Understanding the complexity of three distinct steps to the RFX process!
Today’s post is an excerpt from a White Paper titled RFX Strategies for Success SafeSourcing.
The world of procurement is continually changing, and this includes the world of e-procurement when it comes to the requirement for information, a proposal, or a quote. The differences between the three requests, what expectations are when receiving the requests back, and how to make a sound business decision with what has been presented are what separate each stage in giving procurement professionals a blueprint on where to start in the process.
The Request for Information (RFI)
A request for information (RFI) is a request made typically during the project planning phase where a buyer cannot clearly identify product requirements, specifications, and purchase options. RFIs clearly indicate that award of a contract will not automatically follow.1
An example for a use of a RFI would be if a company acquired a used warehouse that need to be turned into a distribution center. It has some racking installed but needs more. There has not been a defined idea of what layout will be needed to improve the warehouse for DC use, nor what types of rack are needed, how much material is needed, nor how long it will take to install the racking. The existing racking is in adequate shape but it is unknown whether it is safe, placed appropriately, outdated, or even needed. This situation often is a good time to rely on experts to provide feedback as to these needs. The best practice is to get at minimum of three (3) but I’d recommended getting 4 to 6, submissions from your requests for information from racking manufactures, distributor, and/or installers.
The higher supplier count, in an area where you have no knowledge, provides the data to begin to make more decisions from multiple perspectives. With at least 3 it begins to become more clear to see if there are major differences between suppliers and how they operate. Lead time, outsourcing, geographical coverage are all very important pieces of information to gather from the suppliers at this stage.
The application of an RFI can be used on new goods for use, re-sale, packaging design, any and all services, software, hardware, equipment of any kind, actually it is limitless as to what you can utilize a RFI for in business.
If you’d like more information as to how to use the three unique steps of the eRFX process at your company, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services representative.
We look forward to and appreciate your comments.