A request for proposals (RFP) is basically a publication of detailed requirements by a prospective buyer in order to receive vendor offerings.
Common Sections of an RFP
- Statement of Purpose
Describe the extent of products and services your organization is looking for, as well as, the overall objectives of the contract.
- Background Information
Present a brief overview of your organization and its operations, using statistics, customer demographics, and psychographics. State your strengths and weaknesses honestly. Don’t forget to include comprehensive information on the people who will handle future correspondence.
- Scope of Work
Enumerate the specific duties to be performed by the provider and the expected outcomes. Include a detailed listing of responsibilities, particularly when sub-contractors are involved.
- Outcome and Performance Standards
Specify the outcome targets, minimal performance standards expected from the contractor, and methods for monitoring performance and process for implementing corrective actions.
Provide a list of all products, reports, and plans that will be delivered to your organization and propose a delivery schedule.
- Term of Contract
Specify length, start date and end date of the contract, and the options for renewal.
- Payments, Incentives, and Penalties
List all the terms of payment for adequate performance. Highlight the basis for incentives for superior performance and penalties for inadequate performance or lack of compliance.
- Contractual Terms and Conditions
Attach standard contracting forms, certifications, and assurances. You may include requirements specific to this particular contract.
- Requirements for Proposal Preparation
A consistent structure in terms of content, information, and documents types simplifies things for the people evaluating the proposals. Therefore, you should request a particular structure for the proposal and provide an exhaustive list of documents you want to receive.
- Evaluation and Award Process
Lay down the procedures and criteria used for evaluating proposals and for making the final contract award.
- Process Schedule
Clearly and concisely present the timeline for the steps leading to the final decision, such as the dates for submitting the letter of intent, sending questions, attending the pre-proposal conference, submitting the proposal, etc.
Include a complete list of people to contact for information on the RFP, or with any other questions. Incorporate their name, title, responsibilities, and the various ways of contacting them into this list.
- Do not forget to send your RFP via certified mail.
- Since things sometimes get a little more complicated than usual, consult a lawyer for further information before doing anything.
RFP is also known as request for proposals, request for bids, request to bid, invitation to bid, ITB, invitation to tender, ITT, invitation for bids, IFB