RFP format and content
Your Request for Proposal structure (RFP format) can be the basis for
the success or failure of a sourcing project. Preparation and research
into the supply market is important prior to drafting but so are the
technical content and the order in which information and questions are
There is not one perfect RFP template. The RFP format below may have
to be adapted to cater for the type and size of project and for
different commodities and services. An RFP for I.T. hardware and
software will differ in level of detail from one for travel services or
A common RFP format
- Purpose statement
Include the general scope, nature, specifications, and purpose
of goods, products, and services to be acquired. This will enable the
supplier to decide whether to bid or not. Attach an
- Company Information
Present a brief overview of your organization and its
operations including a Company profile to help the supplier understand
your business and the industry. Provide dimensions, no. of divisions,
no. of staff, locations and customer base. Include contact details of
those people handling this RFP including name, title and the various
ways of contacting them.
In this RFP format the timeline is given early in the document
as this topic is very important to the supplier. Clearly state the
timeline for every step : the dates and deadlines for submitting the
letter of intent, sending questions, the pre-proposal conference and
vital, the closing date for bids.
- Scope of Work and Standards
Specify the different project phases broken down by
objectives, proposed timeline, and performance and quality standards.
Acceptance criteria should be included here as well as non-performance
Provide a list of all outputs required including products,
services, reports, and plans that will be delivered to your organization
and propose a delivery schedule of where and when for each.
- Contract Terms and Conditions
Specify here your required legal and compliance clauses as
well as the proposed length of the contract and projected start date.
All financial arrangements must be included here : payment terms and
schedule, incentives and penalties.
- Evaluation and Award Process
In this RFP format it is proposed that you outline the general
procedure and criteria used to evaluate and rank proposals, but not the
weightings. Explain the next steps you envisage, e.g. negotiations,
RFQ, and what will influence the final selection decision.
Additional information for the supplier that will assist in
preparing a good quality bid should be attached. The more information
you can supply the better the quality and quantity of responses.
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