You want to have at least three qualified vendors to participate in any competitive bidding process. The best way to guarantee qualified vendor participation is to make yourself accessible so vendors can ask you questions. Not many eRFXs or reverse auctions are perfect in everyway and answer all the questions that the vendors may have. Always include your desk number, fax number and email in all your communications. This will put the vendors at ease because if they know how to get in touch with you, they are more likely to ask questions and feel more comfortable doing business with you.
Keep in mind that none of the communication methods work all by themselves. If you do receive questions, answer them soon. Even if it is a simple message that says, “I do not have the answer right now, but I will get back to you when I do get an answer. " A little goes a long way when in comes to communication. No communication will get you nowhere, and possibly no bids.
Keep in mind that you will need to communicate with the vendors when a winner is chosen. While everyone is busy doing everything all the time, include good communication into your process with your vendors and they will take care of you.
Doug Luthringer is a Client Development Manager at http://www.eDynaQuote.com with over two years of strategy, implementation and training experience in online reverse auctions and nearly six years with online forward auctions such as eBay. Doug has also been invited to be a guest speaker to talk about how to properly use reverse auctions to small and medium size business, as well as university students.