10-Point RFP Proofreading Checklist

How Can You Make Your RFP’s The Right Length?

PurchTips Edition #413

After reading requests for proposal (RFP’s) for over twenty years, I can confidently say that there is a common problem among all RFP’s:  They are too long!

RFP’s should be crafted for maximum response from qualified suppliers. They shouldn’t be written in a way that scares off suppliers who could create value for your organization. Suppliers have limited time, too, ya know!

Therefore, it is key to make sure that all questions in your RFP’s are relevant, appropriately timed and necessary.  As such, use this RFP proofreading checklist to determine if each question in your RFP should stay, be changed or be deleted.

  1. Does this question apply to the procurement scenario or was it left over from a previous RFP or RFP template?
  2. Does a reused question need to be modified to better reflect the circumstances of this specific RFP?
  3. Will the answer to this question be used in evaluating and comparing suppliers?
  4. If a supplier fails to respond to this question, will that supplier be disqualified from consideration?
  5. Is the answer to this question required at this time or is it more appropriate to gather the information later from a short list of qualified suppliers?
  6. How will the sourcing team evaluate the responses to this question?
  7. Does this question only apply to one supplier or a select few suppliers and not all suppliers?
  8. Are any questions similar enough that they can be consolidated (e.g., Do you have employees outside of the USA? If yes, how many employees do you have outside of the USA?)?
  9. Has this question already been asked in the RFP? (Duplicate questions are more common than you may think!)
  10. What questions should I be asking that aren’t already in the RFP?

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Copyright 2018. This article is the property of the Next Level Purchasing Association and may not be copied or republished in any form without the express written consent of the Next Level Purchasing Association. Click here to request republishing permission.

By Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3