Just look at what’s at stake.
It’s the commitment to a solution or service, with its associated (and potentially large) financial transaction, contract period and changes to business operations.
When I say ‘procurement documents’ I’m talking about RFPs, RFQs, RFTs, RFIs, EOIs, ITBs, ROIs, ITRs, ITOs, ITTs … you see, they come in many flavours and all have different purposes.
Mind you, the way I’ve seen them used indicates their names and uses are open to interpretation.
And that’s just one issue with them.
Whether writing them or responding to them, these documents can be a bother. (That’s a polite way of putting it.)
The trouble with procurement documents
The main issue is that RFPs, RFTs, etc. are often written with scant consideration for the people who are going to respond to them or the people who are going to evaluate them.
And here’s a twist: the group who’s going to evaluate them quite often includes the authors themselves!
Let me explain.
I’m a proponent of developing high-quality documentation. Always.
And remember the golden rule for writing: consider your audience.
You may forget about your documents’ readers most of the time (naughty you). But this is one time you can’t afford not to think about them.
Like I said, just look at what’s at stake.
The procurement process is a costly exercise for all involved
There’s no doubt this process often provides the most efficient and effective way to source a solution or service.
But it’s a costly exercise in time and money — for the organisation making the request and the organisations responding to it.
There can be many challenges involved as these are complex documents with business and technical content being provided by multiple parts of an organisation.
It usually means additional demands on valuable operations staff. And it means negotiating the different needs of commercial and technical teams.
It’s time to think more carefully about your procurement documents
I’ve spent thousands of hours working on proposals and tenders, at times of night when I’d rather be sleeping and on weekends when I’d rather be relaxing. Hey, that’s the nature of business. (And I’ll have a moan about it.)
I’ve also been on the other side of the process, assisting clients to develop procurement documents to release to the market.
So based on my experience, I want to share with you some helpful suggestions for improving your — yes, your — procurement documents … with more moaning guaranteed.
It’s about helping you to produce a better product that results in the best possible solution or service for your organisation.
There’s a lot at stake, so why wouldn’t you want the best possible outcome?
Why do you need well thought-out and clear procurement documents?
Because that way you’ll:
- optimise the time required to produce procurement documents
- prepare them with consistent content
- produce procurement documents which are a true reflection of your brand
- send a strong and consistent message to the market
- get responses that make it as easy as possible for you to choose the right vendor or service provider
- streamline the process to evaluate responses
- get the best services and products for your organisation.
Get started, now
Read the series and find out:
- the secret to successful procurement documents
- 4 ways to make them clearer
- 3 tips to improve your response requirements
- how to get better results with the right templates
What do all those initials mean?
In case you’re wondering, here’s the full names of the shortened forms I mentioned:
|RFP||request for proposal|
|RFQ||request for quotation|
|RFT||request for tender|
|RFI||request for information|
|EOI||expression of interest|
|ITB||invitation to bid|
|ROI||registration of interest|
|ITR||invitation to register interest|
|ITO||invitation to offer|
|ITT||invitation to tender|