RFP (Request for Proposal) is a type of bidding solicitation, which an organization or a company use to announce that there is an availability of funding opportunity for a program or project. On the other hand, a request for proposal is a document that organizations post to elicit the bidding process from potential vendors for the product and services. The request for proposal outlines the contract term or bidding process and provides the method the bid should be presented and formatted. The RFP generally opens to wide range of bidders and creates an open competition among companies looking for a project. Typically, a request for proposal for a specific program will provide the project requirements to make the vendors examining the feasibility of the project and to understand whether they could actually carry out the project. Moreover, the RFP may provide detailed information about the program or project and a leeway for a bidder to fill in the blank space. For example, an organization wishing to move from a paper-based system to a computer-based system may request for proposal for the software, hardware and user training to establish the integration of the new system. Typically, quality RFP is required for the successful implementation of the project management and RFP assists an issuing organization to sources for high quality bidder for the project.
Contrary to RFP, request for information (RFI) is a standard business process used to collect information about the capabilities of potential suppliers. On the other hand, RFI is a detailed personal requested form used to collect information from potential suppliers or service providers in order to determine the products and services that are potentially available within the marketplace. The RFI is also used to determine the capabilities of a supplier to meet the term of offerings. RFI is generally used to source for information about the procurement process where the requirements could be met through alternative methods.
Unlike RFP, RFI is not an invitation to bid. The goal of RFI to inform the readers about the organization goal and RFI may be in different format, which include comment and data. The RFI issuing organizations often use information collected to compare about the vendors technical capabilities and financial records.
Objective of this paper is to discuss the purpose of RFP (Request for Proposal) and RFI (Request for Proposal).
Purpose of Request for Proposal
The purpose of RFP is to provide the detailed description of the project and other project components, which include the project costs, project timeline and project requirements. Organizations use RFP to announce that funding is available for a specific project, and any interested bidder should submit a proposal in order to be considered for the project. The RFP provides the information about the general goals about the project and the intent of the project plan so that the vendors could understand how to tailor their responses to the project requirements.
More importantly, the purposed of RFP is to provide information about the project details, which reveals the breakdown of specific task to be completed in the project and specific timeline to deliver the project. The RFP also reveals detailed information about the reason an organization intends to sponsor a project and the detailed requirements that bidders must follow when submitting the proposal. For example, the RFP published by the Department of Agriculture (2012) reveals the detailed information about the background of the project and the deadline to submit the project. The organization also provides the address where bidders will submit the proposal.
To ensure that the issuing organizations receive the applications from only qualified bidders, all RFP's provide the eligibility information which reveals the requirements that bidders must possess. For example, information about the eligibility published by the Department of Agriculture (2012) reveals that applicants must possess the practical experience, technical expertise and knowledge to develop and package the loan. Eligibility information also reveals that applicants must possess the leadership skill, ability to prioritize assignment to meet the work demand in an efficient and timely manner.
Request for proposal published by the University of California (2012) also shows the intent of the project showing that the issuing organization intends to expand the scientific understanding in the key areas of well being, social relationships and developmental sciences. The organization also publishes the eligibility requirements that indicate that an applicant must a possess a doctoral degree from an accredited university in the field such as medicine, family and developmental studies, affective neuroscience, political science, and other related disciplines.
Request for proposal also provides the information about the evaluation criteria revealing what an issuing organization expects from the bidders. For example, University of California (2012) provides the following evaluation criteria that the university would use in the selection and evaluation process. The evaluation criteria include:
Approach and methods
Capacity for success
More information that the RFP provides is the budget and resources. Before an organization must attract qualified bidders to a proposal, RFP must provide information about the budget and resources available for the project. The budget and resources will consist of the total cost for the project along the breakdown of the project components. For example, Department of Agriculture (2012) stipulates in its RFP publication. "This Request for Proposal
(RFP) announces an availability of funds and the timeframe to submit proposals for Farm Labor Housing Technical Assistance (FLH -- TA) grants." (P 54877). Similarly, University of California (2012) states in its RFP that the university has made available $3 million for research initiative.
More importantly, the RFP also could also contain the description of the document that bidders are required to submit for the full proposal submission. The document should include:
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Purpose of RFI (Request for Information)
The purpose of request for information is to collect information to assist an issuing organization on the next step to take before embarking on the negotiation. Unlike the RFP, the RFI is therefore seldom a final stage. The RFI is used in conjunction with RFP. Organizations use RFI to collect information about potential vendors before conducting business with the target vendors. In the contemporary business environment, many organizations embark on business outside their home countries. To expand the business relationships within and outside their home countries, organizations need to establish business relationship with other business entities, which include suppliers of raw materials, and IT outsourcing vendors. Outside the home countries, businesses may need to establish partnership with other organizations to achieve competitive market advantages. To ensure that they are dealing with the right business partners, management always request for information to ensure that they are dealing with appropriate organization. RFI is often used to determine the strength of potential suppliers. Typically, RFI inform the readers about the goals of the issuing organizations and the strategy to achieve these goals. Thus, the issuing organization use RFI to compare suppliers and determine the best supplier that it wants conduct business with. Contrary to RFI, the RFP is not suitable when purchasing personnel is trying to collect information from suppliers. Various organizations across the United States use RFI to collect information from the third party such as customer, suppliers and other party. The U.S. government often issues the RFI to collect information about potential suppliers and customer. Yearly, IRS (internal revenue service) issues RFI to notify taxpayers that they should furnish additional information to support their tax returns. The IRS use the RFI as tax audit which assist IRS to determine whether a taxpayer is to pay additional tax or entitle to tax deductions. (Adams, Pavlick & Diaz et al. 2012).
More important purpose of RFI is that RFI is often used to collect information to prepare…