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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. RFI’s clearly indicate that award of a contract will not automatically follow.1
An example for use of an RFI would be if a company acquired a used warehouse that needed to be turned into a distribution center. The facility 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 The existing racking is in adequate shape but it is unknown whether it is safe, placed appropriately, outdated, or even needed in any way. A situation like this often is a good time to rely on experts to provide feedback as to these needs. The best practice would be to get a minimum of 3 sets of data submissions, but I’d recommend getting 4 to 6, submissions from your requests for information from racking manufactures, distributor, and/or installers.
The higher the supplier count, in an area where you have no knowledge, provides the necessary data to begin to make more informed decisions. With at least 3 submissions it becomes clearer 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 of a sourcing project.
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 an RFI for in business.
For more information on how SafeSourcing can help you through the complex minefield of eRFX strategies, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative.
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