retaining employment. Sourcing Professionals who are in the process of delivering significant savings to the firm enjoy an added layer of protection from these knee jerk reactions. An eSourcing event can often be preceded by a bill or inventory audit. An audit can yield savings and credits to the firm quickly, further demonstrating value in a matter of weeks. With clean inventory in place, the eRFP can be even more successful. Engagements with eRFP experts can be tailored to risk share in the cost\savings, ensuring a winning outcome.

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