Rant Warning: Does etiquette still matter to vendors and buyers in eProcurement Part II of II?

July 20th, 2020

Don’t make the mistake of thinking eProcurement removes the human element


Todays post is from Dave Wenig is the Senior Vice President of Sales and Services at SafeSourcing Inc.

Now that I’ve gone on my rant about the lack of etiquette that I have been observing recently, perhaps I should get off of that soap box and offer some suggestions.

In my previous posting, I outlined two issues as I see them. Here, I’ll offer some suggestions for each as food for thought.

  • Return communication in a timely manner. As previously discussed, this needs to improve because we’re judging you from the minute we first contact you representing our customer the buyer. Your interactions with us are tracked and the customer sees them. If you don’t think that being prompt gives you an edge over your competition, you’re wrong.
  • Communicate with courtesy and respect. Perhaps you have received our invitation to quote and you are not ready to decide if you are able to provide a quote. That’s alright! I might suggest that you reply by thanking the sender for bringing this to your attention and promising to review and reply again at a later date. What good does that do? First, remember that all of your interactions are being watched and tracked. There is a real live team of people who are focused on you and your competitors at the moment. Treat this like an interview process. Second, this will help the sender. At SafeSourcing, no response is not an answer. It’s our job to make sure our vendor partners have received the invitation to provide a quote and that we provide an equal opportunity to the invited participants. So, someone is going to have to keep emailing and calling to confirm that you have received the invitation and that you understand the buyer’s needs. Telling them that you have received it will allow them to focus elsewhere and to stop flooding your inbox and voicemail. It’s actually pretty easy to reply with a brief note, but many do not.

Also, remember that etiquette is a two-way street. At SafeSourcing, we do our very best to follow these same types of rules as a policy. We also try to encourage this type of behavior with our buyers. We always send thank you notes and we even ask every vendor partner for feedback. When possible, we strive to share notices of award and non-award to the vendor partners who took the time to provide quotes. This is the least we can do and we often do more. Remember, an RFQ is absolutely a human process. Yes, the process is facilitated by computer software but that does not mean we should forget how to behave and leave etiquette behind.

For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.


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