Do you hate sending out RFPs?
For a new cleaning service, parking lot repaving, or landscaping, you have to spend days or weeks sending RFPs. To get vendor bids, you need to write an RFP, communicate with sometimes nonresponsive vendors, and hope that you choose the right service provider.
However, if you want the best vendor at the right price, sending out RFPs is essential. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck potentially overpaying for mediocre service.
But, requesting bids doesn’t have to waste the better part of your day (or week). Instead, RFPs can take a matter of minutes.
How can you request proposals so quickly?
With RFP automation. From writing the request to vendor communication to choosing a vendor, RFP automation can save you time – and frustration.
Here are 5 tips to get the best vendor – and how to make it easier with RFP automation.
1. Use a Template
One way to create RFPs faster is to use a pre-built template. So, you don’t have to start from scratch when you need to get bids.
The manual way to request vendor proposals usually starts with staring at a blank word doc. Each time you want to get bids, you have to come up with the proposal. This can take up hours of your valuable time.
Creating a template can provide you with a starting point when drafting RFPs. However, creating a template can be difficult when you’re not sure what should be included.
RFP automation can make this easier by providing a ready to use template. And, you can customize the template to fit your needs by including only the sections you need. Then, you just have to fill out the required sections, and you’re ready to send it off.
Using customizable templates is one way to get the best service vendors.
2. Use Trusted Vendors
Having great vendors is key to managing a property well. The best way to ensure you have the right vendors is to use only trusted ones.
Without relying on trusted vendors, you could think you found the right service provider. But, once you hire the vendor, they rarely show up on time. What’s worse, the vendor does subpar work – causing problems for your property.
How can you avoid this?
Thoroughly vet any vendor before hiring. You can start by looking at vendors you’ve used in the past with positive results. And, you can ask other property managers for recommendations. This will help you get a list of trusted vendors to send RFPs to.
To take vetting a step further, you can use verified vendor networks or databases to double-check any recommendations you get. Or, if you’re unable to get recommendations, you can use a trusted vendor database to find a great vendor.
Verified vendor databases have only reliable vendors with excellent service history. If your vendor is in a trusted vendor network, you can feel secure knowing you’re using a proven vendor.
By only using trusted service vendors found through recommendations or a database, you can choose the best vendor for your property.
3. Stay on Top of Vendor Responses
Along with using templates and only using trusted vendors, you need to stay on top of vendor responses to make the right choice.
Once you’ve found trusted vendors, you need to send out RFPs to these vendors. However, the work doesn’t end there. You need to keep track of who you request bids from – so you can be sure you’ve gotten responses from every vendor.
And, some vendors will be slow to respond. Or, not respond at all. Because you want to make the right choice, you have to follow up with vendors to get their proposal. Tracking down every vendor can be time-consuming. But, you’re more likely to make the best choice when you have several options to consider.
When vendors do respond, you also need to answer any questions promptly. The RFP process can already take days or weeks. So, if you respond slowly, you’ll make the vendor selection process take even longer.
Staying on top of vendor responses can be a lot to manage. RFP automation can make it easier with AI vendor communication – which handles this process for you.
To find the best service vendor, you need to stay on top of vendor responses.
4. Create Side by Side Comparisons
To pick the best vendor for your property, you need an easy way to compare vendors that respond. That way, you can choose the vendor with the best service at the right price.
Once you receive responses to your RFP, you need to choose a vendor. Making the right choice can be hard when vendors send you different information. Sifting through the different proposals to find the relevant info takes up time and doesn’t guarantee the best choice.
That’s why side by side vendor comparison is important. When you compare your vendors side by side, you’re easily able to see which vendor offers the services you need, the price that fits in your budget, and other important characteristics.
But, creating this view can be time-consuming when done manually.
Instead, RFP automation software allows you to compare vendors side by side with minimal effort. With user-friendly tables that highlight important information, it’s easy to see which vendor is the right fit for you. And, you don’t have to sacrifice much time out of your day to determine the best vendor.
Creating side by side comparisons is another way to ensure you find the best vendor.
5. Retain Your Bids
After you’ve chosen the right vendor, you need to keep records of your process and why you chose your service provider. That way, you can refer back to it 6 months, a year, or even 2 years down the road.
Hiring a vendor doesn’t mean that the process is over. You have to make sure you have documentation for the whole process. This means saving any vendor communication – like emails or phone calls. And, collecting any bids you received – and why you chose the vendor.
Once you’ve collected everything, you need to organize it so it’s easy to find later. While saving documentation is important, it doesn’t do much good if you can’t find it later.
You could organize everything in a filing cabinet. Or, a folder on your computer.
But, the easiest way to retain your bids is to use RFP software that keeps track of everything for you. Instead of searching through emails and calls, you can automatically track and organize all of the documentation you need to retain your bids with RFP software.
Retaining your bids so you can refer to them as needed in the future is the final way to find the best vendor for your property.
Wrapping It Up
Writing and sending RFPs can take up days or weeks of your time. And, simply sending out bid requests doesn’t guarantee you’ll find the right vendor. Why devote so much time to something that might not work?
By using these 5 tips, you can ensure you find the best vendor at the right price. Using templates, choosing trusted vendors, staying on top of vendor responses, comparing vendors side by side, and retaining bids can help you make the RFP process a success.
But, doing all 5 steps yourself can be time-consuming and tedious.
Bid Management software can help take these tasks off your plate. With premade templates, a vendor database, AI communication, side by side comparisons, and automatic documentation, bid management can speed up the process – with less work on your part.
Looking to save time with Bid Management? Consider using Prism’s Bid Management module. With Prism’s Bid Management, you can simplify the RFP process. And, you can choose better vendors for your property.
Get started with your Prism Bid Management demo today.