What Kind of Request Document Do You Need?

Buyers' Training
July 16, 2013 — 1,261 views  
Become a Bronze Member for monthly eNewsletter, articles, and white papers.

RFPs (Request for Proposal) and RFQs (Request for Quotation) are documents that a business sends its vendors in order to get information from them about their products and\or services being offered that the business shows interest in purchasing. The information acquired via RFPs and RFQs are ordered, structured, easily comparable, and contain relevant information regarding the process of deciding on the correct vendor according to the needs and conveniences of the business.

RFPs are generally used when the requesting for information regarding complex products and services where the subjects of the purchase are likely to change by a considerable amount with each seller. RFQs are mainly used for requesting information and negotiating on simple products and services whose quality and other attributes do not change across vendors.

Importance of Documents while Making Purchases

Making RFPs and RFQs will allow for structured acquiring and accessing of all information of vendors' sales pitches and proposals would enable a business to choose the vendor best suited for its needs. A vendor would likely be interested to know what the needs of a business are in order to better present his goods or services. Therefore, issuing a detailed and to-the-point RFP or RFQ with clear mention of the goals and requirements of the business, all in one place, will allow the seller to get a clear picture of what you want. This will allow him to present more effective solutions to your needs as well as enable you to gather information more efficiently.

It also allows a business to outline and negotiate the terms and conditions to the vendor under which a sale can happen. The proposals a business receives from different vendors can help it negotiate a better deal between the vendors. It also gives all stakeholders a say in the purchase decision and reach an agreement quicker and easier if the options are presented in a structured manner that allows for easy comparison.

Details Required to Make an RFP\RFQ Effective

RFPs and RFQs are documents requesting for information in a structured manner. Start with a general description about your business, what it does, and what it needs. Next, give details of the requirement which you are trying to address with the RFPs\RFQs and put in your requirements in as much detail as possible so that the vendor can attempt to provide as close a solution for your needs as possible. This can include the costs; deadlines or delivery timelines; qualitative and quantitative details of what you need, such as purpose descriptions, product drawings and so on.

Make the vendor aware of the terms and conditions, as well as the assumptions under which you expect to do business. This helps the vendor's response be as precise as possible, leaving as little room for ambiguity as possible. This can include the period of contract, penalties, expected service levels, travel expenses, modifications, and such.

At the end of the document, make a brief overview of your business and its requirements so that the purpose of the document stays clear. You may also choose to include the criteria that you would use for selection of vendors. Do not forget to include the means of contact such as the postal address of the company, email addresses, and telephone number of the company's contact representative so that your business is easily reachable for any communications and clarifications.

Buyers' Training