Critical Information to Include in Your RFP

Buyers' Training
August 16, 2013 — 4,810 views  
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An RFP, or Request for Proposal, has come to be a vital part in the business of big conglomerates. Essentially designed to help you select an external workforce to either complete a certain project or purchase a piece of equipment and let your requirements be known public in order to receive competitive prices and quotations.

Steps to Follow for a Good RPF

While an RFP is a critical and great tool - it can be a waste of your time if it has not been designed properly. As a result, it is essential to take your time and gather as much information as you will need in order to deter bids that are a waste of your time. Preparation is essential, so before you start to write down your RPF, figure out and understand what you really need. A good example here is to not write out an RPF for a piece of equipment that can manufacture 1500 units of a certain product when you have not been able to sell more than 25 units in a single month.

It is also absolutely essential to be able to properly define your needs and your wants and be able to distinguish between them. In your RPF, make it a point to identify absolutely critical aspects of the requirement with use of the words like “needs”, “must”, and “shall”; while the wants can be identified by words like “optional”, “can”, and “may”.

Organize the document so that your thoughts and requirements are easy to understand and is well-planned.

Must Have Information in your RPF

Apart from the timelines and identifying between the wants and needs, you need to also identify other aspects such as selection criteria, requirements of prospective bidders as well as the process of awarding the contract. Due to the fact that each bidder will have their own set of strengths and weaknesses - with some focusing on budget constraints while others focusing on quality - it is important that you and your organization decide upfront what your own area of focus is for the project. Not doing so will cause a lot of confusion when the bids do start rolling in.

Timelines are often forgotten about when it comes to drafting an RFP - and this can have a very detrimental effect on the entire process. Setting timelines allows people not only to get an impetus to respond, but also realize that there might be a time crunch and will be deterred from responding if they are too busy around the same timeframe. Not putting a timeline on your RPF will cause people to consider your project as low priority in relation to other projects .They might take it up late and delay some of the work.

All in all, a well-drafted RFP will go a long way into helping you find the right team to work with in the project. It will also help you receive a wide range of quotations to choose from. Having the option of being able to select from a range of competitors puts your own business in a position of strength.

Buyers' Training