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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 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for Quotation (RFQ) – Some would argue that the RFQ is no longer relevant or is no longer the form of choice as it has been replaced by the Request for Proposal (RFP) form.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

Request For Proposals Explained

A request for proposal is a solicitation often made through a bidding process by a company or agency interested in acquiring a service, commodity or an asset from a Supplier. This document is intended to provoke potential Supplier’s to submit proposals for the supply of the requested items. An RFP is normally submitted in the early stages of the procurement cycle either at the procurement or at the preliminary study stage and dictates the preliminary requirements for the service or commodity being requested and may also prescribe, to some extent, the exact format and structure the supplier should respond to the request.

Effective request for proposals will typically reflect the plan and long/short term objectives of the business; providing a detailed insight through which the supplier is able to offer a corresponding reply to the request. This form of request is quite similar to a Request For Information (RFI) and a Request For Quotation (RFQ).

Principally, a request for proposals will:
•    Inform the supplier that the organization is looking to purchase services or goods from them and encourages them to Read the rest of this entry

Supplier Performance Reviews

You want me to do what? You are a Buyer and just received a call or a reminder that an annual review for one of your companies key vendors is due. In your already busy 9-5 schedule you now have to find time to crush off an annual vendor performance review, supplier evaluation or supplier scorecard!  Whatever your company calls it does not matter, finding the time to establish a vendor rating system and properly evaluate a supplier is an onerous challenge.

In today’s purchasing, the Buyer is responsible for motivating the supplier to improve higher performance levels at a lower cost. To do this, more emphasis is being placed on the relationship, closer cooperation and collaboration or what is coined Supply Chain Management. Regardless of the industry you presently represent, completing annual vendor evaluations is a vital part of the supply chain function and having a proven Vendor Rating System will make your life a whole lot easier.

Your rating system will improve each time you complete or apply it so take the time to tweak the template after each review. The key is to establish a system, ask the right questions, involve the right user groups and simply start the process. The benefits of improving dialogue, measuring performance will help motivate your suppliers to improve service levels and lower cost. A good vendor scorecard will show the Suppliers how their improvements are being effective and will provide an opportunity for the Buyer to compliment the Supplier on achievement as well as highlight any downturns on performance.

What do you review and what types of questions you will need to ask are all included in our Supplier Evaluation Form so take a minute and check out this preview of our sample supplier scorecard.

Supplier_Scorecard

vendor performance

Evaluating a Supplier, Sub-Contractor Evaluation, Performing a Site Audit? All of these forms are included in our Mega and Purchasing Manager Packs. How much is your time worth? Let our tools help you hit the ground running.

Detailed previews are available on our Channel– Please Subscribe and Like!

Need Help Responding to a RFP?

Six (6) valuable tips you can use when responding to a RFP.

As a Supplier, the more jobs you bid on the more likely you are to achieve an award. So, how do you get more RFP responses out the door quicker, easier, cheaper and less laboriously? By using ready made RFP response forms you can quickly edit and submit is one helpful option.  Beg or borrow one from a colleague or purchasing a template will help you get started. By using an existing template you can move to the edit stage versus starting with a blank canvas. Once you do find a template suitable for the required response take the time to brand it with your companies coordinates and by adding any additional desired verbiage. These templates will put you hours ahead of the competition and the extra time will permit you to work on the core of your presentation which is where the tender is typically won or lost.

Six (6) tips for improving your chances at succeeding or providing more winning responses to tenders:

  1. Say more with less. Do not over detail your responses. White space is not a bad thing. Use graphics, pictures to make your presentation more dynamic and quicker to peruse. A picture of a related past project is an acceptable component of your response.
  2. If the Buyer is asking for references, try to use a company you have completed work for and one which has an existing relationship with the Buyer that is requesting the reference.
  3. Provide detailed contact coordinates on your references – company name, contact person, title, address, phone, email so it is easier for them to make a convenient call to the right person and if possible use a testimonial from this company. Nothing provides more weight than a reference from a third party the Buyer is presently doing business with. The Buyer will feel comfortable calling this reference knowing they will get a straight up answer or the Vendor providing the reference might jeopardize their own existing relationship with this Buyer.
  4. Always answer or respond to RFP’s in a way that’s tailored to your customer’s specific needs. Respond in the order of the requests listed in the RFP or to match their needs. Prepare your responses thinking about the reader or from the buyers perspective. The Buyer may put your response in a compliance matrix so by following their format you are ensuring you do not get any strikes against you before the evaluation stage has even started.
  5. Answering to win—not just to answer.
  6. All key financial points in your response should be highlighted and framed to ensure they stand apart from the rest of the proposal. White space on either side of these key points is important.

Our edit friendly forms will help you create that winning look and professional feel that will help your quotes stand out. Starting from scratch trying to find the right words only works if you have countless hours of time you can dedicate to your response. If you can find a quality response at a reasonable cost why would you waste hours of your day creating a proposal. Let us help you eliminate tender bias and increase your chances of winning more bids by using one of our forms today = RFPTemplates.org >> RFQPro.com

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