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How your procurement intake process adds value for everyone

October 16, 2020 | Emily Lambert

Procurement team sitting around a desk collaborating on the intake process

For procurement teams, a standardized and collaborative intake process often gets pushed to the back burner when you’re constantly reacting to the urgent and unforeseen needs of your internal clients. Your procurement intake process, however, has the potential to make or break any project.

Take the 95/5 rule, for instance. According to procurement lawyer Paul Emanuelli, 95% of procurement failures are caused by the negligence to properly address the five core elements of project planning:

  • Scoping of requirements (What are we buying?)
  • Pricing structures (What is the pricing format?)
  • Evaluation of criteria (What is the evaluation plan?)
  • Contract format (How do we assemble the final contract?)
  • Tendering format (What is the tendering format?)

To secure better bid and RFP outcomes, procurement can add a lot of strategic value when brought into the beginning planning stages of a project. A standardized and collaborative request intake process is key. Digital tools have the power to simplify your procurement processes and connect your colleagues to your procurement systems so everyone is on the same page, driving outcomes that benefit your procurement team, your internal clients, and your leadership. Here’s how.

How intake empowers your procurement team

When requests and questions are coming in the form of forwarded email chains, it can feel like you’re trying to fix the car when it’s already driving down the road. 

An online procurement intake process can help you get requirements right the first time and set expectations when it comes to things like vendor requirements and timelines. Digital tools that are quick, easy, and get requestors back to their day jobs ensure that your process is actually adopted by your colleagues. 

Connecting your intake process directly to your eProcurement software can help eliminate manual data entry and give your team a real-time view into project pipeline, which makes it easier to organize and triage your team’s workload. When your team comes together to plan, it’s fast and efficient to review new and open requests, update details and assignments, and make sure you hit deadlines, all online.

When your procurement team is better aligned and seamlessly communicating, it translates to better collaboration with your internal clients, too. 

How intake empowers your colleagues

Implementing a user-friendly request intake process can help uncover real business need early so procurement can deliver great value at a competitive price—making everyone happy and building trust in procurement’s strategic contribution. 

By providing your internal clients with templates, best practices, and realistic expectations, you can help lighten the load for them. Bring industry bid and RFP data to your planning meetings so that you can assure your stakeholders that you’ve got this. You can help everyone better understand the category, how other agencies have done similar projects, and what to expect with this project when it comes to timelines, criteria weighting, vendor participation, and the types of information you need from vendors.

The result of this supercharged collaboration and alignment is a faster event cycle, which, at the end of the day, is what your internal clients have wanted all along.

How intake empowers your agency

When procurement is equipped with the information you need to make the most informed and cost-effective bid or RFP decisions, your agency can reallocate that saved time and money to more initiatives and programs that benefit your constituents.

As a procurement team, you can enable your agency to steward taxpayer dollars with more impact by giving senior managers visibility into your intake request dashboard, providing them with insight into where and when departments are planning on spending their budget. This insight helps your organization forecast the procurement pipeline and allocate resources to meet demand.

You can bring your agency’s budget to life even further by providing additional insight with national and local competitive event data. With industry data in hand, procurement can enable smarter budgeting for your agency, positioning procurement as a strategic advisor. 

Want to dive deeper into what an online, collaborative intake process looks like, and how it can add significant value for everyone at your organization? Download our intake eBook to learn more.

About the author

Bonfire Blog Author Emily Lambert

Emily Lambert | Bonfire Interactive

As the Content Marketing Strategist at Bonfire, Emily writes thought leadership for procurement teams in the public sector. Best practices content for procurement professionals doesn’t have to be a chore to get through—which is why Emily strives to strike the balance of writing educational yet engaging content that inspires sourcing experts and equips them to make the best purchasing decisions.