Daily Archives: May 31, 2024

RFP Everything? Are You Mad? Even The Squirrels Will Think You’re Nuts!

A recent post on LinkedIn that proclaimed Exciting News! (and which should have exclaimed Good News Everyone*) worries the doctor greatly because a remarkable example of AI was

autonomous tail spend RFP’s, generating over 15,000 RFPS annually through a programmed bot!


15,000 more RFPs for inconsequential tail spend might sound exciting to buyers, but it’s terrifying to sales professionals who are already over-inundated with ever more demanding RFPs where they know, statistically, they will only get 20% to 33% of the business if they are on par with their peers, and the odds will be worse if they are not.

More RFPs, or even just quick-quote RFQs, is NOT the answer to good tail spend management! If you try it, you’re just going to end up:

  1. losing potential suppliers who just drop you because you can’t keep up with the volume or
  2. getting auto-generated responses from suppliers who “wise up” and counter idiotic tech with idiotic tech — and these may be good, or may be pointless …

You need to use tech to find the best deals on tail spend WITHOUT overburdening the supply base. This means, at a minimum, you need tech that:

  • allows you to find potential products/services in your catalogs / covered under your agreements
  • find potential products/services from your GPOs
  • find potential products/services from preferred suppliers
  • … and identify the lowest cost items from the groups above
  • identify potential products on the open market
  • … and identify the expected lowest cost as a baseline
  • identify past events, possibly in an anonymized community intelligence database,
  • … and how much the price was reduced against catalog/market price
  • and then let you know whether or not an RFQ will likely result in a significant savings (not just 1% or 2%, it’s tail spend, after all), and, if not, present the best option that will NOT over-inundate, and deprive you of, good suppliers in your supply base

Just like AI in marketing, too many RFPs is just adding to the noise, and no one wins when neither side can hear what needs to be heard!

* It was NEVER Good News!