Transform Your Procurement Workflow with Contract Insight®

03/17/20

CobbleStone's procurement workflow.Manually managing purchase orders, bids, vendors, and contracts can be difficult.  Processes that involve paying per solicitation can become extremely costly.  Limited visibility leaves your organization with an imperfect pool of vendors. Hindrances such as an inadequate sourcing platform, an overly complicated procurement system database, and an inefficient contract lifecycle process can prevent your organization from properly administering its contracts.  An effectual source-to-contract process is the solution to the abovementioned issues.  CobbleStone Software’s Contract Insight can provide that solution.

What is Procurement Workflow?

Procurement workflow is an evolutionary process under which a procurement document is drafted, reviewed, signed, and executed.  An example of a workflow that your organization may adhere to is as follows:

  1. Request: Your organization begins to lay out the details of a bid.
  2. Procurement Initiation: The preliminary request record, its budget, and its requirements are reviewed (and modified, if need be).
  3. Bid Document Authoring: The solicitation development stage in which the requirements and terms of a bid are put into formal writing.
  4. Bid advertisement: Your bid is advertised to relevant vendors.
  5. Questions & Answers: Your organization can field any relevant questions bidders have.
  6. Vendor Response Ratings: Weighted scores are given to bidders based on pre-established criteria.
  7. Best and Final Offer (BAFO): Last chance for vendors to submit best pricing and terms for a bid.
  8. Vendor Awarded: Your organization awards the highest-scoring vendor and notifies unsuccessful respondents that a vendor has been selected.
  9. Contract Generation: Your organization and the chosen vendor negotiate the final contract, which goes through the standard contract lifecycle.

Enhance Procurement Workflow with Contract Insight

Contract Insight can structure and streamline your organization’s procurement workflow, thanks to a plethora of user-friendly tools to assist with each stage of the procurement process.  Here’s how to transform your procurement workflow with Contract Insight.

Simplify Requests and Procurement Initiation

Contract Insight affords your organization with diversified procurement request options.  You can employ a standard request form that, upon being completed, triggers the appropriate review process to determine if the request will involve a bid process or can, instead, leverage an existing contract within your system. 

You also have the option to utilize Contract Insight’s intelligent request wizard.  This helpful utility allows users to answer a sequence of dynamic questions to determine the type of RFx they should create, or whether they can reference a relevant, existing contract instead.

After the preliminary drafting of a request record, the record can be reviewed and modified with the implementation of assigned workflow tasks.  Next, the budget of the record is reviewed when the person tasked with budget review is alerted, and additional requirements for the bid are gathered.  Once these tasks are completed, your organization can move toward formalizing the bid.

Streamlined Bid Authorship and Advertising

The scalable procurement management solution that Contract Insight offers can help your organization to produce timely, comprehensive, and accurate request documents.  With the ability to merge pre-approved clauses and request record data fields, your team can manage multiple document templates and versions for the expedited generation of documents and convenient exportation to standard file formats.

After your document is generated, you can use Contract Insight to promote your bid and set it to be advertised publicly, or to be accessible by invite only.

Leverage advanced contract authorship with the power to interchange clauses through an approved clause playbook and expedite the creation of your requests with control over to whom you advertise.

Q&A for Prospective Vendors

After your organization has authored its request contract and advertised its bid, bidders have an opportunity to ask questions. Contract Insight has helpful question and answer utilities so that your organization is on the same page with its prospects.

With Contract Insight, you can set a specific due date for questions and answers, so that vendors would only be able to ask questions within a timeframe that is identified for your organization’s needs.  Once that date has passed, your system will no longer allow the submission of questions.

Additionally, your Contract Insight system provides alerts for your organization’s users.  They can receive notifications when a question is asked and/or when the due dates for questions and answers are approaching.  There are also options as to how you respond to bidders.  You can answer questions one by one, but you can also provide answers on a spreadsheet and make it public to vendors for consumption.

Advanced Vendor Rating and Scoring

Contract Insight’s vendor response ratings can help your organization to be sure that the optimum vendor is awarded.  With bid rating weight control, your organization can configure the weight of certain response criteria to take precedence over others when scoring bids.

Easily Award a Vendor

Contract Insight allows for reverse line item auctioning, which helps your organization to enlist specific bidding for individual items.  This feature is hugely helpful for bid processes that permit your organization to award multiple vendors for different facets of a bid. 

Contract Insight allows your organization to parse out its bids. In other words, your team can call out specific items, providing an area for respondents to select the items and enter their expected unit price, sending specifics back to your system for comparison to other respondents.

After all the above is taken care of, Contract Insight allows you to finally award a vendor!  When a vendor is chosen, you can send an email to the awarded vendor straight from the sourcing record page in your system – letting them know they’ve been selected.  Award notification can be streamlined by using an approved email template.  You can also email your unsuccessful respondents thanking them for taking part in the process while informing them that another vendor has been awarded.

Begin Your Contract Lifecycle

All that is left to do after you’ve awarded a vendor is to undergo the contract process.  Contract Insight allows you to create a new contract – or link to an existing contract record – straight from your sourcing record page.  Once this record is created, you can follow your organization’s standard contract lifecycle.

It’s Time to Transform eProcurement

Now that you are aware of precisely how CobbleStone Software’s Contract Insight can transform your procurement process, it’s time to implement the leading source-to-contract platform for your organization!

CobbleStone Software’s Contract Insight is an award-winning, secure, and cloud-based source-to-contract platform that transforms contract management, purchase requisition, procurement, and sourcing.  Since 1995, CobbleStone has been acclaimed by organizations of a variety of industries as the leader in contract management solutions.

Learn more about Contract Insight’s enterprise purchasing and procurement solution and licensing with a free trial today!

For a limited time CobbleStone is offering a *free 60 day trial including electronic signatures with IntelliSign℠ to help organizations stay on top of deadlines, manage and fulfill commitments, collaborate, sign, and award contracts while working remote or on-the-go!

*CobbleStone's extended free trial and IntelliSign availability is subject to change or cancellation without notice. 

Make your case for contract management software. Download your guide now.

Sean Heck

Written by Sean Heck

Sean Heck is a Content Marketing Specialist at CobbleStone Software

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