Request for Proposal or RFP
In the early stages of a project that a business is undertaking, there is a need for information. To help fill this informational void, a request for proposal (RFP) can be sent out to locate the needed information. This is a formal document that is sent to many prospective suppliers that might be able to fill the need a company has to fill.
What specifically your company is in need of should be clearly stated in the request for proposal. There should also be a list of what you will need from the supplier so your company can make an informed decision on which third-party vendor you will need to produce for you.
To help a company make the best informed decision on this particular subject, a properly constructed document must be created. To do this, there are request for proposal templates in many of the project management programs that are available. These templates will have instructions on how they are to be used. The pre-formatted sections will be easy to follow so all the needed information can be asked for.
Another reason to use a formatted request for proposal is so your company can have a base to make a real life comparison between the different responses. No two companies will respond exactly the same, but by giving them a format to start with, many of the important facts that need to be known will be clearly identifiable. This way, apples and apples can be compared against each other, and not apples to oranges.
In most cases, what also helps in deciding on which company to choose is the additional information in its response to the request for proposal that is provided by the third party vendor. This additional information that is beneficial to the decision making process can be the key difference in distinguishing a good supplier from just an average supplier.
Every company has their own request for proposal document that they usually create or is part of their project management program. For consistent responses, the same one should be sent out to every prospective company. This will allow for the best decision to be made on the facts that are provided.