GUIDE: Creating a Sourcing Event

This article provides a high-level overview of the process of creating a Sourcing Event in Supplios -- a RFQ, RFP, RFI, RFx, Tender, or whatever else you may call it.

Creating Sourcing Events is a simple process -- and we have step-by-step "wizard" that guides you through the process right in the app.  

We'll walk through each of those steps below, and we've created in-depth guides for some of the steps as well -- see the Related Articles.

Please note that only internal company users with a "Full User" license are able to create Sourcing Events.  

Create New Event

You start the process of creating a new sourcing event by clicking "New Sourcing Event" in either of 2 places:  1) From the green button at the top of the main Sourcing page, or 2) From the green "New..." button at the bottom of the main menu, available from anywhere in the app.

This will then open the form where you give the event a title, select what type of event it is (RFQ, RFP, RFI, etc.) and optionally select a custom category for the event.  All of these things can be changed later -- so just input whatever is convenient for now.

Click on "Create & continue setup" -- this will then take you to the Setup area for configuring the rest of the settings which we'll cover in the next step.

Setup Step 1: Settings

After creating the event, you'll find yourself in the Setup area of the Sourcing Event.  

This is where you manage the high-level information about the event such as how you categorize it (with Category, Tags, and Event Type), set the Response Deadline, and other settings.

Most of this information is either already complete, or is optional.  And you can change any of it later as well.  

Once you are done, click 'Save & Next' to go to the next step in the process.

We have an in-depth guide on all of the settings here: Sourcing Event Setup - Settings

Setup Step 2: Content

The Content section is where you describe what you are sourcing, and all of it will be shown to vendors when they see the event details and prepare their response.  

What you put here can be as detailed (or as brief!) as you'd like.  It is purposely very flexible to accommodate a variety of sourcing activities.

You may want to write a long, detailed RFP document for a large high-budget project.  Or you may want to just write a few lines providing a summary for a simple RFQ.  Just make sure that you provide enough detail so that your vendors will understand what you are sourcing, or else you'll likely get a bunch of questions when you launch the event.

The only requirement from Supplios is that you write something in the Summary section -- or else you will be blocked from launching the event.  This could be anything from "See Attached Document", up to a long document with many sections.

There are 2 main sections here -- the Summary section for written content, and the Attachments section for file uploads.

  • Written Content (Summary):  REQUIRED  Use the built-in document editor to create a written description of what you are sourcing.  Whatever you write here will be the main thing vendors see when they first see your sourcing event details, formatted in the same way you see it.  You can add section headings, bulleted lists, numbered lists, and other content formats.  You can see how it will look for vendors by clicking on "Supplier View" at the very top right corner of the page.  This is required, but how much you write here is up to you.  
    • NOTE:  Any changes you make here will be auto-saved as you work, so if you are editing the the content while the event is already OPEN, your vendors will be able to see your changes immediately.
  • AttachmentsOPTIONAL  Upload any attachments relevant to the Sourcing Event that provide background for vendors to prepare their responses.  This could be documents you have already written offline (Word, PDF, for example), any relevant terms and conditions, corporate policies you want vendors to see, part drawings, CAD files, etc.  Files are limited to 25 MB or less.  If you encounter any issues with restricted file types or other upload issues, please contact our support team and we'll help ASAP.
    • NOTE:  You do not need to upload any documents here that you want vendors to use in their responses -- for example, any templates you want them to fill out and send back.  We handle those separately in the next section (Response).

When you are done with the Content section, click "Save & Next" to move on.

Setup Step 3: Response Items

The Response area of Event Setup is where you configure how you want vendors to respond.

Supplios provides multiple built-in ways to collect information from vendors, and which format you use will depend on what you are sourcing and your expected structure of a vendor's response. 

You can ask vendors to respond to a list of questions (a Form), have them submit bids on a specific list of parts/items (a Quote Sheet), ask them to submit a document (a Document Upload), or ask them to fill out a template from a file you provide (a Document Template).  We call all of these things Response Items.  

You must add at least one Response Item before you can launch a Sourcing Event.  But you can add as many as you want -- there is no practical limit.  And you can mix-and-match the different types as well.  

Perhaps you create one Quote Sheet to gather price quotes on a Bill-of-Materials for a new project, one Form to ask a series of open-ended questions related to the vendor's quality processes, and one Document Upload where you ask the vendor for a copy of their local business registration certificate.  

For each Response Item, you can either make it required or optional.  Any required items MUST be completed by vendors before they can submit their responses.  This helps ensure you have all the information you need to make a sourcing decision without wasting time chasing suppliers for incomplete information.  You can also drag & drop the items on the list to be presented in an order that makes sense.

We go into more depth on the various Response Item types in a separate article.

When you are done configuring Response Items, click "Save & Next" to move on.

Setup Step 4: Team

Sourcing is often a team sport -- with multiple stakeholders across your company.  While your sourcing / supply-chain / procurement team may be leading the effort, you may have colleagues in Engineering, R&D, IT, Finance, or other departments who need to be involved.  Supplios helps keep all of you on the same page and work collaboratively.

Within the Team page in Event Setup, you can add any other existing Supplios users from your company to this Sourcing Event.  When adding someone, you will have to select their role - either Event Admin or Collaborator.  This is their role for this specific Sourcing Event, but it is limited by their overall role within your company.  

Only other users with a "Full User" Supplios license can be added as Event Admins.  This allows them to do the same things as the Event Owner -- opening and closing the event as well as inviting, awarding, and rejecting vendors.  They can also be added only as Collaborators on the event.

Internal users who have a "Internal Collaborator" Supplios license can only be added to the Sourcing Event team as a Collaborator.  Collaborators can see responses from vendors, communicate with vendors using External Messages, discuss internally with Internal Comments, and compare responses in the Comparison Grid.  They cannot open/close the event or change the status of vendor responses.

Adding team members is optional, and can be done at any point during the life of a Sourcing Event.

Once you are done with the Team section, click "Save & Next" to move on.

Setup Step 5: Launch!

If you have setup everything correctly (filled in the minimum required information) then you are ready to launch the Sourcing Event and you'll see a big green button letting you know.

If something isn't right, you'll see a different message (or messages) letting you know what's wrong.  This is usually due to forgetting to add a written description in the Content section, or not adding at least one Response Item.  Just click the links and we'll take you back to that section.  Fix the issue, then click on the "Launch" step again, and you should see the big green button.

After clicking on "Launch Event", we'll move the Sourcing Event from DRAFT to OPEN.  

And you're done!  Congrats!

But unless you jumped ahead in the process, you haven't told any vendors about your Sourcing Event yet... that's next -- using the multiple tools Supplios has for inviting vendors to respond.

Oh, and you might be asking... can you change any of those thing from Event Setup after you've launched the event?  Mostly, yes.  There are a few restrictions around changing Response Items (Forms, Quote Sheets, etc.) after vendors have already started submitting responses to them (to prevent confusion between you and your vendors), but all of the other settings can be changed at any time, and we are working on ways to facilitate post-launch updates to all Response Items as well.

Any questions along the way?  See the Related Articles for links to deep-dives in specific areas, or reach out to our support team and we'll be happy to help.