We all know that the world of technology is full of complex terminology. So are the words we all use in the buying process around software solutions. In this article I have the main focus on the journey from RFI to RFP. Often the journey starts way earlier. This is also described in the article about ERP Selection. When we look at the list of wishes and demands then it is time to put out a request for information. Often this is also the starting point of “real contact” with potential suppliers of software solutions.
A RFI is a common term in the buying process and it stands for Request for information. The complete picture around RFI is in the following explanation by Business Dictionary.
Request made typically during the project planning phase where a buyer cannot clearly identify product requirements, specifications, and purchase options. RFIs clearly indicate that award of a contract will not automatically follow. By Business Dictionary
A RFP is a common term in the buying process and it stands for Request for Proposal. The complete picture around RFP is in the following explanation by Business Dictionary.
Document used in sealed-bid procurement procedures through which a purchaser advises the potential suppliers of (1) statement and scope of work, (2) specifications, (3) schedules or timelines, (4) contract type, (5) data requirements, (6) terms and conditions, (7) description of goods and/or services to be procured, (8) general criteria used in evaluation procedure, (9) special contractual requirements, (10) technical goals, (11) instructions for preparation of technical, management, and/or cost proposals. RFP are publicly advertised and suppliers respond with a detailed proposal, not with only a price quotation. By Business Dictionary
From RFI to RFP
For the suppliers the main goal is to get from the RFI status to the RFP status. This means that the message comes along and the potential buyer gains interest in the offerings. This also means that there is a possible fit on functionality and future functionality. We all know that in the end the price is important factor to base decisions on. However it can not be the most important factor because otherwise you might miss out on the best solution because of the fact that you wanted a cheep option.