What is an RFI, RFP, or RFQ? Part II of VI

June 20th, 2013

You know more than the average Joe, but do you want to get fair proposals?

Today’s post is by Heather Powell, Customer Services at Manager for SafeSourcing Inc.

In yesterday’s post, we began to look at the RFx strategy by starting with Requests For Information and their purpose in the procurement world.  Over the next three days we will focus on Requests for Proposal and the details you need to run a successful one.

According to businessdictionary.com,a Request for Proposal (RPF) is a document used in sealed or electronic bid procurement procedures through which a purchaser advises the potential suppliers of (1) statement and scope of work, (2) specifications, (3) schedules or timelines, (4) contract type, (5) data requirements, (6) terms and conditions, (7) description of goods and/or services to be procured, and (8) instructions for preparation of technical, management, and/or cost proposals.  Government RFPs are publicly advertised and suppliers respond with a detailed proposal, not with only a price quotation. They provide clearly quoted specifications for negotiations after sealed proposals are opened, and the award of contract may not necessarily go to the lowest bidder.”

Those are the basics that make up a RFP, but how do you know what is important in each step?  Today we will focus on the first two pieces and the other 6 in tomorrow’s blog.

Scope of Work:  Businessdictionary.com states, “the division of work to be performed under a contract or subcontract in the completion of a project, typically broken out into specific tasks with deadlines.” Simply this means what are your needs and expectations for the work needing to be completed.

Specifications: “An exact statement of the particular needs to be satisfied, or essential characteristics that a customer requires (in a good, material, method, process, service, system, or work) and which a vendor must deliver. Specifications are written usually in a manner that enables both parties (and/or an independent certifier) to measure the degree of conformance. They are, however, not the same as control limits (which allow fluctuations within a range), and conformance to them does not necessarily mean quality (which is a predictable degree of dependability and uniformity).”

Generally specifications will be broken into either performance or technical specifications that define the types of goods or services needed from the vendor community.  Developing strong specifications is to ensure you receive a proposal with exactly what you need. The vendors will know not to over bid or under bid.

As we continue the rest of this week in this series, remember that SafeSourcing can help you with your needs in creating, running, and reporting on a RFP for any item, project, or industry need. For more information on how we can help you with your procurement needs or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

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