Procurement and Purchasing and Tenders RFx RFI RFP RFT RFQ ROI EOI
Procurement and Purchasing
Government and large businesses frequently buy services and equipment using a fairly standard purchasing framework. There are several kinds of documents - often referred to as RFx because most of the the name start with "Request For...".
Whether you are buying or providing good and services, it is useful to know the purpose and content for each of these documents.
RFI - Request for Information.
This is often a public, open document which seeks to gather information about technology and services. An organisation might use an RFI to research the market. Those who respond will be expected to supply the following kinds of information:
- Broad facts about services and goods.
- Strategic placement in the marketplace.
- Indicative and comparable pricing but not 'negotiated' pricing.
- Current focus in the industry.
- A product road-map.
The purchaser will use this information to:
- assess Suppliers' breadth and depth of services and goods,
- make plans,
- compare pricing,
- assess competition,
- determine trends and market dynamics,
- pick out market leaders.
Vendors do not expect to make a sale by responding to an RFI but this document may be used as a basis for RFP, RFP and RFQ.
RFP - Request for Proposal
An RFP allows some creativity on the part of the supplier. The purchaser is likely to be involved in a large procurement and needs the suppliers to present one or more possible solutions and pricing structure. The purchaser will present a problem that needs to be solved, and certain criteria for solving it. It is a reasonably detailed document but not as detailed as a tender.
The RFP is usually an open document or it might be by invitation to a select group of suppliers. There will be short and long term objectives specified in the request.
RFT - Request for Tender
The RFT is often a government requirement. Often, two or three suppliers must compete in an equal opportunity event. The tender is likely to be highly detailed and is likely to be written by an expert consultant. The spirit of a tender is to leave open the possibility for several suppliers to be able to comply with mandatory clauses. If a vendor cannot comply with a specific topic, then this is often a negative mark for the selectors and there could be a specific process to follow for non-compliant tenderers. After all, in some cases it may be impossible for any supplier to fulfill all clauses.
The potential suppliers must conform to strict rules of presentation, and submission methods and dates. There is always a strict cut-off time after which no further submissions are allowed.
Both the RFT and RFP could be subject to a non disclosure agreement. Although the competition is effectively open to the public, the actual details are often protected.
ROI and EOI - Request of Interest and Expression of Interest.
The ROI and EOI are closely related or in some cases synonymous with the RFI.
An ROI will likely be a very simple document of only a few pages long. It could provide managerial, financial and technical details for a prospective purchaser.
The EOI tends to be a little more detailed where references, design approach, possible solutions, company details and capabilities are revealed. In this document, financial esitmates and opinions may be expressed.
RFQ - Request for Quote
An RFQ is usually used for commodity items which have a relatively fixed and simple place in the market. It is used by the purchaser to make comparititive evaluations on:
- exact specifications
- contractual terms
This is usually a private document issues to a select few approved suppliers. There may have been an RFI as the basis for the relationship.