As anyone who’s tackled an enterprise purchasing project knows, the process of crafting a great RFI or RFP can be overwhelming. RFPs in particular tend to be lengthy documents, full of industry-specific language and terminology, and in many cases complex legal language. Before even tackling the mechanics of drafting an RFP, you need to have a clear sense of your organization’s existing solutions, goals, requirements, and evaluation criteria. Whether you’re working independently or on a large team, this sort of institutional knowledge tends to rely on exchanging emails, documents, and information with colleagues – sometimes across entire organizations.
At best, RFPs strike a balance between the specifics of your needs and goals, and the flexibility necessary to attract interesting proposals from diverse potential vendors. They also provide structure and organization at the outset of a project, without foreclosing the opportunity for dialogue and innovation through collaboration. No matter how you approach the RFx process, it’s a complex one with many moving parts.
Historically, you have probably tackled RFIs and RFPs without the help of software tools. Staff tasked with assembling an RFx would either inherit templates used by their organization in the past, or be confronted with searching online for other organizations’ templates to adapt to their own needs. All the while, staff would be accumulating paperwork, either real or digital, across different pieces of software. This process has been unnecessarily painstaking, time consuming, and clumsy.
If you’re considering RFx software for your next purchasing project, but are uncertain of whether it’s worth taking the leap and paying for a new tool, consider these 6 key ways that it can help:
- RFx software allows you to assemble all of your project-specific information and material in one place, so that drafting a new RFI or RFP is straight-forward.
- Purpose-built RFx recipes for different purchase areas provide industry-specific subject matter, including legal language, so that you can focus your attention on the particular needs of your project without getting bogged down.
- RFx recipes provide a balance between structure and freedom by including the questions you need to ask vendors, as well as the flexibility to customize your document to your organization’s specific aims and goals.
- Popcorn RFP’s software allows you to collaborate with team members in a single document so that you don’t have to email documents back and forth for input, or share materials in different places in the cloud.
- When it comes time to start a new purchasing project – even if it’s in a brand new area – you won’t have to reinvent the wheel by trying to adapt a previous template which may be out of date or unsuitable. Instead, you can just choose a new subject area and start fresh without expending tons of extra time and effort.
- WIth RFx software, you can also gather and review vendor responses in a single, integrated location, with team members.
If you’re interested in giving RFx software a try but are not yet ready to commit, sign up for Popcorn RFP’s free 14-day trial. We welcome your feedback as we continue to develop and improve our software to make the RFP process faster, easier, and more collaborative!