A little over 9 years ago, Source One launched the web's first and only free e-sourcing platform, dubbed WhyAbe.com. At the time, we were widely regarded as a fluke and journalists/bloggers/competitors all loved to jump on the bandwagon and make comments about how it is not sustainable; and that WhyAbe would have to start charging fees if it wanted to remain afloat. Some of those folks have even attacked our solution over the years, simply because it didn't fit into their mold of a typical software provider, didn't look like the tools they've used in the past, or as we suspect in some cases; because we refused to participate in their pay-to-play journalism. Yet here we are, nearly a decade later, and WhyAbe.com is still the ONLY 100% free e-sourcing solution available on the web.
WhyAbe.com is still here and is better than ever.
Not only are the WhyAbe.com tools still free; they are much more robust than they've ever been before. We recently announced the release of some long-requested features: the ability to import event line item detail directly in from Excel and automatically populate your RFX template. Similarly, suppliers may now download line item event detail in Excel, work offline, and upload their bid responses back at their leisure. Elsewhere in the WhyAbe tools, we've improved the ability and format for exporting data. Now, if you want your own records, or you want to migrate to a more robust enterprise solution, its as easy as a few clicks. Of course we've also got other little improvements here and there, and the typical bug-fixes and patches in this release too.
What is WhyAbe.com?
For those of you that don't know, WhyAbe.com is a website that hosts the world's only completely free e-sourcing tools. Specifically, we provide a set of tools for buyers (purchasing professionals) and suppliers to communicate more easily and expedite the RFX portion of a sourcing event and also provide tools to manage contracts.
The tools are built and maintained by the Procurement Consulting Firm, Source One. We built the tools after we explored the market for solutions that would help our own consulting staff better manage the RFX stage of the strategic sourcing process. What we found was that many of the existing solutions were overly cumbersome or entirely too expensive. Many of the tools forced you down a path or process that just didn't make sense for most categories and required more maintenance than if we were to just continue a manual process. So, we built our own tools, with ease and speed-of-use as primary factors.
Since launching our first version, our tools have grown in robustness and capabilities; but still kept the critical speed-to-adoption goal that we feel so many other tools lack. New features, functions and enhancements are released on a periodic basis; based off of requests from our user community.
Buyer tools include:
- The ability to create an RFI, RFP or RFQ and invite your own suppliers or pre-registered suppliers to respond to the event. (This includes basket bidding, document uploads, line item bidding, and more).
- The ability to conduct multiple types of reverse auctions, and have your suppliers or pre-registered suppliers compete on pricing in a real-time fashion.
Supplier tools include:
- The ability to respond to RFI, RFP, RFQ events. The ability to communicate you intent to participate with buyers and ask questions during the sourcing events.
- The ability to participate in reverse auctions and see where your pricing ranks relative to other suppliers, in an anonymous fashion.
Tools for both:
- WhyAbe includes a basic contract management repository. Store information about your suppliers, key contract details and store electronic copies of your contracts in the cloud. Set text or email alerts about pending contract expiration dates, and never miss a chance to negotiate your renewal.
- Store event history for an audit trail of your communications and sourcing events.
What it's not:
WhyAbe.com is a free solution that can help companies of all shapes and sizes. Some companies use it for select spend categories, others use it for all of their spend, and other companies simply use it a test-bed or stepping stone to later adopt a more robust solution.
- While WhyAbe provides the ability to export data into Excel, we don't provide any ERP or P2P system integration.
- We also do not currently provide optimization engines, though we are working on some cool new analysis features for a later release.
- We don't do field/wording/coding customizations for you in our free version.
- And lastly, we will NOT respond to your RFP to help you select if the tool is right for your business. Seriously people: the tools are free; you expect me to fill out a 30 page RFP explaining our free e-sourcing tools to you so you can use them for FREE?!
How/Why is it free?
We're not going to go into all of the details, but let's just say there are a lot of ways we can keep this solution free. Here are just a few:
- We build the tools for our internal use for our consulting team
- WhyAbe and Source One gain exposure to new companies, spend data and suppliers.
- We hope that if you need specific help in strategic sourcing or cost reduction initiatives that you remember Source One and give us a call.
- We do sell private labeled (white labeled) versions of the tools. Some of our clients have their own branded version, as do some other consulting firms!
If you have't tried our e-sourcing tools, or its been a long time, please check them out. It doesn't cost anything to register and run an event.
Visit WhyAbe.com today.