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As a business professional in a management capacity, there may be a time when you are required to write a request for proposal, commonly known as an RFP. A Request for Proposal is typically written when work needs to be completed from an outside vendor or by another department internally. The RFP should describe the project, the response you are looking from vendors, the steps in reviewing the proposal, including a timeline and pertinent contact information. Here, we'll take a look at some written examples of a request for proposal and other important tools to aid you in the RFP process.
It is important when writing the RFP that a pool of vendors, or potential bidders, are selected and notified. You can submit a notice in your local newspaper, online or to a media source to let bidders know of the project or you can be very selective in your approach and reach out to preferred bidders. With either notification method you should consider writing a Letter of Notice for the RFP.
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Letter of Notice
Most letters are similar to this particular letter:
Company Name (if applicable)
City, State and ZIP
The body of letter should include an introduction, give a brief description of the project and have contact information for interested parties. A deadline to respond for interest should also be included. This letter should be no more than two pages.
Close the letter with your name and title.
NOTE: Your letter should always use the same style of formal business letters so refer to the structure of those letters for details on preparation, greetings and closings.
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Example of a Request for Proposal
Once you have your bidders identified, you should begin writing your RFP, which is more detailed than the Letter of Notice. Here is an example of a Request for Proposal outline:
- Executive summary
- Statement of need
- Project description
- Organization information
- Project schedule
- Budget for the project
Now here are a few examples of Request for Proposals:
Company City, State and ZIP
Project Name - Name should be clear and to the point.
This section should be an introduction of the company, the team, and the project.
Overall Project Goals
This section highlights what the company finds to be the ultimate goal of the project and the end results. Vendors should answer in their bid how they will make the project goals feasible.
The scope of work details the project and how the company will work with the vendor to ensure completion.
Requested Information and Proposal Format
This section is to address how the requested information and proposal format should be submitted. In this section, vendors should meet and/or exceed the needs of the projects when they return their bids. You should not be willing to compromise on what you expect to receive back from the vendors.
This section addresses any additional services that may be required from the vendor.
Ownership and Intellectual Property
This section explicitly expresses the ownership of the project and all intellectual properties. Vendors may be willing to give you what they create for you, but may not be willing to give what they created and used for the creation of your project, such as software, programs, and the like.
This section highlights the responsibilities of the company to ensure the vendor receives all documents, schedules and other pertinent information to stay on track with the success of the project.
Estimated Project Duration
This section gives an outline of the timeline from the RFP response submission date to the final decision date. Make sure you allow time for changes and alterations to the project and RFP.
This section helps the vendor on how to submit their bid and what the requirements are.
This section helps the vendor understand the selection criteria, so be sure to include your contact information for bids and questions.
This includes any additional comments or services required by the company to the vendor.
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Another Example of Request for Proposal
However, not all RFPs are written to include these items offered in page one of this article. RFPs can and should be altered to fit the immediate need of the department and project. Here is an example of a more detailed request for proposal to help you:
- Cover Letter
- Signature Page
- Title Page
- Table of Contents
- Schedule of Events
- Standard Terms and Conditions
- Special Terms and Conditions
- Purpose or Intent
- Method of Payment
- Contract Term
- Presentations or Demonstrations
- Pre-Proposal Conference
- Specifications (Goods)
- Scope of Work (Services)
- Scope of Activity
- Project Management
- Deliverables/Measurable Standards Schedule
- Mandatory Requirements
- Vendor Organization
- Vendor Qualifications & Experience
- Proposal Response Format
- Cost Proposal
Method of Evaluation & Award
- Evaluation Criteria
- Discussions, Best & Final Offer
At Bright Hub, we offer a free template for a request for proposal you can download and utilize for the RFP process.
Here are some additional tips you can use to help you stay on track with your request for proposal process:
- Your request for proposal should always be your way to identify the best vendor for your job.
- Be mindful not to make exceptions to your needs as the end results will not meet your goals.
- Bidders who are proficient in their work should be comfortable with the RFP.
- It is equally important to maintain your targeted timelines and control any internal conflicts you may have prior to sending out the RFP.
- Never hesitate to answer questions of vendors to ensure you receive quality bids.
Finally, if you are a government agency or are soliciting bids from government agencies, you will, more than likely, have to make the RFP process public--meaning bids for the project are open to any company or organization.
Image Credit (FreeDigitalPhotos)