Bonfire releases State of RFP Report

Nov. 15, 2019
The report provides data-driven insights to improve public procurement.

Bonfire has released its 2019 State of the RFP Report, a benchmarking study which provides insights to improve the effectiveness of the public sector Request for Proposal (RFP) process.

In its third instalment, this annual report is based on analysis of anonymized first-party data from the Bonfire Strategic Sourcing platform, comprised of more than $1.4 billion in combined spend across 6,000 public sector RFP projects. The report includes a foreword by Terry White, associate senior analyst with Ovum.

“In the age of digital transformation and citizen-centricity, public sector organizations will need more RFPs to gear up to meet citizen needs, and they will need to process RFPs faster and more efficiently,” said White. “The data provided in the State of the RFP offers powerful insights to inform improvements in RFP cycle times, quality, and processes, ultimately providing more choice and better costs to the public sector.”

 Key insights from the report include:

  • Public sector RFPs struggle to attract a competitive vendor pool. Twelve percent of public sector RFPs receive only one vendor submission, and 45 percent received three or fewer vendor submissions. This limits procurement’s ability to ensure best value for public funds.
  • Vendor disqualifications are on the decline. The number of vendor submissions that are disqualified from RFP competitions is four percent, down from nearly 15 percent in 2014. In parallel, there has also been a significant decrease in the number of proposals disqualified for missing documents. As adoption of digital submission tools increases, human error in the vendor submission process is greatly diminished, leading to more viable submissions.
  • Increased competition is a key to increased cost savings. The average RFP achieves 22 percent in cost savings. However, given that each additional vendor increases the price spread (and thus savings potential) by three percent, attracting more vendors is a key lever for procurement teams to improve cost savings.

“Data is a game-changer for procurement teams as they ascend from clerical function to collaborative partner in public organizations,” said Corry Flatt, CEO of Bonfire. “We’re committed to putting timely, relevant procurement data in the hands of procurement teams to help them build a better RFP process and deliver RFP outcomes to advance their organizations’ strategic goals.”