Developing a Starting Point – Part 1 of 2

July 14th, 2014

Are you starting your documents over with each project or leveraging templates and processes to streamline the effort?

Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Sr. Vice President and COO at SafeSourcing.

When we deal with new customers we often find that even in large companies the presence of standard template documents, standard operating procedures, specifications and reporting templates is not a given.  Many times we spend the first couple weeks with a new customer just working with them to develop the library of documents they will need to move forward with sourcing projects with us.  Over the next two days we will take a look at some of these documents we help our customers develop and the value having them brings to their future sourcing projects.

Supplier Research Templates – Supplier research is a funny thing for many procurement departments.   Many times the list of potential suppliers consists of current incumbents, previous suppliers or suppliers who have cold-called someone in the department or delivered a presentation.  Many times this group will have a couple of major players in the industry and maybe a niche player or two but it is usually not exhaustive by any means.  The question then becomes “Who is missing and what information do we need to know about them before doing business with them?”  Determining what this list of information is (Company size, age, customer base, reputation in the industry) will help you or a 3rd party gather the information on new players in advance or during the course of an Request For Quote or Proposal.

Supplier Communication Templates – One thing that very few procurement departments ever think to standardize is the communication that happens internally with the business owners and externally with the suppliers, both incumbents and non-incumbents alike.  Many of these communications will be tied to a flow of activities that needs to occur during the course of the project such as the email notifications to incumbents suppliers of the project, invitations to submit proposals, notifications to internal subject matter experts requesting any information they might be privy to, etc.  Many times these communications do not need to be changed much from project to project and a strong 3rd party strategic sourcing partner should be able to help you develop these from past experience.

Template RFIs/RFPs – It is rare that many companies will have an exhaustive Request For Information/Proposal template library and many will not even have a template for a baseline document from which to start.   It is best to begin with baseline templates that any department can use that have the same language that has been approved by the company’s legal team.  SafeSourcing recommends at the very least developing baseline RFI/RFP templates for services, products, computer software and, if applicable, for resell products.  This will give departments a great start from which to start new RFIs/RFPs and will feed other documents such as scorecards and reporting templates that will be able to be standardized based on this initial collection of data.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help your team develop a library of useful documents for sourcing events or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

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