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RFP or Request for Proposal

August 6 2010

A RFP or request for proposal is a formal document a business creates in the very beginning of the procurement process for a project a company is planning on undertaking. This type of document is meant for a specific purpose on the acquiring of a product or services a third party vender can supply.

Within a RFP a business is sending out requests so they can better determine the risks and advantages of the different suppliers that respond to this document. There is no set document for this type of response for a reason. While most do include all the requested information, how is it formatted can give an indication about how the business is run.

The degree of detail included in an RFP will be closely looked by the company receiving it. This is the basis for comparison between the different responses a company receives from their request that were sent out. For those responses that do not fulfill the minimum requirements are usually discarded and this is the last contact they will have with this or any future proposals. This is why so much emphasis is placed on how the response to the proposal is made. The more information you can provide, the greater understand the receiving company will have on your business ability to provide the necessary deliverable.

Information is important but the RFP should not be overly long or cluttered. By responding to precisely what is being requested with accurate detail is the best approach. This type of response will reflect the long and short term strategy and goals of a business’ objectives in a manner this is clearly defines and concise.

The typical RFP is more than just a request for a price on a commodity. Some background information on why a company should do business with this particular third party supply should be included. A company’s history in this particular type of business is very beneficial for those that have been in the industry for any length of time. Experience and time in an industry is generally equated to success and quality of the products they provide.

A RFP is a document that is sent out in the early stages of acquiring information. A decision has not been made to who is going to be awarded the contract. This is why putting your best foot forward is highly recommended to obtaining the contract for this type of proposal.