Using an RFP versus a RFQ:
This is a good question and one we hear often. We will try our best to provide a simple answer to help you make an informed decision when performing your purchasing duties. This scenario surfaces when you are faced with generating a purchasing document to send to your suppliers.
Documents issued by the Purchasing group can be an RFQ (request for quote), RFI (request for information), RFP (request for proposal), or ITQ (invitation to quote), IFB (invitation for bid) or others.
A RFQ is usually used when the Owner knows exactly the type and quantity of goods it wants to buy while RFP’s ask bidders to provide a solution to a problem that could be solved in different ways.
An example of when to use a Request for Quote (RFQ) would be if you are buying 100 each Toshiba Laptop Computers c/w 2 GB ram, 100 GB HD, DVD Burner, Windows 7. You know your exact requirement and have a specification to include or issue with the request.
An RFP might be used if you were unsure as to whether you want to purchase, lease, rent those same 100 computers with varying specifications for software and hardware requirements that may differ from PC to PC. This gives the bidders an opportunity to offer a solution to your requirement.
With the above in mind, it should be noted that evaluating a RFQ is usually easier than trying to determine an award from the results of an RFP.