An RFP, which stands for Request for Proposals is most commonly used in procurement tactics. If a company needs to pick a candidate for a certain business opportunity then RFP software is often used to find the best one. RFP’s are always used when bidding on government contracts for contract pricing. It can be used to ask for a government contract proposal pricing. RFP can refer to the process as well as the actual document. Any proposal that is submitted because of the request are usually evaluated using various criteria like price, experience or qualifications.
The RFP Process
There is a lot that goes into the preparing stage of RFP’s. All the planning has to be done before the RFP document is written and process. It’s very important to make sure all of the information is relevant and up to date. This is the only way it will be able to properly define you are asking for. The more detail that you can provide in the document, the better and more accurate the response will be. The less unanswered questions that there, the better.
When using RFP software to draft the actual document, you must make sure that the RFP includes everything that it supposed to. Such as the following:
- Why you are putting out an RFP in the first place.
- How you would describe your organization.
- What the nature of your project entails.
- What information you’ll need from respondents.
- What kind of contract will be needed.
- Any time frames or deadlines.
- Who to contact.
If you do not already have a list of candidates then you will probably want to use a tendering service in order to make sure the the RFP document gets to the proper audience. There are companies available to you that function as portals to public as well as private opportunities that can circulate the RFP document. They act almost as mediators between the suppliers and buyers.
After the RFP has been made on the RFP software and released, you may want to hold a meeting for the proponents in order to make sure that every interested party has all the information that they are going to need before they respond. This is a good time to be able to meet with the proponents and give out any information that may have been missed in the document.
Once the due date arrives, the proposals will need to be assessed by the evaluation team. There should be a criteria by which the proposals are compared. The criteria must be relevant to your needs to work properly. After this is done and you have narrowed down the proposals, then you will want to meet with the strongest candidates in order to find out more about their responses and find out if they would be a good fit.
This is the most important part of the process because it is here that you will choose between the contenders. The selected candidate will need to have a strong verbal and visual ability to communicate properly and effectively as well as be confident and willing to work with different kinds of teams.
Now you will need to notify the proponents that you have chosen the one successful candidate. Both the successful and unsuccessful should be informed. Debriefing sessions with the unsuccessful proponents should be offered if desired.
Finally, if your selected proponent is in agreement, then a contract is talked over, negotiated and agreed upon and finally signed together. A lawyer should be involved in the signing of the contract in order to look it over and make sure everything is in over before anyone signs.
And there you have the full process. Of course, there is a lot more detail that goes into each step but this overview will give you an idea of what you are getting yourself in to if you choose to use RFP software and put out a document. The only real risk factor is in who responds to the RFP. While you are not required to select anyone if no proposals match your needs, it is not looked favorably upon in the business world. You will need to clearly specify your needs in order to make sure that you get good responses to your proposal.