In my last article I talked about how using an RFP web based tool or application could change how the RFP process works, creating news ways of working that have not previously been thought of before. One of the more obvious ways in which RFP work can change in organizations, using an online application for example, is through the increased visibility of the RFP process itself.
Currently many people use email and email attachments as a way of performing RFP work. The people who have visibility in this case are those who are directly involved in the email correspondence. This may be fine and get the job done but it does not help anyone else in the organization who was not copied in those emails and who yet may benefit from the new knowledge gained during the RFP creation process. It also does not help management who may want to ensure that certain standards are being followed or just want to have a better idea what their property managers are doing with their properties.
With an RFP web based tool, information visibility is something that is very easy to achieve. Anyone logging into an RFP application should be able to see all the RFPs for their organization. This type of information sharing allows benefits like:
- Price checking similar services awarded in RFPs by others in the organization.
- Improve the scope of work in an RFP by viewing similar RFPs and copying over relevant specs, questions and attachments.
- Ability to copy a pre-existing RFP to create a new RFP.
- View all the associated RFP related to a property or properties.
- See what current RFPs are out for bid or which ones have recently been awarded.
- Investigate what services providers were used for a given service category.
Collaboration is a growing trend in today's workforce where people from different parts of an organization work together to accomplish a goal. On a small scale creating an RFP is a project that can sometimes require collaboration from different people in the organization. For example a property manager might be tasked with creating a landscaping RFP but their knowledge regarding landscaping is limited. If the organization is large enough or lucky enough there may be a property manager or facilities manager who is is more experiences than themselves and can help out in reviewing the specification and questions in an RFP's statement of work.
Using a web based RFP tool can also mean that the property manager's organization can record feedback about the work service providers provided. If the service provider did not perform as expected then the property manager can record that and determine if there was a problem with the service provider or with the scope of work the service provider is working against. Alternatively if the service provider did their job well the property manager can record that letting others know. By having this information centralized and at the fingertips of property managers, they can created improved RFPs year over year and others in their organization can in turn leverage these improved RFPs benefiting other property managers in the organization.