We are regularly asked, ‘what is the difference between a Request for Information (RFI), Request for Proposal (RFP) and Request for Quote (RFQ)’. Below is an explanation of these three requests.

According to the Government, the differences between RFQ’s, RFI’s and RFP’s are as follows:

“RFx is an abbreviation used to refer to a group of ‘Request For…’ documents, used to solicit responses of various types from suppliers. The three documents used in this group include Request for Information (RFI), Request for Proposal (RFP) and Request for Quote (RFQ).

Request for Information (RFI)

An RFI is generally used when the solution to a business problem is not immediately evident or clearly defined.

The RFI is used to gather information, NOT to make a selection or an award. The Supply Chain Management Unit works with the Customer to:

  • clearly define the problem;
  • solicit external expertise regarding how to solve the problem;
  • study proposed solutions.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

An RFP is used when the Customer understands the business problem and what’s needed to solve it, including specifications and procedures.

Price is usually not the determining factor in the evaluation of an RFP. Factors such as quality, service, and reputation are also taken into consideration.

Request for Quote (RFQ)

An RFQ is generally used to obtain pricing, delivery information, terms and conditions from suppliers.

In this case, requestors have a clear understanding of what they need, including requirements and specifications. To procure the exact product or service you need, the Customer provides the Supply Chain Management Unit with as much information as possible, including complete specifications, quantities, and delivery schedule.

The common threat between all three types of requests is that the Customer or Government Entity is not obliged to appoint a service provider on the results from issuing any of these requests. The best way to know that a tender award will be made is when you respond to a formal quotation or a competitive bid. Normally a formal quotation will be for goods or services with a value between R30,000-00 and R200,000-00 and a competitive bid will be for goods or services with a value exceeding R200,000-00.

 

Resources:

SA Tenders Site: http://www.sa-tenders.co.za/content/hints-tips-and-news/difference-between-rfi-rfq-and-rfp