PurchTips - Edition # 254

 

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7 RFP Planning Tips, Part II

By Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

How Can You Benefit From These RFP Tips?

In PurchTips edition #252, I shared three tips for successful request for proposal (RFP) planning. Allow me to present four more RFP tips.

RFP Tip #4: Engage suppliers before the RFP. If the first time a supplier hears of a sales opportunity is when it receives an RFP, this works to the buyer's disadvantage according to Bill Dorn, Vice President of Operations for Source One Management Services and the co-author of Managing Indirect Spend: Enhancing Profitability Through Strategic Sourcing. He claims that, without prior contact, suppliers are likely to predict a slim chance of winning and won't put their best effort into responding to an RFP, if they respond at all. "You really are served just to pick up that telephone and call a supplier, introduce yourself, explain to them what you?re looking for, and start down that path of actually building a long-term relationship," Dorn says. "And that should certainly happen before RFP issuance." RFP Planning Tips

RFP Tip #5: Limit "yes or no" questions in the RFP. "When you're sourcing, you want to cast the widest net possible and allow suppliers to offer solutions that you may not have thought of," Dorn states. "Many of those offers can provide lower pricing and higher quality of service." He has observed that "yes or no" questions do the opposite and are often used to unnecessarily disqualify bidders and thus leave potential savings and quality-boosting ideas undiscovered. "Yes or no" questions - although they're easy to read, they're easy to scorecard, and they're easy to respond to - really tend to limit the potential supply base," and a limited supply base can result in higher costs, Dorn warns.

RFP Tip #6: Give yourself enough time to conduct a good RFP process. Failing to allocate enough time is "probably the #1 fault we see in strategic sourcing," Dorn shares and cites collecting data as a time-consuming phase. He advises buyers to be aware of the notice period - often 30 or 60 days - before contracts' auto-renew clauses kick in, which means that they "need to start looking at a spend category five to six months before the contract expires."

For RFP Tip #7, go to my blog here.

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Spotlight On Professional Development Opportunities

SPSM Certification

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Is lacking a purchasing certification keeping you from getting the results, opportunities, respect, and money that you want out of your career? Today's employers refuse to reward employees for yesterday's skills. They want you to save more money, achieve better operational performance, and reduce risk. They demand that purchasing professionals like you achieve unprecedented results and without the most modern skills that can be a challenging feat!

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Earning your SPSM® Certification by completing the Senior Professional in Supply Management® Program is the action to take if you want to bring the most modern purchasing practices into your organization and achieve your career potential. Learn how to earn your SPSM® Certification (and perhaps get an iPad) (with the option of getting a Study Guide on an iPad) at:

Distinguishing yourself as an achiever in purchasing is key to sustaining a rewarding career, even in these difficult economic times. Earning your SPSM® Certification by completing the Senior Professional in Supply Management® Program is to take if you want to bring the most modern purchasing practices into your organization and achieve your career potential. Learn how to earn your SPSM® Certification (and perhaps get an iPad) at:

Earning your SPSM® Certification by completing the Senior Professional in Supply Management® Program is the action to take if you want to bring the most modern purchasing practices  into your organization and achieve your career potential. And if you sign up for the Senior Professional in Supply Management® Program on or before May 31, 2008, SPSMSM Certification Program on or before 4/30/2007, you also get these and other bonuses valued at over $700:

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To learn how to earn your SPSM® Certification and get these valuable bonuses, visit:

Earning your Senior Professional in Supply Management® (SPSM) Certification is the action to takeif you want to bring the most modern purchasing practices into your organization and achieve your career potential. Learn how to earn your SPSMSM Certification at:

Learn how to earn your SPSM® Certification at:

www.NextLevelPurchasing.com/spsm.html

The Latest Purchasing News!

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Want to learn more about today's topic? Then check out my podcast interview with Bill Dorn! Podcasts are audio files that you can listen to on your PC, download to your iPod/MP3 player, or burn to CD. Our Purchasing & Supply Management Podcast SeriesSM is a new way for us to help you succeed!

It's absolutely FREE to download the audio. Add it to your collection of great purchasing learning material!

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