Email Notifications for RFP Response Workflow Mode

Respondents answering an RFP in SupplierSelect may elect to enable "Workflow" for the given project. Doing so provides an alternative task-centric view of an RFP response in which sections or questions can be allocated to different users for update / review / approval etc. This has been available since 2007 and is described more fully here:

This has proved to be a very important feature for larger organisations who respond to dozens of big RFPs per year via SupplierSelect. Based on feedback from these groups we've now added support for email notifications and enhanced event logging.

Email Notifications

The problem about email notifications is that if you're not careful your web application can become a very efficient spam email factory. This is especially a risk when working with individual questions and answers in an RFP. A typical RFP might have many hundreds of questions, and it's usual to work through these questions quickly. For example a manager might work through 100 questions allocating responsibility for answering each one to a different staff member.

To cope with situations like this we've introduced a batch processing mode for Workflow notifications. A background operation runs once each hour, and it figures out which notifications should be sent, and to whom. This information is then bundled up into one summary email which is sent to those users who have responsibility for specific questions.

Events that currently generate notifications in Workflow mode are:

  • Question allocated (e.g. responsibility for answering question 3.5 is allocated to Bob)

  • Answer rejected (e.g. Alice reviews Bob's answer to 3.5, but rejects it)

This list is limited specifically to focus on notifying users of events that prompt action.

Event Logging

Respondents can now see a list of all audited events for each question they are responding to. This makes it easier to see an audited timeline for each answer - who allocated it to who, who answered it, who edited the answer, who approved it, etc etc.