Procurement Forms by RFQPro

Three (3) Forms used by Purchasing Professionals

In order to manage the need to purchase supplies and services, purchasing professionals utilize certain forms to obtain the internally requested products or services.

When it comes to the 3 forms most used by purchasing professionals it is likely you are already familiar with some or all of these standard forms. For example, the Request for Proposal; Request for Quotation;  Invitation to Bid and there are many others.

  1. Request for Proposal (RFP) – The RFP is likely now the most common or go to form for procurement or purchasing personnel. It is often used to buy straight forward spend, which in our opinion is overkill and potentially problematic.  Whaaat!  Hold on, RFP’s do have their place and in many instances they are the best document for the job. RFP’s can be used in many situations — for example when looking for an expert to provide a solution to a need which may differ from proposal to proposal; when you have a detailed scope of work with equipment and labor; and there are many others.  Just remember, a RFP is subject to interpretation so ensure it is very clear on the need. Never write an RFP for the first time as this is when mistakes will surface AND never start with a blank piece of paper — find templates, examples or models to help you with development.
  2. Request for Quotation (RFQ) – Some would argue that the RFQ is no longer relevant or is no longer the form of choice as it has been replaced by the Request for Proposal (RFP) form.  The RFQ form is used when a Buyer is looking to purchase a commodity with little desire or ability to accept an alternative.  For example, there is a description, a part #, unit of measure and a specific quantity needed.  It is a straight forward buy.  We need 10 widgets and please quote me price and delivery on these 10 widgets.
  3. Invitation to Bid (ITB) – The ITB is also one of the many procurement forms in circulation today. It is similar to a RFQ in that it is an invite from a Buyer to a potential Supplier to offer a product or service for a cost. The ITB is a more formal document and along with the offer there might be a set of conditions.  If you accept the offer from the Supplier the conditions form part of the acceptance.

While most of these procurement forms are relatively straight forward, the Request for Proposal is a form that has continued to evolve since its first started to appear in the early ’80’s. RFP’s have become more prevalent and continue to be refined. Regardless, companies that purchase goods and services need procurement forms to help manage their business. These forms are used when your selection criteria might include factors other than price, like service capabilities or technical support.

Role players in an RFP / RFQ

Along with the types of forms we thought it might be beneficial to define or explain the players: Typically there are 3 or 4 role players in the RFP or RFQ process:

  1. tenderer aka Supplier / Offeror / Vendor / Bidder who is a seller of materials and or supplies which may submit a proposal or quotation on your requirements identified in the request for proposal;
  2. then there is the Owner / Buyer which pays the invoice submitted by the Supplier — next the User / Internal Department which developed the scope of work or department that originally made the request;
  3. and last, the Purchasing Agent / Procurement Officer who owns the process or is managing the RFP / RFQ. There are others, however, they are not relevant to this discussion.

RFQPro is launching a Step by Step Guide which will help you manage the RFP Process from start to finish and best of all it includes each form you would use during each step identified in this process. All these forms will be provided in edit friendly Microsoft Word documents. This comprehensive guide and template pack will be offered at a discount to all of our present subscribers with an additional discount to past or present customers before it is released to the general public. Subscribe and purchase any of our template packs today to be eligible for this discounted offer.

Preparing your RFP for Issue

7 key points to review when preparing a RFP

Most of your business associates are likely aware of the term RFP and what it stands for. They might not understand how it is used by purchasing professionals, however they should know it is a formal procurement document sent out to solicit responses from other businesses or suppliers.

The RFP document is a Request for Proposal form and a company would typically opt to send it out to three or more vendors or suppliers. Before we cover other areas to review when preparing a RFP let’s touch on Vendors for a moment. When the RFP is issued, it is expected the vendors or suppliers you decide to select or include in the bid are qualified to generate a desired response to the Buyer’s needs.

A qualified vendor is often:

1. A supplier you have done business with before
2. One you recently pre-qualified using a formal process
3. They come recommended from other business associates or
4. Have references you can check

Always narrow your vendor list down to supplier’s you know will submit a quality product and service. It is not considered a best practice to submit requests to vendors which may provide a sub-standard service or poor quality product.

Much is at stake when making a selection Read the rest of this entry

Supplier Negotiation

Negotiating with Suppliers (8) General Points

The art of negotiation comes in useful in all aspects of life and is a skill many people struggle with. If you are an Agent or representative of a company, this is one task you should embrace and make every effort to develop. There is no question that skilful negotiators are able to achieve the very best deals with Suppliers which can lead to improved margins and profits for your company.

Here are a few tips and points to consider when you find yourself negotiating with Suppliers:

  1. Always attempt to research the “should be” costs (more on this in an upcoming post) of the product you are dealing with – if you know how much of a mark-up your Supplier has then it can help you determine whether you are in fact receiving a good deal.  Better yet, if you understand the manufacturing costs it puts you at an even stronger position when it comes time to negotiate.
  2. Build a rapport with your Supplier’s. In order to negotiate the best deals – be attentive, listen, respond to any issues they have and improve communication. The better the working relationship is with your Suppliers, often better terms will be negotiated.
  3. Find areas of mutual gain – if your supplier stands firm and won’t budge on price then it might be time to focus on other areas instead. For example,  payment terms, down payments, length of warranty, discounts for volume purchases, discounts for contract extensions, etc. If you can come up with something which benefits both parties you are onto a winner.
  4. Get quotes from Read the rest of this entry
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