PurchTips - Edition # 252

 

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7 RFP Planning Tips, Part I

By Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Are These Tips Part of Your RFP Planning?

The success of any sourcing initiative is largely dependent upon successful request for proposal (RFP) planning. In today's edition of PurchTips, we'll cover three tips for planning a successful RFP. In a future edition, we'll share four additional tips.

RFP Tip #1: Make your RFP the appropriate length. "The easiest way to ensure that you're paying too much is to put out an RFP that is painful for a supplier to respond to," says Bill Dorn, Vice President of Operations for Source One Management Services and the co-author of Managing Indirect Spend: Enhancing Profitability Through Strategic Sourcing. Dorn has observed that an RFP may start out as a generic template then, over years, morph into a "monster that has a whole bunch of unnecessary questions" that require irrelevant responses. Before issuing an RFP, he recommends that you "go through every single question and ask 'Is this question directly relevant to this spend category?'" RFP Planning Tips

RFP Tip #2:Avoid using supplier-provided RFP content. If you use RFP content provided by a supplier, "you're pretty much guaranteed that you're going to be buying from that company" that gave you the content, according to Dorn. With regard to supplier-provided RFP content, Dorn says that "first, it only has questions in it that really make the person that wrote it look really good [and], second, it's likely to have specifications in it that are completely irrelevant to you, the buyer, but serve to exclude the competition."

RFP Tip #3: Use an RFI before an RFP if it makes sense to do so. If one supplier is your main source of market information, you can first issue a request for information (RFI) to learn more about the market. "Companies are too quick to list a bunch of specifications in [an] RFP," believes Dorn, citing that as a suboptimal approach. "The best way to approach the market is identify a problem or a pain that you have and let the experts in that particular spend category tell you how they would resolve it." He stresses that buyers can be pleasantly surprised by the responses, which would not have been captured in a specification-heavy RFP process.

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Spotlight On Professional Development Opportunities

SPSM Certification

Are you tired of not getting enough opportunities, respect, and money out of your purchasing career? Well, guess what? Nothing will change unless you take action towards becoming a world-class purchasing professional.

You see, today's employers refuse to reward employees for yesterday's skills.They demand that purchasing professionals like you use the most modern skills and achieve unprecedented results. They want you to save more money, achieve better operational performance, and reduce risk.

Is lacking a purchasing certification keeping you from getting the results, opportunities, respect, and money that you want out of your career? Today's employers refuse to reward employees for yesterday's skills. They want you to save more money, achieve better operational performance, and reduce risk. They demand that purchasing professionals like you achieve unprecedented results and without the most modern skills that can be a challenging feat!

So how can you acquire the most modern skills, achieve meaningful results, and convincingly prove your capabilities to today's employers? There is an impressive purchasing certification program that will teach you what you need to accomplish all of this and more. It is the SPSM® Certification, earned by completing the Senior Professional in Supply Management® Program. And you could earn it in less than a year - maybe even much less than a year!

Earning your SPSM® Certification by completing the Senior Professional in Supply Management® Program is the action to take if you want to bring the most modern purchasing practices into your organization and achieve your career potential. Learn how to earn your SPSM® Certification (and perhaps get an iPad) (with the option of getting a Study Guide on an iPad) at:

Distinguishing yourself as an achiever in purchasing is key to sustaining a rewarding career, even in these difficult economic times. Earning your SPSM® Certification by completing the Senior Professional in Supply Management® Program is to take if you want to bring the most modern purchasing practices into your organization and achieve your career potential. Learn how to earn your SPSM® Certification (and perhaps get an iPad) at:

Earning your SPSM® Certification by completing the Senior Professional in Supply Management® Program is the action to take if you want to bring the most modern purchasing practices  into your organization and achieve your career potential. And if you sign up for the Senior Professional in Supply Management® Program on or before May 31, 2008, SPSMSM Certification Program on or before 4/30/2007, you also get these and other bonuses valued at over $700:

  • FREE $30 gift certificate to Amazon.com!
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To learn how to earn your SPSM® Certification and get these valuable bonuses, visit:

Earning your Senior Professional in Supply Management® (SPSM) Certification is the action to takeif you want to bring the most modern purchasing practices into your organization and achieve your career potential. Learn how to earn your SPSMSM Certification at:

Learn how to earn your SPSM® Certification at:

www.NextLevelPurchasing.com/spsm.html

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Want to learn more about today's topic? Then check out my podcast interview with Bill Dorn! Podcasts are audio files that you can listen to on your PC, download to your iPod/MP3 player, or burn to CD. Our Purchasing & Supply Management Podcast SeriesSM is a new way for us to help you succeed!

It's absolutely FREE to download the audio. Add it to your collection of great purchasing learning material!

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  • Access to two lessons from courses that are part of the Senior Professional in Supply Management® Program
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If you are already a member of the NLPA, click here to login and visit the "Starter Kit" tab to access these resources.