Guidelines for a Request For Proposal (RFP)

Veerle received a bunch of requests for a proposal. As most of the companies don’t communicate their expectations, she decided to write a very good post on the topic. This way she can better ouline what she expects from her (potential) customers to be able to provide them with a good price quote.

She lists some very good topics. From my experience a Request For Proposal is considered as a starting point of a conversation between customer and solution provider. It’s part of a sales process. Creating an RFP is more than just a price. From the System Integrator’s viewpoint it’s all about deriving the customer expectations and the project scope from the customer requirements. Additionally the SI can demonstrate his technical skills to deliver a/the right solution.

Through this whole process both the customer and solution provider will define how they might collaborate, the roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders in the project, the communication process, change and issue management, the development-testing-acceptance and sign-off process, reporting, etc. Depending on the size of such a process these sections can of course be extended.

As Veerle states her list is just a reference. “Only in an ideal world all items will be answered. It's a guide-book for us, so we can give the client a specific price estimate. Also, this will give us a head start once the proposal is approved.”

Given all the information available, a lot of customers should ask themselves why they don’t provide detailed enough requirements, when kicking off a such tender process.

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