In our last two posts we’ve been arguing that the RFX process, at least traditionally, has been unnecessarily manually intensive and painful, almost taking the “strategic” out of “strategic sourcing” as so much manual time and effort is required to get it done that you can lose sight of the cost savings forest as you try to cut your way though the individual trees that continually block your way.
We indicated that much of the manual work that is typically required in RFI and RFP creation is relatively easily automated in an appropriate, modern, system — in addition to being much easier to accomplish in modern interfaces designed for efficiency and productivity — and that is why newcomers continue to rise, and profit, in an enterprise software space that should be mature and crowded enough to prevent this from happening.
We also indicated that a lot of time was required to vet potential suppliers for an RFP (even after an initial RFI round), that an organization might not be able to cull the list even if it wanted to, and that neither of these situations should be the case. Why?
First of all, it should be possible to not only auto-score the models against appropriate thresholds of suitability, defined by industry best practices and fine-tuned over time using machine learning techniques that learn the appropriate characteristics and scoring along multiple axes based upon suppliers you select and suppliers you don’t, but rank the suppliers in suitability based on the RFI alone.
Secondly, a modern platform should be able to absorb industry intelligence to predict quality, cost, and delivery and determine how likely a new supplier will fare against incumbents and market average. And then refine the rankings based on this data.
With this data, you could then predict if it’s (very) likely or (very) unlikely that a supplier would receive an award (now or in the future) and allow you to determine if you want to invite the supplier now or not.
How? RPA, ML, AR, and “AI” integration of these technologies.
How specifically? That’s a discussion for a later article, but hopefully, by now you get our point — most RFX technology is kicking you when you’re already down.