Responding to RFP or Not

Request for Proposal (RFP) also knowns as Request for Quote (RFQ), Request for Bid (RFB) are documents released by municipalities to get pricing for products and services these entities are looking to buy.

RFPs often include specifications of the item, project or service for which a proposal is requested. The more detailed the specifications, the better the chances that the proposal provided will be accurate. Generally RFPs are sent to an approved supplier or vendor list.

In most instances, only selected bidders may be invited to participate in subsequent bids, or may be asked to submit their best technical and financial proposal, commonly referred to as a Best and Final Offer (BAFO). Subsequent changes can be referred to as the Best andRevisedFinal Offer (BARFO).

Once both the parties i.e. a buyer organization and seller organization agree on the technical and commercial terms and conditions of the proposal, they could move on to next steps like contract signing, statement of work which would formalize the purchase transactions.

The bidders return a proposal by a set date and time. Late proposals may or may not be considered, depending on the terms of the initial RFP. The proposals are used to evaluate the suitability as a supplier, vendor, or institutional partner. Typically organizations follow a detailed vendor screening process to short list the vendors who should be invited for further rounds of negotiation. This screening process could either be vendor scoring models or internal discussions within the buyer organization. 

Ed Eisenstein experienced his first RFP award in early 90’s when he was in his 20’s about winning a Million Dollar School District bid for computers in every classroom. He started his career with being awarded this Million Dollar RFP that came from the Smithtown School District in the early 90’s.

Ed Eisenstein is happy to guide other companies and business owners through this process. Today, Ed Eisenstein works on 1 to 2 RFP responses each month.

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