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

June 24th, 2013

Today, we wrap of the review of the Request For Proposal stage of the RFX process.

Today’s post is by Heather Powell, Project Manager for SafeSourcing

Today, we wrap of the review of the Request For Proposal stage of the RFX process looking at a view of how to transition the information you get from an RFI into an RFP.

In our example within the RFI, owning a new or used facility to turn into a distribution center, you may know where you want the racking, how much racking is required-this would include a set materials listing, the details of labor to install new materials and remove and re-rack another area. All of these details are required for the suppliers to bid the job appropriately. Within a very detailed RFP there are fewer chances for over or under bidding from the suppliers. The quality of an RFP is very important to successful project management because it clearly delineates the deliverables that will be required.

The details you receive from a RFI can be used to build your specifications. You have learned and verified from multiple suppliers the details you need to complete the project. You may also learn from an RFI details you hadn’t thought about, for instance in the racking project: if you are in California you will be required to have a seismic analysis done. This can be completed, but for an additional charge from the supplier. Suppliers may have similar products, but may not be compatible to other supplier’s materials, in other words their product will be proprietary and not interchangeable if a repair needs made in the future. These details and more need to be inserted into your new RFP.

So how can you combine a RFI with a RFP? Simply you have a lot of knowledge about a product, project, or service, but you have used the same supplier for a very long time and are unclear of who new potential suppliers could be. You would combine the RFI by asking the questions specifically related to the new potential suppliers; who are they, where are they located, what is their business structure, who the contacts are, what areas or locations can they service, what are their references, etc.  Combined with the specifications and details of the RFP, you will get an overall picture of who the company is, what they can or cannot provide, and what their pricing structure will be.

Now you have an idea of how to collect information on a project you may know little about within a RFI and you now know how to collect a RFP with the information you do know, but do you know how to compress pricing? How do you receive pricing within a RFP and ask the suppliers to lower their pricing? Stay tuned to the next part in this blog series where dive into the controversial Request for Quote, how it can be more than just a low-price only tool.

SafeSourcing can help you with your needs in creating, running, and reporting on a RFP for any item, project, or industry need. We can do this all electronically in your set timeline, and report it back to you in an easy and understandable package where you will be able to see the apples-to-apples comparison. 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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