Is this title a catch phrase? You bet it is. Is there some truth to it – we are sure about this. 

Contacting suppliers by phone has been the tool of choice for centuries. By establishing personal contact and listening to the voice of your respondent you can establish trust, confidentiality and analyse e.g. how series your supplier is in providing you with a potential deal. But there is a catch to it: it consumes your valuable time.  

He first hurdle is finding the right suppliers for your product – by picking up your phone in most cases you don’t have an idea if the supplier can fulfill all your requirements, if he has free capacity or what quality and reliability his products have. 

There are certain steps how it is possible to improve the efficiency of getting proposals for the products you want: 

  1. Automation step one: Check for possible suppliers on industrial aggregation pages and use procurement software like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central 
  1. Automation step two: Use procurement platforms like SAP’s ariba.com or MFG.com to place your RFQ (Request For Quotation). These platforms have huge advantages in automation and procurement speed, but still have one disadvantage: They support every product as well as service type and are therefore extremely complex and time-consuming. 
  1. Automation step three: Choose a platform which offers procurement support (e.g. for writing specifications and analyzing offers) while keeping it clean and simple: This new type of platform is possible with the help of analytic AI in combination with text interpretation. One example is Alenti, which is in development and is going to be released in Juli 2021.  

Especially in the early procurement stage, where your main goal is to scout for suppliers and place you RFQs it is recommend to use procurement platforms to boost your efficiency. In a later stage however, keeping contact by phone and personal meetings is definetly necessary. So don’t give away your phone yet