Getting the most out of your Request for Information eSourcing events
Todays post is from Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc. This post also includes input from the many talented teammates I work with every day and my Whitepaper by the same title.
In yesterday’s post we discussed that the world of procurement is continually changing, and this includes the world of eProcurement when it comes to the request for information, a proposal, or a quote and why this process when used properly even with newer tools is still the most effective results delivering procurement process available.
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 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 The existing racking is in adequate shape, but it is unknown whether it is safe, placed appropriately, outdated, or even needed in any way.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 is often 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 would recommend getting 4 to 6 submissions from your request for information from racking manufactures, distributors, and/or installers.
The higher 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, and 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.
Tune back in tomorrow when we will explore the Request for Proposal or RFP?
If you’d like to learn more and can’t wait for the series conclusion, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services associate, they’d be thrilled to hear from you.