Invest in your stakeholder relationships with better procurement software

Lost documents. Evaluators falling behind in their scoring. Meetings that drag on without a decision.

When you’re managing your RFP evaluation manually, there are many issues that can derail the process, delay a decision, and spark frustration in your internal clients.

For a successful RFP outcome, getting the right people involved at the right time is key. However, managing your evaluation team can be time-consuming and fraught with challenges. Meanwhile, for evaluators who are already overstretched by the demands of their primary job, a cumbersome evaluation process is a source of frustration and a deterrent to future participation.

Furthermore, the impact of a negative evaluation experience extends beyond the project itself. It can erode the relationship between internal clients and procurement teams — a serious concern given that public sector CPOs value internal client satisfaction equally with supplier performance as a top measure of success (Deloitte 2018 CPO Survey).

Modern procurement software can boost stakeholder satisfaction by providing a seamless experience for evaluators. Recent insights show that evaluators are ready to adopt: in our research of over 4,000 stakeholders, 91% of evaluator respondents indicated that they want to use a digital sourcing platform for their next RFP.

Here’s how modern procurement software makes your evaluators’ lives easier, for stronger stakeholder relationships and better, faster decisions:

1. Ease and convenience in scoring

Procurement teams know that evaluators are struggling to fit their scoring into a full schedule dominated by competing priorities. But how bad is it?

Bonfire’s State of the RFP benchmarking study showed that 27% of evaluator scoring is completed outside of business hours. In many cases, this means evaluators are carrying binders and paper home, or staying in the office late.

RFP Evaluator scoring relative to time and day of week

Cloud-based procurement platforms such as Bonfire give evaluators the freedom to access and score RFP documents securely online — whenever and wherever is convenient for them. They also make the process more seamless by allowing evaluators to view documents, input scores, and comments, search, and compare responses, all within the same user-friendly display.

That means no more flipping through documents or looking up spreadsheet files, no more hauling binders of paper home, and no more late nights or weekends at the office.

Evaluator scoring view in Bonfire procurement software

A glimpse at how evaluators score documents in Bonfire.

2. Fewer and more focused meetings

Scheduling an in-person meeting with multiple stakeholders from different business units can feel like an impossible mission. And that’s just convening the meeting! Leading a fruitful discussion and arriving at a decision is another challenge entirely.

With Bonfire, buyers have full visibility into their evaluators’ scores and justifications as they complete them. The platform automatically aggregates and tallies scores, highlighting areas where there is a strong lack of consensus.

This empowers buyers to hone in only on the areas where there is meaningful disagreement between evaluators. The result is less time spent in meetings — something we can all agree is a good thing.

Since each evaluator’s scores and comments are recorded individually, with mandatory comments to ensure a well-justified outcome, each and every evaluators’ opinion is heard and captured as part of the record of the decision — giving evaluators greater confidence in the process and its integrity.

3. Faster project times

One of the chief complaints internal clients have of the RFP process is that it takes too long. Their impatience is understandable: the RFP process often stands in the way between them and the acquisition of a crucial product/service for their business unit. This is another area where procurement software can really make an impact.

By streamlining their RFP projects on the Bonfire platform, teams are able to cut down on time-consuming administrative tasks at every step, ultimately cutting their project cycle times in half. This means that internal clients can complete the evaluation process and get to their desired outcome twice as fast—a win-win for internal clients and procurement teams alike.

By choosing a procurement platform that provides a convenient, efficient, and frictionless experience for evaluators, procurement teams are making an investment in their stakeholder relationships. Not only does this unlock faster, more seamless evaluations today, it also lays the groundwork for deeper collaboration and greater organization-wide impact in the future.

Discover more insights about the RFP evaluation process in the 2018 State of the RFP Benchmarking Report