RFP Q&A
I have decided to look for a new vendor — what is the best approach to finding a good solution?

Depending upon the size of the project or initiative you are sourcing support for one of the following is a good place to start.

RFI (Request for Information)
Companies interested in simply collecting basic information about potential partners may choose to simply solicit facts from the potential partners. This would be used in the case of very small projects and can be a helpful tool in the decision making process. Typically useful for projects with budgets less than $10,000.

RFQ (Request for Quote)
If you are looking for pricing on a product or service that is seen as a commodity, this is a good solution. Once you've prepared your requirements, you submit to potential vendors providing the services you are seeking. Since your decision will be based on quantitative analysis reviewing the returned pricing proposals should be a simple process.

RFP (Request for Proposal)
This is the most complex to prepare because it typically involves a much more complex matrix of evaluation criteria. While the price of a proposed solution or service may be a factor in your decision, most often the overall match of the proposed solution to your goal and objectives is what the final selection is based upon. This process is most useful when sourcing a partner to provide a long-term solution. The RRP process requires time and resources to execute. If internal resources are limited, consider out-sourcing to a consulting service to help you through the process.

Why consider utilizing the Request for Proposal (RFP) process?
Think of it as a tool to help ensure that prospective partners/vendors deliver the exact solutions that you need to accomplish your goals and objectives. The value of pursuing the RFP process can be seen as follows:

  • provides alignment among internal stakeholders — when executed correctly, the process causes you to outline your needs before involving the partner/vendor

  • provides for more precise proposals — partner/vendors more clearly understand your needs therefore more accurate solutions, costs and time lines are provided

  • allows 'apples to apples' comparisons — the process ensures that all partner/vendors receive the same information regarding deliverables



 
         
 
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