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Slingshot Advances RFx Processing

A number of significant RFx processing enhancements have been added to Slingshot’s Strategic Sourcing application.  Slingshot automates the process of creating, distributing, scoring and awarding RFx initiatives (e.g. Request for Proposal, Request for Quotation or Request for Information). 

An RFx initiative can include a survey, a set of items to price and a set of required business terms.  Suppliers are invited to participate by Email.  A link in the Email takes the supplier to a series of forms on which the response is completed.  Each response is automatically “scored” based on both price and survey responses.  Responses are awarded by pulling them into a Contract or a Purchase Order. 

The following features have been added to the above capabilities:

Instruction Sheets
Instruction sheets can be attached to the RFx document.  These sheets can be saved and used for multiple RFx initiatives or, can be copied when creating new instruction sheets.  A View Instructions button has been added to the supplier response form.  The supplier is required to confirm that all instructions have been read and understood before submitting a bid.

“Reverse Auction” Features
The bidding start period can now be defined.  Each new bid now creates a new version of the supplier’s response.  The new version can include changes to survey questions and attachments as well as price changes.  The previous version is automatically marked “Withdrawn” when the new version is created.   Email notifications are automatically sent to all participants, except the low bidder, when a new low bid is submitted.

Required Supplier Documents
A list of required documents can be specified for each RFx (e.g. insurance certificates, financial data, or references).  The supplier can attach multiple files for each document requested.  The supplier is not allowed to submit a response until each requested document has a least one attached file.

Support for Public Tenders
An RFx document can now be flagged as “public” or “by invitation”.  Public tenders can be responded to by any qualified supplier.
Note: The supplier qualification process is a standard feature of Slingshot’s Procurement Suite.

New form shows how the Response score was calculated.
Slingshot automatically scores each supplier response from 1 to 100.  The score is based on “importance factors” established for price and for each survey question.  The survey score is determined by the question’s importance and the supplier’s response.  A new form clearly shows how the score has been calculated. 

Essay Question Grading Enhancements
Essay questions are scored after a grade has been given by a “subject matter expert”.  A new feature allows users to be defined as subject matter experts.  Questions are automatically routed for scoring to the appropriate user.
Note: Survey questions can be multiple choice, yes/no, based on a response value or an essay response.  All questions with the exception of Essay questions are scored automatically. 

New “Award” Options
An RFx can now be awarded to multiple suppliers.  A single supplier can receive multiple awards as well (e.g. a purchase order for certain items and a contract for others).  Awards can now be reversed and re-awarded (e.g. to a different supplier) at any time.

Other Enhancements
The user interface for all RFx development forms has been given a “face lift”.  The user is lead through the required forms.  Information is organized under clear tabs.  Clear graphical buttons are used for all user actions.  Email notifications are now generated automatically as key dates are approaching (e.g. bidder’s conference, questions due, response due, bid cutoff etc.).  New reports and dashboard alerts have been added as well.