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Book Review: Buying and Selling Information

Buying and Selling Information, by career salesperson Michael L. Gruenberg, is a guide to help buyers of information services (think subscription-based online databases). Beyond this very specific cas...

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The Underutilized Request for Information (RFI)

For anyone that has ever run an eSourcing project, there is a typical flow that most processes follow. The project kicks off, and everyone’s focus is split between costs and known issues with the incumbent suppliers(s). Procurement uses historical spend to put together a list of line items with quantity and specification data. The company’s standard list of supplier questions is loaded into the eRFX system, along with any additional questions for suppliers that relate to the category of spend in question or new developments in the industry being sourced from. Everyone works frantically until the day the RFP opens and then – you wait. The project comes to a complete standstill for the two weeks (e.g.) that the RFP is open. Then the mad dash begins again as you wade through and evaluate supplier responses, pricing, and attachments.

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"What we've got here is a failure to communicate"

Thanks to the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke, one of today’s largest procurement/sales challenges is easy to put into words. We talk about the need for partnerships and collaboration, but how often do we successfully take the effort beyond talk so that it includes open and productive conversation with our reps and supplier account managers?

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