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Tackle large RFP data sets effortlessly (here’s how)

January 14, 2020 | Phoenix McDonald

person typing large RFP data into computer

Excel has become ubiquitous in offices across the globe. It’s familiar and most people have at least basic understanding (I mean, who doesn’t have “proficiency in Excel” listed on their resume?). But, sometimes spreadsheets can leave procurement professionals feeling spread thin. When submissions are coming in for bids and RFPs, you may feel a lot of stress and pressure to ensure that these documents remain organized, error-free, and properly formatted.

When teams switch to an eSourcing tool with an online order list feature, there’s an instant time savings and removal of human error between submissions and analysis for evaluations. Bonfire’s order list tool is called Bid Tables and it has been celebrated as “Excel with super powers and no learning curve”—and we couldn’t agree more.

Build a Seamless Experience

Having a consistent format across submissions enables an easier process from start to finish. When formats and expectations are standardized from the get-go, it ensures that you’re getting the information you need to make decisions. It also ensures that the information is correct, and mitigates the potential for human error that often accompanies manually formatting spreadsheets and importing data into Excel.

When the information is clearly lined up and ready for export, it can be easily shared with all stakeholders in the project.

Accurately Handle Large Data Sets

With an order lists feature in place, it’s easier to filter and sort through large data sets. The tool can handle hundreds of lines of data, which can help you prioritize data and trust that the information you need can be accurately represented and sorted. 

You can perform deeper analyses when you can trust that the data maintains its integrity throughout the process. Bid Tables ensure the numbers provided by vendors remain accurate and don’t fall victim to human error (an estimated 88% of spreadsheets unfortunately do). When you use a Bid Table template, the numbers can be locked and the tool will show you if any changes have been made. A structured format and a clear history can often be impossible to implement when critical data is siloed in Excel documents.

Bid Tables in Bonfire

Bid Tables also allow you to view, filter, and sort by aggregate costs, or other quantitative information—like nutrition values on food products, or quantities of sports equipment. With these calculations automated, you can easily see the most affordable overall costs or segment by vendor. This gives your team direct insight into the numbers that matter.

Make Faster Decisions

It’s one thing to be able to clearly see the costs in order to make a decision. But, with Bid Tables, you can apply any changes that need to be made. Changes like adding a discount or accounting for quantity can easily be applied to help you make quicker decisions. This also ensures that the data remains accurate. It’s easy to trust that the math is correct, as you don’t need to apply any manual formulas or double-check the results like you might in Excel.

Being able to trust the data and apply any modifications can help you arrive at decisions more quickly and perform richer analysis. When you can instantly apply changes to a large data sets, you eliminate the time it would take to apply manual changes. You can also toggle these adjustments and export the tables directly to quickly share with project stakeholders so that they can see the factors that influenced the decisions that were made.

About the author

Bonfire Blog Author Phoenix McDonald

Phoenix McDonald | Bonfire Interactive