How easy was it to put together?
How long did it take?
How consistent were the responses you received?
How long did the evaluation take?
Do you want to do something about these issues?
Then spend the time to develop better procurement document templates. It’ll save you time in the long run.
Make it easier for the team putting together the request as well as for the team evaluating responses
The process of developing an RFP, say, often involves people outside of the procurement function. And the procurement process can be daunting for someone who’s not familiar with it.
You want everyone involved to be productive and efficient as quickly as possible. Especially when you’re involving busy people from your operations and legal teams, and you may even be paying external consultants.
You’re most likely using templates to create your procurement documents. But the templates may not be put together in a way that’s going to help you get the best result.
The right kind of templates make it easier for all involved.
As much as possible, you want the procurement process built into your templates. And your procurement templates have probably been developed to cover most, if not all, purchasing scenarios that your organisation may require.
That means the templates may include optional parts.
There’s nothing worse than receiving an RFP that has Parts A–E, and Part D consists of one page with the words ‘not used’.
My advice is to put optional parts at the end of the template with clear instructions for them to be deleted if not needed.
Let’s say different procurement situations require different parts of the response to be evaluated by different people. The templates can be designed to make it easy to split up the response, keeping each part self-contained and self-explanatory.
This means having templates with a sound structure and loads of instructions to your team so they understand what goes where, and when it needs to be used.
What’s more, with lots of clear instructions to respondents, you’ll make sure you’re going to get the responses you want, in the format you expect.
With timeframes to meet and the effort required to get these things out the door — for you releasing it, and for vendors and service providers responding to it — the less confusion the better.
And that means you’re making it easier for your evaluation team, too.
Help the service providers and vendors who respond to your requests by giving them easy-to-use response templates
The way the response schedules are set up has a direct impact on the evaluation of the responses.
You want to be able to compare apples with apples.
Yet, the response schedules are often the most overlooked part of the tender process. Not because they’re forgotten, but because they’re poorly conceived. They might specify what’s required, but they aren’t always put together in the best way for respondents to use them.
Well thought-out response templates make it easier for respondents. And that means fewer headaches for your evaluation team.
There’ll be fewer questions that need to be answered about the response format — saving you time and money — and you’ll have a better chance of getting similar levels of response, in the same format.
And that’s exactly what you need to make a like-for-like comparison.
Get started on improving your templates, now
The better your requests are, the better the responses you’ll receive.
Make the process — producing the request, releasing it, evaluating responses, making your selection — far more cost-effective and less painful for all concerned.
Spend the time to develop good-quality procurement document templates.
You’ll see the results.
Do you want better procurement documents?
This post is one of a series. Read the rest and find out:
- how to get the best results from your RFPs and other procurement documents
- 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