If an important lesson can be learned from the last few months of this global pandemic it’s this: still too many companies are in need of digital transformation. To some degree, this reluctance can be understood: anyone who’s had to go through the nightmare of lengthy implementation processes only to find themselves stuck with impossible-to-use software, would rather keep things simple, and at a human scale.
Except that at human-scale isn’t fit for purpose in today’s world. Your emails can get easily hacked. The company computers and un-clouded documents are inaccessible as soon as you start working from home. Auditing is a nightmare. And the whole procurement process takes way longer than it needs to.
So what you need really is a platform that doesn’t just understand the complexity of the RFX process, but also stays understandable to use at a human-level. Spoiler alert: that’s why we created DeepStream.
What’s the difference between RFI, RFQ, RFP and RFX anyway?
Before we go any further let’s take a look at what each of these terms mean!
RFI: Request for information. As the name suggests, it’s a way to find for buyers to find out information about suppliers through a pre-qualification questionnaire. This is very much part of the first research stage, and this information is generally gathered without sharing information about the project or commitment of engagement.
RFQ: Request for Quotation or Quote. This can also be called Call for Bids (CfB) or Invitation for Bid (IfB). This is all about the price, including payment terms and the validity period of said quote. An RFQ is used particularly when the buyer has a very specific need and knows exactly what they need.
RFP: Request for Proposal. In this scenario the buyer has an idea of what they need but is also open to ideas/suggestions for a solution. The suppliers are invited to give their best business proposal. An RFP might include financial information, technical capacity, estimates of completion, company history, and other supporting information that can help the buyer make an informed decision.
Where does RFX fit into this?
RFX, meaning Request for [x] is a catch-all term that encompasses all of the above (and more). It can refer as much to a simple RFQ as a multi-stage RFI/RFQ/RFP combination.
How can you do RFX using DeepStream?
DeepStream is built to accommodate both simple and more complex procurement processes. You can therefore save considerable time and money using DeepStream for your RFX purposes.
Here is just a small sample of its features, so you can see for yourself:
These sit on every company profile. Whether certain answers have been provided or not is public, but the answers are not. Buyers can send a request to access these from any supplier.
DeepStream allows for rich answers, which can include file attachments, essay-style answers or multiple choice questions.
Organise your suppliers
Search through DeepStream’s extensive list of suppliers filtering them by location or product/service, and organise them into lists. This is ideal for the RFI stage in particular. You can also invite suppliers not on the network already to join it.
Intuitive Messaging Services
Buyers can easily communicate with suppliers to request more information or ask clarifying questions.
Every document exchange and communication is automatically recorded so you can download the entire audit trail for your RFX process at any time. This brings transparency to the entire process and saves all parties involved considerable time.
DeepStream is super flexible, which means you can tailor every RFX to your specific needs without having to adapt it to the software. Create requests that are adapted to your requirements without all the extra padding.
Using us means that you’ll be able to evaluate suppliers in a consistent manner. Instead of trying to compare apples with the oranges that have landed in your inbox, everyone gets a level playing field to meet your requirements.
Cloud-based for remote access
DeepStream is a cloud-based platform that can be accessed from any device by its users. This means your team doesn’t need a complex VPN login, or to lug home folders and folders of documents. Make a change on one device and it’ll be immediately accessible to the rest of the team, wherever in the world they are.
Security at every step
DeepStream was awarded full ISO 27001 certification which is an unusual achievement for a lean startup. This is because we think that in today’s world, in which hacking happens all too frequently, it’s absolutely key to protect sensitive and business-critical data.
As well as being a secure alternative to emails, you have control at a micro-level over which information can be seen and by whom (this includes: specific team members, brokers, suppliers, etc). You can also control who can view, and who can edit.
DeepStream is proud of its lightning-fast software implementations. Traditional procurement software can take months if not years to be implemented, a resource-heavy process. We’ve been able to implement DeepStream company-wide from 2-6 weeks. This means our users can spend less time in lengthy meetings, and more time doing the work they actually love.
Every RFX transaction is uniquely complex so why create software that ignores that? Our platform is uniquely designed to cater for broker intermediary businesses as well as more straightforward buyer-supplier relationships.
Whether you are collaborating with multiple parties through the procurement process or with multiple team members, we have designed a number of solutions to make the collaborative process as frictionless as possible.
As an agile product focused company most of our employees are developers and we release new features every two weeks 100% based on user feedback. Because we believe in our product we offer every client the chance to try it out for 3 months before committing. This means that our clients stay because they want to, not because they are tied by ironclad agreements or long expensive implementation timelines.
And…well… there is us!
What makes software good is also the team behind it. We’re a varied bunch with experience from a wide range of industries (music, automotive, finance, education…), countries (Sweden, Mexico, Romania, France, Peru, UK, India, Kazakhstan, Australia, USA, etc) and cultural backgrounds. As a result, we come with fresh eyes to procurement. Instead of replicating systems ‘because that’s how it’s usually done’, we create flexible processes based on actual human behaviour.
So what’s next?
Try out DeepStream for yourself. As you can see we have full-faith that to try it is to love it! Take advantage of our gamified demo offer, where you can experience first-hand every aspect of the software using real-life scenarios.