Daily Archives: November 2, 2023

Fairmarkit wants to bring a fair market price to your RFQs

Fairmarkit, which claims to bring you from requisition to PO in as little as 5 minutes (or 5 seconds if you turn on full automation) is a provider of an autonomous sourcing solution for all tactical spend, and tail spend in particular (with more Fortune 500 customers using it for Tail Spend than any other tail spend provider). Founded in 2017 with the intent of solving the tail spend sourcing problem prevalent in the modern enterprise, it has grown from a point-based stand-alone simple tail spend solution to a fully integrated solution that can sit behind, and power, any enterprise sourcing or procurement application that is missing tail spend functionality, and does so for many of the enterprise customers that it has acquired in a mere six (6) years. Drilling in on that last point, Fairmarkit is fully integrated with Ariba, Coupa, Oracle, and ServiceNow and users can conduct tail spend events without ever leaving those platforms (should they choose) and can even setup the Fairmarkit platform to automate the entire event (and, should they choose, even the award according to well-defined rules).

For the average user doing an RFP or RFQ, who is not initiating the event from within a third party platform, the entry point to the platform is their new NLP-powered interface that allows a user to start the process by stating a request in Natural Language. Once the request is made, the platform does it’s best to extract all key details that will be needed by the buy-desk sourcing professional (for categorization, potential supply base, etc.) and then verifies its interpretation step-by-step with the user, asking additional questions as necessary depending on the category, etc. If, at any point, it determines that the amount is too small for an event (and should just be a P-card expense), then it will notify the user of such. If there are suitable products (or services) in a pre-loaded catalogue, then it will direct the user to the catalogue. If the budget or potential spend exceeds a threshold, it will notify the user that this needs to be a strategic event (possibly through an integrated platform) and/or that approvals will be needed to kick-off the project and make the award.

For services projects, if the user does not have an SOW, the platform will use GEN AI to automatically create an outline based on a repository of best practice SOWs. Once the outline is generated, the requester can then edit it as needed before sending it to the sourcing team for execution. The platform understands more than 100 categories and can generate SOW outlines for all common contracting categories.

Once the buy-desk receives the request, the buyer can

  • message the requester with any questions they need answered to fully understand the need
  • edit the request as required for clarity
  • turn it into a full-fledged RFP
  • create a quick-hit RFQ
  • archive the request (if inappropriate for a sourcing event)

Creating an RFP is easy-peasy as the process, and complexity, is completely defined by the user. Depending on the category, the user can:

  • create an RFP from scratch
  • create an RFP from a pre-existing template (which includes a library of defaults created in conjunction with SIG)
  • use the built-in AI to generate a suggested RFP

Regardless of the method chosen, at any time before it is released into the wild, the user can:

  • add, edit, or remove questions (or sections of questions)
  • add or drop existing (or new) suppliers to (or from) the invite list
  • define weightings for scoring
  • invite (internal) collaborators to the event (for review and scoring)

When the due date arrives, all invited collaborators can score the RFP, and when scoring is complete, the sourcing professional can go to the summary screen that shows, for each supplier, its score, diversity status, and internal (preferred status) as well as the cost of each supplier – line item pairing. The buyer can then award by supplier, or by individual pairing. The buyer can also pop-up the scorecard at the category level and drill in as needed. When the award is selected, the user can add notes to explain their decision, the day the contract or term will begin, any expected on-time costs, and the platform will compute the recurring costs and one-time savings automatically (and all of this information is logged and can be used to produce a report summarizing the full project history and decision criteria for any executive who asks).

RFQs are quick and easy. Define the items, select the suppliers, and send it out. And, as per our introduction, if Fairmarkit is integrated with another sourcing platform, RFQs can be fully populated through the API, automatically sent out, and even automatically awarded (for repeat buys for tactical products or services when appropriate rules are defined). For most RFQs, the buyer is just filling in missing information not passed from the source system and doing the final award.

In addition, Fairmarkit RFQs can also take advantage of the first industry integration of the new Amazon Business quoting module that allows a seller to offer different prices than what you see in the cart, guarantee those prices for 30 days, and even hold inventory. This, for the first time, makes Amazon Business a viable catalog for quick-hit RFQs for commodity purchases.

Supplier selection is quick and easy as the platform will automatically recommend suppliers based on the actual products and services being sourced (and not just the category) using a sophisticated AI algorithm that will match on all available details. If the user doesn’t like the suggestions, they can also quickly identify suppliers by category as well.

Finally, as expected, the platform also has some built-in reporting that can be used by the management team to track performance and progress over time. (It’s not a full analytics solution as Fairmarkit expects a client to use their own best-in-class spend analysis platform as the API allows all data to be extracted at any time.)

By default it will ship with the following dashboards (which can be tailored to your organization):

  • executive overview which summarizes overall platform utilization, event time, requests time, and platform-wide savings (which are averaging 11% across all events) as well as missed savings opportunities
  • buyer performance which summarizes the buyers by activity, savings, single vs. multi-sourcing, and other key attributes
  • buyer reporting which summarizes events and results by suppliers
  • supplier trends around bidding, response, and overall performance
  • RFQ Details which summarizes key RFQ statistics
  • Supplier Diversity (if there is supplier diversity data available, which can be obtained from a subscription to their partner supplier.io) by event, month, buyer, etc.

The platform is also highly configurable by the end user organization that can define

  • all company settings
  • users, requesters, buyers, and teams
  • suppliers and groupings
  • categories (and associated templates)
  • templates for RFPs
  • price books (which is their term for built-in catalogs)
  • project settings
  • API settings (and diversity)

Fairmarkit is a great platform for tail spend, and the proof is in the pudding. In September, 2023 FairMarket passed the 1 Billion mark for spend sourced. One Billion in quick-hit tactical RFQ across it’s enterprise customers that issue between 700 and 4,000 RFQs a month (because they are so quick and easy and save an average of 11% even in today’s turbulent times). Also, Fairmarkit is available in multiple languages and is being used globally in 72 countries and counting.