RFP vs RFQ: Quick Summary and Comparison

November 6, 2020

In this article, we’ll take a quick look at what Request For Proposal (RFP) and Request For Quotation (RFQ) are, and run through a quick RFP vs FRQ to help you clearly see the differences. Make you sure read the blog till the end to get a download of everything you should know about RFP and RFQ.

“Request For” documents are some of the most common documents used in the business world. They’re used as a formal request from one company to another (with the nature of the request reflected in the document’s name),  in case a company wants to purchase specific products or services.

Two examples of these documents are “Request For Proposal (RFP)” and “Request For Quotation (RFQ)”.  They’re both widely used byLet’s take a quick look of these two documents to understand what they are, their processes and how to write them.

What is an RFP and what does it mean?

The Request for Proposal (or RFP) is a document that you send out to vendors for proposals for a solution that you require. It’s often used when you don’t know what kind of service or products that you need.RFPs contain the following:

  1. Writing down the business problems that you are facing.
  2. Receiving information on how vendors are able to solve those problems.
  3. Learning more about the qualifications of vendors.
  4. Informing vendors that you are in the market for a service or product.
  5. Comparing vendors and finding out which vendors fit your needs the most.
In a gist, an RFP is a formal request where you specify your problems and your needs while inviting vendors to suggest solutions through service products or services.

RFP Process Basics

Writing an RFP doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Here are some things to keep in mind while you plan out and write your RFP:

  1. Write your problems and needs as clearly and specifically as possible as possible.
  2. Be aware of your internal processes and share them in your proposal as needed.
  3. Indicate when you need the solution and be flexible to adjust.
  4. When receiving proposals, be prepared to explore the solutions and engage the vendors for more information if needed.
  5. Writing an RFP indicates that you are considering to commit to buying or hiring a service.

How to write an RFP

Each RFP can differ greatly from the other in terms of contents. Every organization has their own way of writing it. However, there are elements that stay consistent throughout.

Steps to write an RFP:

  1. Define your current situation, your ideal situation and the solution you need
  2. Define the ultimate goal
  3. Define the scope of work
  4. Define how proposals are evaluated
  5. A closing date for submission
  6. Ask for what kind of information vendors have to provide to you. This can include previous works, certifications or references
  7. Add information about your project’s timeline

While writing your RFP, you should have a clear understanding of the issue that you are trying to solve. You should be able to provide, in detail, your requirements and specifications that you need from the vendor.

By being specific, it helps you to increase the chances of receiving a proposal that matches your needs and finding vendors that are worthy of your time to engage. Keep reading to explore the RFP vs RFQ comparison.

What is an RFQ and what does it mean?

Request For Quotation (or RFQ) is a document or notification you send out to vendors or suppliers to determine the pricing, cost breakdown, and payment structure for a specific service or product. You may think of an RFQ as the opposite of an RFP – it’s used when you know what you need, and are looking for the best solution from a financial perspective.

Wikipedia defines it as: “a business process in which a company or public entity requests a quote from a supplier for the purchase of specific products or services.”

Request for Quotation typically contains the following:

  1. Clearly stating your requirements
  2. Clearly stating your terms and conditions of working together
  3. Definitions your payment terms
  4. Enquiries about the vendor or supplier’s payment terms
  5. Enquiries about the pricing difference with respect to competitors
  6. Contact information of your company or the team requesting quotations

RFQ Process Basics

Here are some things to keep in mind when planning and writing your Request For Quotation document:

  1. Decide which type of service or products you need
  2. Make a list of companies or types of companies that you want to engage with
  3. Remember that an RFQ indicates that you are already in a position to buy and that you’re committed to go through with hiring or purchasing
  4. Similar to the RFP, it’s important that you try to be as specific as possible while defining your requirements and expectations

How To Write an RFQ

Request For Quotation documents tend to be a list of requirements that you want to present to your vendors. In that sense, the document tends to be short and concise. Here’s what you’ll want to include.

Steps to write an RFP:

  1. A title with the type of service or product that you need.
  2. A closing date for submission & expected delivery date.
  3. A list of items that you need or service with quantity (if applicable).
  4. The payment terms and processes.

RFQs can differ from industry to industry. However, the points above are consistent throughout for each. Again, you’ll want to be as specific as you can when preparing your RFQ in order to maximize the chance of receiving quality service from your vendors.

In Summary: RFP vs RFQ

RFQs and RFPs are tools for you to receive an apple to apple and not apple to oranges comparison on price. With clearly defined requirements, vendor can provide accurate quotes. Without them, vendors will provide quotations based on their own understanding and requirements.

RFP vs RFQ comparison table

Tendering vs RFP vs RFQ

Tendering, RFQ (Request for Quotation), and RFP (Request for Proposal) are all different procurement methods that organizations use to acquire goods or services. While they are similar in that they are all formal requests for vendors or contractors to submit their offers, they have some important differences.Tendering is a competitive bidding process that is typically used for large contracts or public projects. It involves issuing a public notice inviting bids from interested parties.

Tendering is a more comprehensive process than RFQ or RFP, as it requires vendors to submit detailed proposals that include technical specifications, delivery timelines, and pricing information.

In summary, tendering is the most comprehensive procurement method and is typically used for large contracts, while RFQ is used for simple procurement needs and is focused solely on price. RFP is used for complex procurement needs and requires vendors to provide detailed proposals that address both technical specifications and pricing.

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This article is part of a collaborative series between GR Techand industry leaders, aimed at bringing new ideas andinsights to our readers.


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