Typical Forms most used by Procurement Professionals
In order to manage the need to purchase supplies and services, purchasing professionals turn to certain forms or documents to obtain the internally requested products or services.
Some standard forms you might be familiar with would be: Request for Quotation; Request for Proposal; Invitation to Bid; and there are many others.
While most of these procurement forms are relatively straightforward, the Request for Proposal is a form that has continued to evolve since its first started to appear in the early ’80’s. Since then, RFP’s have become more prevalent, more refined and in some cases are all some companies issue (not what we recommend). Regardless, companies that purchase goods and services need procurement forms to help them manage their business. These forms are a necessary evil and will help you ultimately complete the task of getting to an award.
Role players in an RFP / RFQ
Before we can detail the forms most used by purchasing department today, we think some color on the process is needed. Typically there are 3 or 4 role players when it comes to the RFP or RFQ process. There is a Tenderer aka Bidder / Offeror / Vendor; then there is the Owner which is the parent company issuing the document — then the user or internal department making the request or the group needing the material or service — and last the procurement officer who is the person managing the RFP / RFQ. They often generate the documents, issue, analyze the offers, make a recommendation and manage the award. There are others like the accounting department which will pay the vendor and so on.
Supplier/Vendor: A seller of materials and/or supplies who submit a proposal or quotation against your requirements.
Now back to the most popular forms used today:
- RFP – (Request for Proposal). Without question, this form is considered the go to form for procurement professionals, on larger dollar spend and when your selection criteria might use additional factors other than price, like service capabilities or technical.
- RFQ – (Request for Quote). To some this is up for debate, but depending on the organization, sometimes the Buyer is simply looking for price and delivery on a simple material request. We need 6 widgets and here is the part # so in this instance a RFP is way overkill and is not worth the cost or effort.
- EOI or RFI – (Expression of Interest) or (Request for Information). An Expression of Interest (EOI) or (RFI) is used to gauge interest from potential suppliers for a potential upcoming project on the drawing board or hope to officially tender in the near future. An EOI, gives you the opportunity to pre-qualify vendors to ensure they are capable of completing the work under the restrictions or specifications outlined in your document.
- LOI or LOU – (Letter of Intent) or (Letter of Understanding). Often the next document to be used by the purchasing department if the spend warrants (vs going right to a PO). It captures the summary terms negotiated by both parties during the award process and these details will eventually make their way into the formal contract. Simply, the Buyer is looking for a document they can use to bridge them over until a formal contract document can be executed.
There are many other documents a Buyer will use in today’s purchasing and if you, like many of us, find the RFP Process overwhelming or too time consuming hang tough as Our Step by Step RFP Guide will be released soon. It will simplify the RFP Process by providing a step by step guide c/w with sample forms typically used when issuing a RFP — from start to finish. All forms will be provided in edit friendly Microsoft Word format. This comprehensive guide and template pack will be provided at a discount to all our subscribers and with returning customers receiving additional discounts over and above discounts offered to our subscriber base.