RFI u2013 Request for Information
An open enquiry that spans the market seeking broad data and understanding.
RFQ u2013 Request for Quotation
An opportunity for potential suppliers to competitively cost the final chosen solution(s).
RFP u2013 Request for Proposal
Sometimes based on a prior RFI; a business requirements-based request for specific solutions to the sourcing problem.
Request for Information (RFI)
As the name suggests, RFIu2019s gather information to help decide what step to take next. RFIu2019s are therefore seldom the final stage, but instead are often used in conjunction with the other 3 requests detailed in this article.
An RFI is a solicitation sent to a broad base of potential suppliers for the purpose of conditioning, gathering information, preparing for an RFP or RFQ, developing strategy, or building a database about:
The suppliers, including: facilities, finances, attitudes, and motivations
The state of the supply market
Supply market dynamics
Trends and factors driving change
Alternative pricing strategies
Breadth and width of product/service offerings, by supplier
Supplier strategic focus, business, and product plans
RFIs may include a detailed list of products/services for which pricing is requested. The pricing should be used for comparative purposes, not as the basis of buying decisions. Through analysis of RFI responses, strategic options, lower cost alternatives, and cost reduction opportunities may be identified.
Request for Quotation (RFQ)
RFQu2019s are best suited to products and services that are as standardised and as commoditised as possible. Why? To make the suppliersu2019 quotes comparable.
An RFQ is a solicitation sent to potential suppliers containing in exacting detail a list or description of all relevant parameters of the intended purchase, such as:
Personnel skills or competencies
Part descriptions/specifications or numbers
Description or drawings
Request for Proposal (RFP)
An RFP is a solicitation sent to potential suppliers with whom a creative relationship or partnership is being considered. Typically, the RFP leaves all or part of the precise structure and format of the response to the discretion of the suppliers. Indeed, the creativity and innovation that suppliers choose to build into their proposals may be used to distinguish one from another.
Effective RFPs typically reflect the strategy and short/long-term business objectives, providing detailed insight upon which suppliers will be able to offer a perspective. If there are specific problems to be addressed in the RFP response, those are described along with whatever root cause assessment is available.
While specific data, offerings and quotations may be sought, questions about the following will make up a significant portion of both an RFT an RFP:
The specific items on which the suppliers are proposing
Instructions on how to reply
How will we evaluate how feedback will work
Describe the process for selection
Request for cost breakdown (sometimes)
Communication: cover letter (sets the stage), calls in advance
Who to contact with questions
Addressee - chosen carefully
Refer to these links for more details after Muthu's inputs: