A request for proposal (RFP) is a document prepared by a company in need of a service or supply of goods. The company expresses its interest and invites qualified vendors to send proposals. Many interested businesses will send in their proposals based on the RFP issued. The company writing the RFP will then look at all the proposals submitted and choose the best provider to work with.
In order to get good feedback and catch the attention of the most qualified vendors, you need to write a great RFP. Here are some tips you will find useful.
1. Be Clear and Concise
What do you want the vendor to supply? Do you want a contractor who will handle an entire construction process, a grocery supplier for your kitchen, or a large-scale farmer to supply you with fresh goods? No matter what it is you are looking for, you need to be clear about it. As a company, define what services or goods you are looking for. Define the desirable attributes and the good to have traits then state this clearly in the RFP.
Do not write RFPs that are too long. It is not a novel and the qualified businesses you want to work with are probably too busy to read long RFPs. Give details without going into long stories. However, be sure to provide enough detailed information for the sake of clarity. If the project is a long one, you can choose to write multiple RFPs released at different times instead of one long one.
2. Explain Why You Are a Good Buyer
You may be the one buying and you think that many will want to sell their services or products to you. Do not forget that you need to get the best of what you are looking for at the most affordable price. So, portray yourself as the best client in the RFP.
Tell the vendor why they should choose to be your supplier and not your competitors.
Highlight some of the good traits your company has such as being easy to work with, paying on time, and assisting with some activities. While doing this, avoid giving false promises. Only tell the truth and make deliverable promises.
3. Automate the Creation of RFPs
The procurement department may be buzzing with many activities. From collecting invoices to ensuring everything is delivered in time, there is a lot of work to get done around here. RFP creation should not be another hard task to perform. Automating it will make this an easy task. A good option is to use RFP360 software. This is a reliable RFP creation tool that will help you create great RFPs within a short time, collaborate with other team members, and engage with vendors easily.
4. Explain the Responses You Expect
What kind of proposal do you expect in return? Different vendors will have different ways of writing their proposals. Some may just email you a quotation of their prices while others may send a long proposal with details of their previous projects. Clearly define what you want in response to your RFP. You may give them templates to fill or instruct how long you want the proposal to be. You could even give a table of contents for the proposal document.
Why is this important? It will give you a fair place from which to look at the proposals. It will also make your elimination criteria easy.
5. Publish the Selection Criteria
One of the steps in creating an RFP is the outlining of the selection criteria. Tell the vendors how you will be selecting the winning proposal. This way, they will show their best traits in their proposals. With the knowledge that you are a fair business, many vendors will be willing to work with you.
Writing a request for proposal is easy, but you need to get it right. With the above tips, you will be able to write one that will get the right vendors responding. Your RFP needs to attract the attention of the best suppliers available. Only with this can you end up getting the quality goods or services you are looking for. Make use of RFP software that allows you to easily make the RFP and later on select the winning bid.