Why collaboration is essential to building successful RFPs

July 13, 2023

Ask anyone in procurement and they’d probably tell you that the request for proposal (RFP) process is complex, time-consuming and draining of resources amongst multiple procurement team members. While RFPs can be complex - collaboration (and the right technology) across procurement teams can actually simplify the RFP process and make the request for proposal more successful overall. 

At a high level, there are seven broad RFP process steps - but nearly all of them require the knowledge, approval and collaboration of multiple stakeholders across buying teams. 

Teamwork and collaboration are the cornerstones of request for proposal events due to the scale and scope of the request. Collaboration is essential to nearly every step of the request for proposal process - but using collaboration effectively can (unsurprisingly) drive significant results and value throughout the entire process. 

How collaboration is essential to building successful RFPs 

If you have run a request for proposal (RFP) before, you know that it is a team effort. At a minimum, these are usually some the stakeholders involved: 

  • Business User
  • Business Stakeholder or Manager
  • Buyer
  • Category or Sourcing Manager 
  • Legal team
  • Suppliers

An RFP often stems from an internal request from a business stakeholder. Now as a sourcing manager you may find yourself trying to collaborate with numerous members of your organization to build a single RFP. To even start gathering the requirements needed for your RFP, participation is needed from the requesting team to clearly identify the why and when. When writing the RFP, all stakeholders must partner together to ensure that all questions and areas of discovery are clearly outlined. Finally, to evaluate and determine the selected supplier, additional teamwork is needed to ensure each stakeholder has not only reviewed each bid but is in agreement with the selected supplier and their specific offering. The communication needed to do this is often messy, likely an onslaught of emails back and forth. Sure, this gets the job done, but you may feel overwhelmed and disorganized using this approach. 

However, collaboration is an essential part of building a successful RFP. Depending on the nature of the request, you may need to pull in a subject matter expert to help. Working with one, or many stakeholders allows you to gather input from multiple sources. Gathering each perspective gives you, the project owner, a comprehensive understanding of your RFP. Collaboration helps to prevent any misunderstanding that may occur during the event lifecycle. Remaining close to stakeholders ensures that you understand the overall object of the RFP you are running, have identified and outlined all requirements, and can evaluate and select the best supplier for your project with confidence. 

Best practices to building RFPs with Fairmarkit

The good news is: Fairmarkit has tools to help you easily collaborate with your procurement teams, and business stakeholders. Here are three tools that can help you maximize the value of collaboration and drive successful events: 

1. Collaboration Functionality

Collaboration tools allow you to invite users to work alongside you in Fairmarkit to build effective RFx events. Invite current Fairmarkit users, or guest users from your organization (like subject matter experts) to edit or view your events. When you bring stakeholders together within Fairmarkit you eliminate the need to communicate via various channels, allowing you to stay organized and keep your projects on track. 

2. Evaluation and Scoring

Evaluation and scoring capabilities are now available for you to use within Fairmarkit. Now, you can easily set weights, and score the sections of your RFP. Invite stakeholders to evaluate your events to get a well rounded review of supplier responses - helping you make the best awarding decision for the business. Evaluators can be assigned by section. As the event owner you can assign evaluators to all sections, or bring in SME’s to evaluate one or more sections. When you complete your evaluations within Fairmarkit, you can spend more time focusing on what is important, and less time organizing documents outside of the platform. Managing numerous evaluations is easy - the consolidated scorecard view allows you to quickly review and analyze all submitted scores in one view. With scorecard ranking you can see top rated suppliers and easily draw insights before making an awarding decision. 

Fairmarkit RFP scorecard
💡 Fairmarkit Tip: When reviewing your scorecard, you can expand to view how each evaluator responded to each section and review any notes they added. The highest score overall and for each section is highlighted in green. 

3. RFP Templates

If your organization frequently runs similar, or repeat events, templates may be a great tool for you to utilize. Fairmarkit’s templates capabilities are a great way to create RFPs or RFI more efficiently. Templates can be shared within your teams, or your entire organization, which allows you to share commonly used templates more broadly. 

💡 Fairmarkit Tip: Convert a previously run RFP into a template to save time! 

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