Critical Ingredients For A Good RFP
PurchTips - Edition # 58 September 21, 2004
By Charles Dominick, C.P.M., SPSM
Does Your RFP Contain These Items?
A poorly written request for proposal (RFP) can result in consequences such as proposals that are too dissimilar to fairly compare, supplier performance that fails to meet expectations, or additional fees that surprise you later.
Therefore, it is important to ensure that your RFP does not omit any details. Consult the following list to confirm that your RFP's contain the necessary items.
- Overview of the intended purchase
- Specifications/statement of work
- Indication of whether or not deviations from the technical specifications will be considered
- Estimated quantity to be purchased
- Terms and conditions
- Selection criteria
- Summary of supplier information required
- Deadline for proposal submission
- Address to which proposals should be delivered
- Response form
Some organizations like to include a disclaimer so that they don't risk being legally bound by anything stated in the RFP. Your disclaimer may address these points:
- The RFP is not an offer or a contract
- Proposals become your organization's property
- Bidders will not be compensated or reimbursed for costs incurred in preparing proposals
- Your organization is not obligated to contract for any of the products/services described in the RFP
- Your organization reserves the rights to:
- Accept or reject any or all proposals
- Waive any anomalies in proposals
- Negotiate with any or all bidders
- Modify or cancel the RFP
Finally, it is best practice to minimize the variables that you have to evaluate. Therefore, include certain requirements such as lead time or delivery/performance date, payment terms, shipping terms, and warranty.
RFP's are one of the most important documents that you compose. When writing RFP's, avoid leaving out any details that will cause consequences later. Good luck!
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