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Request For Proposal

A Request for Proposal (referred to as RFP) is an invitation for suppliers, through a bidding process, to submit a proposal on a specific commodity or service. It is a process in which the issuing authority survey vendors to solicit competitive bids on products and services.

An RFP should include information about your organization and project as well as questions that elicit differences among competing companies. An RFP should also solicit cost quotes that allow you to determine both initial and ongoing costs of the product or service.

The information requested includes Pricing, Basic corporate information and history, Financial information, Technical capability, Product information such as stock availability and estimated completion period, Customer references that can be checked to determine a company's suitability.

RFP Process
1. Determine Your Evaluation Criteria
To start the RFP process, determine what criterion you are going to evaluate your vendors. Common criterion include experience, team strength, project understanding, differential advantage, and price.

2. Vendor Research
Form a list with the contact information of the possible vendors.

3. Request For Information (RFI)
Submit a request for information (RFI). The responses you receive will allow you to eliminate all obvious inferior vendors.

4. Write the RFP and Send to Vendors
Once you have eliminate the inferior vendors, you write an RFP and send it to those who remain on your list.

5. Review the Proposals
After receiving all the proposals, you will want to holistically evaluate each proposal based on your evaluation criteria.

6. Interview Vendors
Interview the vendors and choose the vendor that will best fit your project and organization.

7. Select Your Vendor
Select the best vendor for the project. If you remain undecided, it is not uncommon to request a final interview, in which another project stakeholder evaluates the vendors independently.
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