How do I set up organizational rules for Requests (RFX)?
By configuring your organization's "Request Settings," you can apply a set of rules that govern your RFX and also speed the creation of future RFX. Bear in mind that when we write that it impacts future RFX, it means that any open RFX will not be impacted by changes made to the settings. However, any newly-created RFX will be impacted by the changes to the settings. This is a very straightforward process and begins with a click to your organization's settings:
Once you click "My Organization," you'll arrive on a landing page. On that page, there will be a link called "Request Settings" that you'll see in the "Organization Details" section. Click it.
Now you can see the different kinds of supported requests as well as an option to enable/disable multi-round events. Multi-round events apply broadly to Requests, rather than specifically to an individual type because a multi-round event will often consist of different kinds of Events, e.g. RFI -> RFP -> RFQ. To enable multi-round events, simply click the checkbox. Beneath that checkbox, you'll see the different kinds of strategic sourcing event types supported by Vendorful.
- RFP - Request for Proposal
- RFI - Request for Information
- RFQ - Request for Quotation
- IFB - Invitation for Bid
To the left of the event type, you'll see a check mark or blank space. If there is a check mark, it means that your organization is enabling that event type. (There are, for examples, organizations that don't run IFBs and simply disable them so no one accidentally runs one.) On the right side of the event type, you'll see a pencil icon. To configure a Request type, click the pencil adjacent to it. The user interface will look like the screenshot below.
There are a lot of options. First, we'll go through what they control and then we'll take a look at a couple to see how they work.
- Summary - The Summary appears on the Request Setup page and provides a high-level summary of the sourcing event to give vendors some context. In the Settings, default text can be configured. However, since the Summary is going to be specific to each sourcing event, those involved in the event can supplement or delete any text configured here.
- Instructions - The Instructions appears on the Request Setup page and provides guidance to vendors that are contemplating participation and/or actually participating. In the Settings, default text can be added for boilerplate instructions. Instructions may vary between sourcing events so those involved in the event can supplement or delete any text configured here.
- Terms and Conditions - The Terms and Conditions appears on the Request Setup page. When selected, if functions like an entrance gate for vendors, i.e., vendors can't participate in the process unless they agree to the terms. These can be set to be optional or required and the text can similarly be set to be editable to uneditable.
- Certification - The Certification appears on the Request Setup page. When selected, if functions like an exit gate for vendors, i.e., vendors submit their bids unless they agree to the certifying language. (It's worth noting that Vendorful will show vendors the Certification requirement and its associated language in the beginning of the process so no one is "ambushed" by the requirement.) These can be set to be optional or required and the text can similarly be set to be editable to uneditable.
- Disclosed Budget - Disclosure of Budget is an option on the Setup page. If an organization never wants to disclose any budget information to vendors, this feature can be disabled here.
- NDA - The Terms and Conditions appears on the Request Setup page. When selected, if functions like an entrance gate for vendors, i.e., vendors can't participate in the process unless they agree to the terms. These can be set to be optional or required and the text can similarly be set to be editable to uneditable.
- Key Dates - Key Dates is a standalone page in the Request creation process. This option allows organizations to set up required and optional dates that are consistent with their own vernacular and processes.
- Attachments - Attachments can be added on the Setup page. This setting allows for automatically attaching specific documents, e.g. "About the Company," "Supplier Diversity Policy," etc.
- Questionnaire Template - The Questionnaire is a standalone page in the Request creation process. This setting allows organizations to preload questions in their Request. This isn't commonly used, but has a home in compliance-heavy organizations where "Know Your Supplier" (KYS) questions may be a required part of every RFX.
- Public Request - Allowing a request to be publicly available is an option on the Invite Vendors step of the Request creation process. Often times, private companies want to have tightly-controlled distribution of their RFX and disable this feature.
- Business Unit/Department - The Business Unit/Department label appears on the Request Setup page and allows organizations to track their RFX by department. Smaller organizations may disable this as it may allow to more granularity than is desired.
- Decline/Advance/Award Vendors - This appears at the conclusion of the Request. If an organization would prefer to handle this process offline, i.e.,outside of Vendorful, this functionality can be disabled.
Let's take a look at two different settings....
Imagine you want to disable Public Requests, which is enabled by default. Let's click on Public Requests so we can see the options:
All you need to do is deselect the checkbox. Once unchecked, Public Requests will not be available in future Requests of the type that you configured.
An example of a more complex setting would be "Terms and Conditions." Click and drill down:
There are actually three things that can be edited here.
- Can be edited in the Request - When deselected, it means that the stakeholders in the Request will not be able to change the language for the Terms and Conditions. When selected, however, stakeholders will be presented with the Default Text, which then can then supplement or delete.
- Always required in the Request - When deselected, the Terms and Conditions become optional. However, in the above example, it is selected, which means that the stakeholders will be required to include the Terms and Conditions.
- Default Text - This is the default Terms and Conditions language. It can be edited here.
In the above-displayed setup, an RFX that uses this option will ALWAYS have Terms and Conditions and will ALWAYS use the wording configured for the default text.