Many companies typically contact their suppliers by email and fail to benefit from the advantages of electronic requests for proposals due to different reasons. One of them is attachment to traditional purchasing methods or failure to recognise savings generated by using a purchasing platform.Below, we present five reasons why sending electronic requests for proposals to your potential suppliers will bring more benefits:

The bigger the supplier base, the higher the proposals’ competitiveness

A purchasing platform enables a company to create a restricted electronic request for proposal i.e. a proposal addressed to a specific supplier, or an open request to which all suppliers registered with a given platform may respond. The latter solution increases the number of potential offerers. Consequently, it raises competitiveness and gives the opportunity of receiving offers characterised by more advantageous conditions. One of the benefits of placing requests for proposal on an electronic market, such as Marketplanet OnePlace, is the access to a large group of suppliers for a single purchasing category without the need to manually search for information about potential contractors and to contact them by email. Additionally, the supplier base also includes companies that have completed an initial verification process, while in the case of email communication, a company needs to invest time and money to conduct such an analysis.

A standardised tool is saving your time

A request for a proposal is placed using a standardised electronic form. Its application is easier and less time-consuming than creating a new text document or a calculation sheet. The system checklists if all the required spaces have been filled in, thus ensuring that your request is complete. Also, you avoid the risk of incomplete feedback or the failure to precisely specify the offer’s requirements. The selection criteria are transparent to your business partners.

It is easy to compare offers

To compare offers received by email requires data consolidation that is time and labour-consuming. The activity of comparing the offers is the main drawback in email communication with suppliers, especially, when it is necessary to consider other assessment criteria than solely the price to make an optimum decision. Electronic requests for proposals allow a company to avoid such issues, because information is consolidated automatically and offers’ comparison is intuitive and simple.

Security always matters

The process of placing electronic requests for proposals is secure and transparent, because purchasing platforms are protected by protocols that code the exchanged data and restrict unauthorised access.

To limit the risk of transacting with unreliable suppliers, electronic platforms carry out certification processes. Certification confirms that a supplier is qualified and reliable so that a company placing a request knows that the business partner is credible without the need to conduct additional market analyses, which is often the case with requests sent by email. In this way, a company saves time and money.

Electronic requests for proposals are additionally secured by the possibility to modify the conditions of an offer. It is especially important considering the ever-changing market conditions. An electronic system enables a company to place numerous offers within a specified deadline. As a result, the risk that a new offer will not be allowed due to different reasons is eliminated, unlike in the case of email communication with the buyer.

The transparency of the process

Companies that place electronic requests for proposals over a purchasing platform gain the assurance of the process transparency. This is because any non-business aspects that might raise doubts in the case of email communication with suppliers are eliminated. The transparency is also reflected in the fact that competitors have equal opportunities: an offer is also addressed to companies that have not cooperated with the buyer before.  Offers are assessed in terms of pre-defined criteria to ensure that the situation is evaluated realistically and to eliminate subjective influences.

Erfx may offer you a number of benefits. Therefore, before sending an email to a potential contractor, we recommend that you consider the large supplier base, the process standardisation as well as the aspect of offers’ comparison, security and transparency of electronic requests for proposals.