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The Request for Information

February 28 2011

The request for information (RFI) is a formal document sent out to locate data and knowledge a business does not current have, but wishes to possess. The main reason for this document is to give your business an edge in dealing with third party vendors. The more you know about them and how they operate, along with what they have available, the better chances you have at making any exchange work in your favor.

In the business world, knowledge is power and the request for information is the most common process for acquiring this knowledge. This process is initiated by the creation of the RFI document. This can be successfully accomplished by the project manager looking at a sample, or using a project management template program that is in use at their place of business.

In the template for the creation of a request for information, there will be a section that will allow you to describe in detail your company’s needs from a supplier. This document will also include a section on the current procurement process utilized by your business. These needs to be written in plain and clear language, so no ambiguity can occur during the acquisition of services or goods from a third party vendor.

Another necessary component that should be included in a request for information are the specific rules and timeframe your company is willing to work with, when dealing with a third party vendor. As an example, if you need a component from a supplier on a specific date, the range of this date can be set at no exceptions for it being late, or a 24 hour delay will be acceptable. For smoothness of running a project, all raw materials should be acquired one week in advance so that if a delay occurs, it will not hinder the progress of your project. This can also be used as the timeframe for allowance that is given to a third party vendor.

The request for information is a very useful document that can help a business better deal with their suppliers. The end result could give your business that competitive edge that is needed in the new global market place.