Procurement doesn’t work in a tidy bubble; everything the team does is both influenced and catalyzed by the needs of other departments. Any improvement to the procurement team has a positive impact across every department that spends money. And if you have any departments that aren’t spending money… well… give us a call, we’d love to learn how they do it.
One procurement process is universally regarded with dread across every department: RFPs. Yet, RFPs, when done right, remain one of the most effective sourcing processes. One sure way to improve the RFP process for everyone, is to use RFP management software.
Here are three teams outside of procurement that can benefit most from RFP management software:
Marketing – According to a survey by search marketing platform Conductor, 30% of marketing executives surveyed say they plan on increasing their marketing technology spend by 11 to 25 percent, with 70% of respondents saying they plan to increase their spend in general. MarTech spend goes through the marketing department of most firms, but it is similar, in some ways, to IT spend. While managing IT spend is quite frequently tied to the procurement department, marketing departments often have a lot more freedom to control their own spend. This may work well for media buying, but it will inevitably harm marketing departments when they try to source technology. After all, there is typically a strong rationale for having procurement involved in sourcing and spend management. The more spend procurement has under management, and the more streamlined the communication between marketing and procurement becomes, the more value the company will obtain from purchased products and services.
One of the largest complaints from any department about running sourcing events through procurement is the amount of time it takes to bring on new technology. MarTech is no exception, but running purchasing events outside of procurement can create some costly errors in the long run. How, then, do we bridge the gap between what may seem to be conflicting interests? Expediency, in the case of the marketing department. Thoroughness and savings maximization for procurement. RFP management software creates quick and natural avenues for direct communication between marketing and procurement. In addition, the capabilities of a strong platform enable procurement to run effective sourcing events while satisfying the needs of marketing in getting to the finish line expeditiously.
Human Resources – There’s no denying that HR IT spend is on the rise. With recent turnover numbers climbing, companies are searching for better ways to manage talent, recruit, and implement analytics into HR strategy. A study conducted by Towers Watson reveals that one in three companies plans to overhaul its HR structure to improve quality. HR is being pushed to invest in solutions that they didn’t necessarily ask for, which is putting pressure on HR to deliver results while requiring procurement to bridge the knowledge gap. HR IT spend is generally separate from IT spend, much in the same way that MarTech is. At issue is not simply managing implementation and integration across different systems, but also the financial impact of managing spend on similar areas across multiple departments. In many ways, disjointed spending across multiple departments defeats the original purpose of procurement, which aims to increase the value and fit of purchased goods and services while reducing the burden of that process on other departments.
Unlike an R&D group, HR departments tend to be less focused on rapid iterations of technology, and more interested in finding the right long-term solution for the job. RFP management software enables procurement departments to get the information they need from the HR department, while limiting the amount of work HR staff needs to commit to the RFP. Instead of starting an RFP and figuring out halfway through the process that the sourcing team has the wrong requirements, the HR department and the procurement department can plan the RFP together with specialized tools designed to help teams coordinate requirements.
Information Technology – At this point, you may be wondering if IT has anything left to manage. Maybe it’s time for the folks in the IT department to kick back, grab some mai tais, and let the rhythm of steel pan drums wash over their minds. After all, if IT isn’t taking care of MarTech or HR technology, what is it really doing?
Managing. Every. Other. Piece. Of. Technology.
Information Technology management for a large corporation is a daunting task, and as software and strategy are constantly changing, IT and procurement must be in constant communication. While these departments may be used to working together, the lines of communication and differences in process orientation present material challenges. The term (and sales tactic) “Shadow IT” exists for a reason. As a rule, IT teams are more solution focused than process focused. So rather than viewing the RFP as a tool, they view it as an encumbrance — perhaps a necessary evil for large projects and an “avoid-at-all-costs process” for smaller ones. And it’s worth noting that “all costs,” when broken down, can be quite a bit more than one imagines.
In larger organizations, IT departments are all too familiar with procurement. To the heads of these departments, interaction with procurement is not a one-off engagement, but rather, a continual process as IT is focused on continued maintenance and upgrades. RFP management software drastically reduces the amount of time it takes to run similar RFPs while maximizing value and driving down cost.
The Bottom Line
When it comes down to it, RFP management software helps many more teams than just procurement. Running RFPs with unspecialized software like spreadsheets and email can turn the whole process into a disaster of communication chains, lost attachments, and redundant processes. We can’t blame departments that neglect procurement best practices in favor of speed and sanity, but we also can’t condone the extra spend.
After all, skipping well-orchestrated sourcing processes greatly increase the likelihood of bad outcomes, from paying too much to purchasing the wrong technology altogether. We have all seen examples of expensive technology going to waste because it wasn’t the right fit for the department. With RFP management software, you can streamline communication between procurement and other departments, reduce the amount of time non-procurement teams need to spend to run RFPs, and generate warm-and-fuzzy feelings inter-departmentally.
See how you can give departments more autonomy without driving procurement crazy. Schedule a demo of RFP management software.