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Prequalification, approved vendors and the quest for the holy grail!

Oil and gas suppliers love to receive a prequalification questionnaire from a buyer…or do they? Becoming a prequalified or approved vendor is often seen as the holy grail for suppliers. But if you've ever seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, you know that trying to get your hands on the holy grail can result in a lot of corpses along the way!

At DeepStream we spoke with numerous suppliers who didn’t even bother to complete prequalification questionnaires they had been sent because it was too time-consuming. A typical example was a supplier who told us that in one case, it had taken them nearly 2 weeks to complete a single buyer questionnaire (including a one-off payment to the buyer — very strange!) and that over the course of 6 years after that, they hadn't even received a single RFQ from the buyer! This was the number one factor for these suppliers are turning away tenders, RFQs and potential new business, especially for SMEs.

Having an Edge

Large suppliers can dedicate one person in their organisation to keep these questionnaires up to date and submit to as many buyers as possible. It’s a simple edge which they have over smaller suppliers who are able supply products or services to the same standard, but can't dedicate the time to managing the endless prequalification process. And this should be no surprise to anyone — there are thousands of buyers, operators, E&P’s and EPCs across the world, and so prequalification can be an almost limitless task.

At an SME, you might see a sales manager, a mechanical engineer, a CEO, or even a secretary completing questionnaires in order for their company to be able to bid for work. This is a serious burden wherever it falls, and not a good use of the company's time and energy. So why not change?

At DeepStream we are looking to standardise the prequalification process so that suppliers only need to complete it once, creating a level playing field for all. Suppliers can use this powerful tool to prequalify with every buyer that adopts DeepStream. And the buyers don't even have to use DeepStream for their tenders — they can use it purely for its prequalification features. All buyers on the platform are able to use the distributed ledger technology, which keeps an audit trail of supplier responses and flags any issues that are raised. For suppliers on the platform this means no more completing mundane paper-based questionnaires and missing out on new business.

The holy grail is within your reach — dare to be an Indiana Jones!

Written by David Carruthers

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