Lesson 1: What Is An RFP?

This is something I so frequently hear. My company name is Once Upon an RFP. I first started working with RFPs more than 20 years ago.

RFP is the acronym for Request for Proposal. You might also see the acronyms RFI, RFQ, or RFB. The “I” stands for Information and is frequently a predecessor to an RFP. The “Q” stands for quote and the “B” stands for bid. Some organizations use the acronym ITB, or Invitation to Bid.

Government entities and corporations use RFPs, as well as the other documents listed above, to invite suppliers and service providers to participate in a competitive bidding process for products or services.

In Government purchasing, there is generally a value threshold at which a competitive bidding process is mandated, such as for any purchase equal to or greater than $10,000. The competitive process enables transparency and allows public access to the related proposals that vendors submit.

RFPs contain all or a selection the following information:

  • Scope and details about the commodities and services sought
  • Important dates including:
    • Date and time of the bidders conference, if there is one
    • Deadline for submitting questions
    • Due date and time
    • Date for vendor presentations
    • Anticipated award date
  • With whom you are allowed to communicate regarding the RFP in the client’s organization
  • The process for asking questions
  • How to submit proposals, including whether via a procurement portal, email or physically in the form of hard copies or electronic copies on USB or CD
  • Terms and Conditions of the RFP process and the related contract
  • What sections you should include in your proposal, such as:
  • Cover Letter
    • Executive Summary
    • Company background, stability, capabilities and references
    • Solution Summary and answers to questions around the solution
    • Project Team and resumes
    • Pricing
    • Acceptance of or exceptions to the RFP terms and conditions
    • Forms you must complete, sign, sometimes have notarized, and include

Corporations also use RFPs for procurement. Frequently they are large and publicly traded corporations, or subject to other government compliance such as organizations in the financial and health care industries.

Have we piqued your interest in RFPs? This is the first our series, RFPs 101. Keep an eye out for our next article: RFPs 101, Lesson 2: What products and services are contracted through RFPS?

Are you already working with RFPs, but unaware that there are specialists in this writing niche? Once Upon an RFP exists for the professionals and organizations like you who depend upon RFPs as an avenue of business development.

Many struggle because their day jobs are C-Suite, Client Relationship Management, Service Delivery or New Business Development, but they don’t have dedicated support within their organizations.

Would you like to explore what it would be like to have Proposal Professionals to support your RFP response and proposal development efforts? Reach out today to chat.

Go to https://www.onceuponanrfp.com/contact-us to schedule your consultation. We can’t wait to meet you!

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