In doing business it is important to keep clarity and transparency in all aspects of every transaction. If you incorporate this approach when dealing with customers and vendors, you will make sure that your business thrives and that the margin for error is reduced. One important aspect to consider is that of submitting an RFP or Request for Proposal.
As a company you may find yourself in an RFP process from two different perspectives. The first happens when you respond to an RFP and submit your credentials and pricing to become a vendor for someone else. Conversely, you may issue an RFP for your own company in order to have a good or service quoted.
Some basic components of an RFP, regardless of whether you are responding to one or issuing it yourself, include the pricing, the unit price, the terms for delivery and the scope of work. You need to make sure that whoever is reviewing the process is able to easily compare your offerings with other submissions. If you are the one reviewing, you need to make sure your prospective vendors are giving you the information you need to properly compare proposals across the board.
RFPs can be very simple in scope- such as those for printing stationary, but they can also be very convoluted and that is where the scope of work and terms of delivery need to be very clear. You want to make sure the RFP reflects exactly what is and what is not included in the services rendered. Take for example an RFP for construction- does the scope include removal of debris? A rain plan? Does it also include terms of delivery such as timing, accessibility and consequences of delays? The more specific an RFP is when it is issued, the better the result will be from vendors and the less room for interpretation it will leave.
Included are a few samples for RFPs that may be useful in your business.