Imagine this: It’s Halloween night and you’ve just committed to complete a sourcing project with a tight deadline. You must stay late at the office in order to complete the project in time. Everyone has left for the day and you’re all alone. Suddenly, the lights flicker. You hear a creek at the door and then footsteps in the distance…
Are your palms sweaty? Is your heart racing?
Unfortunately, I can’t help you avoid that scary situation. Although, I’d recommend you RUN…quickly! But in the spirit of Halloween, I wanted to share other scary moments in sourcing projects that’ll have your palms sweating and heart racing:
1) You invited the wrong suppliers to your live sourcing event. Yikes – that’s never good, but it’s definitely not the end of the world. To prevent this from happening, have at least one person from your team do a quick peer review of the project. Double and triple check the invited suppliers to make sure you have the right company name and contact information for that account. If something is overlooked during the live auction, quickly delete the uninvited supplier and re-add the proper supplier. Send separate email communications explaining the situation and move forward with a successful auction project.
2) You forgot to save your RPI project and lost everything. Wow- what a devastating loss! Train yourself to save the project you’re working on every 10 minutes. Trust me, I’ve learned this lesson the hard way on my own. You can never, ever save your document too often.
3) You didn’t include a business critical question on the RFI you just sent out. Sometimes questions get overlooked, especially if you’re building a large RFI or RFP. In addition to having someone on your team do a thorough peer review, make sure you leverage templates when building your RFIs. Most sourcing applications offer a template library where you can build custom templates that are pre-populated with all of the business critical questions on your RFI. Our clients love using these templates to ensure consistency and save time during the production phase of the project.
4) You accidentally deleted a project. Oh no- this is a total nightmare, especially if you can’t easily restore the project! We encourage our clients to limit the number of users that have the ability to delete projects. Make sure you set up your roles and permissions area of the software very strategically – only super users should have the power to delete anything!
5) You forgot to turn on project management to keep a timeline available to internal and external attendees. Well, hey- at least you didn’t delete an important project, right? But it’s still important for you to use the power of project management within your sourcing projects. You can use helpful triggers and activities that fall outside the realm of your sourcing module. We encourage our clients to utilize project management to add in activities outside the project, such as deadlines to get the project set up/dates to have internal review. You can also set up automated email triggers to remind your suppliers to complete the survey prior to deadline.
6) You didn’t publish your project or survey prior to inviting your suppliers. One simple oversight (such as forgetting to publish your project) and you’ll be getting many emails or phone calls from your suppliers about their inability to access the project. Train yourself to quality check your project prior to inviting suppliers. You’ve probably noticed that personal and peer review is a HUGE component of avoiding these nightmares. During that review phase, don’t forget to check all dates (start and end times) as well as the status of your projects and surveys.
7) You gave suppliers your direct email address instead of directing them to the project forum. Sometimes it seems easier and more personal to give suppliers your email address for questions. But what happens if you’re out of the office on the go-live date of the project? Or what if you’re unable to access your email because you’re running the live project on your computer (and you shut off your email)? As a best practice, we always tell our clients to use the forum for all projects. The forum allows you to store questions in a centralized location. Within our sourcing module, using a forum is simple! You just turn on the forum in the project set-up wizard and point suppliers to the forum in all correspondence.
Have you ever experienced any of these sourcing project nightmares? Help us celebrate Halloween by sharing your scary sourcing moments – tweet us @iasta or comment below.