The savings and efficiencies that come with using electronic request for proposals (eRFPs), adopted by many large, enterprise companies about five years ago, are today still elusive for small and mid-size companies.
Last month, I spoke at Meetings Tech Expo in New York City, in a session, “Streamlining Site Selection & Driving Cost Savings with Online Sourcing Tools,” and I talked about some statistics from What RFPs Mean to SMBs: Turning Headaches into Solutions for Event Planners (a joint report by ACTIVE Network and i-Meet, the social network for meeting planners, which interviewed 190 planners) about how this market segment sources for event venues.
Guess what? Among small and mid-size companies, the most prevalent tool for sourcing is spreadsheet software Microsoft® Excel:
- 62% use Excel to create and submit RFPs
- 70% review and compare RFPs via Excel
I love Excel. It’s a great program. But when you’re sourcing for event hotels, real savings and efficiencies come from using an automated solution to manage, review and respond to all your eRFPs. Manually managing tons of data on a spreadsheet takes up a lot of time – and that translates into lost savings.
At Meetings Tech Expo, I also mentioned that nearly 44% of respondents use more than one resource – whether it’s Excel, software or email – to manage and execute their event. It’s so important to use a single solution to maximize efficiency, and indeed, the majority recognizes this: 56% use one resource (again whether its email, Excel or software).
If you’re a small and mid-size company, how do you manage sourcing for your meetings and events? Please share whether what you’re doing now is paying off in terms of measurable savings and efficiencies.