If you work within the vendor side of B2B business, then you are sure to be accustomed to receiving RFP’s or, “request for proposals” from potential clients interested in your products and services. An RFP consists of a document that companies, operating and searching for enterprise services, can use for a detailed overview of service/product offerings and costs associated with multiple vendors at one time. Vendors completing RFP’s will answer questions on the products, services, method, and cost associated with fulfilling the companies order and needs. 

An RFP plays an integral role in enterprise software, so it should come as no surprise that many individuals have strong views on how they should be designed. If you fail to complete an adequate due diligence check before sending out an RFP, your company can isolate vendors that could potentially best serve your needs.

A modern workplace RFP has become an umbrella term that is thrown around when talking about RFPS, RFIS, and RFQS. All of which have features in common but apparent distinctions. Understanding these distinctions and when you should use each process will improve your vendor search tremendously. Below is a rundown of what an RFQ, RFP, and RFI are, and how you should use them: 

 

RFI & RFI Software

RFI or, “Request For Information” is a document that acts as a preliminary for companies that have not got a grasp on the marketplace they are about to enter. For example, a company searching for e-procurement software would use a request for information RFI if they had no previous experience or knowledge of the procurement software and wanted to obtain a deep understanding of the various procurement software solutions available. 

An RFI acts as a fact-discovering document. You will want your RFI to ask open-end questions, that prompt your vendor to discuss the full range of offerings they have. Usually, a request for information states your companies main challenge you are experiencing. From here, the vendor will cater their response to explain how they can assist with those challenges best. Typically, vendors will also detail and explain their position in the marketplace. E.g., What industry they predominantly specialize in, How they license products and any additional fees you need to be aware of. 

RFI software carries out this process for you. This means each step of your request for information is quality controlled and assessed by software. This means you have a 100% accurate and flawless process. 

 

RFQ & RFQ Software

RFQ or, “Request for quotation” is a term that describes a detailed document that aims to identify the precise specifications required by the company. Say an RFQ is used for a B2B project relating to software, the business knows enough about its system currently, and how they want to change or improve the system down the road. 

A business that deploys an RFQ is not looking for customization. Instead, they want the vendor to implement the software using the pre-selected specifications and details provided. An RFQ should contain a table that details each requirement and prompts the vendor to clarify whether they can meet the requirements from the beginning or if they will need configuration. Whether than be custom code, or leveraging a third-party vendor to integrate for the most robust solution.  

RFQ software is software that carries out the process for you. Request for quotation software allows you to collect in-depth supplier information alongside bids and quotes. You can use excel to load and create bid requests and even allow your suppliers to load excel bid requests directly. With RFQ software, you can also access and compare bids from all suppliers online. 

 

RFP & RFP Software 

Short for “request for proposal,” An RFP is a document that asks vendors to pitch solutions to customers’ problems and requirements. Typically an RFP comes after an RFI. An RFP needs to contain specifics on what the companies needs are by detailing goals for the project and unique requirements that are compulsory for the job. The key to an RFP is that there is enough information to provide vendors with the content they require to pitch a logical solution. While still allowing enough leeway for vendors to use their creativity to fulfill your companies needs. 

RFP software supercharges this process by using technology to generate RFP’s automatically. The days of manually having to send an RFP are over. RFP software alleviates project management stress for employees which makes them in turn, more productive.

With these enhanced technologies, companies can move through their procurement processes faster. Development in these areas not only becomes a faster, easier task, but makes the communication process between buyers and sellers more efficient as well. ProcurePort understands the necessity of having a system that works for your team and your clients. Contact our solutions specialists today to learn more about our RFQ, RFP and RFI software.

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