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Request for Proposal: Description and Step by Step Guide 2021 Update

Filed in Articles by on September 10, 2021

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– Request for Proposal –

The information regarding a Request for Proposal (RFP) will highlight more issues on its need, its contents, cooperate bodies associated with RFP, the guiding processes, key players involved in the Request for the Proposal RFP process, as well as other vital information. Righting a request for a proposal might seem difficult for you, but this article will help you.

Request for proposal

Meaning of Request for Proposal (RFP)

This is a document that supplicates a proposal, provided by a government agency, company or any cooperate body willing to involve in the procurement of a worthy asset, a commodity or service, to qualified suppliers to hand in their business proposals through a bidding process.

However, RFD requires specialised capability, technical know-how or in situations where the services or products requested are nonexistent.

This subjects the proposal to undergo research and transformation to create the requested items.

How to Write Request for Proposals – Contents

How to Write Request for Proposals

However, a template for issuing requests for proposals RFP carries vital information for potential vendors to provide an organisation with. They are:

1. Background information

First, this involves the provision of brief a concise route information of the company like; year of establishment and founder, location, type of services, respectively.

2. Project overview and goals

Second, this is a detailed description of the project that gives vendors an idea of the terms of business goals expected to achieve from the project advertised.

Also, individual criteria or task descriptions should be clearly spelt out where necessary.

3. Scope of work

Third, a clear description of systematic tools, materials or products expected from the issuer for clarification by the vendors of what is expected.

4. Deadlines and milestones

Fourthly, stating the duration for the execution of the project in your RFP is necessary to filter the number of vendor contenders whose ability may not meet the targeted timeframe.

Questions or materials- this section is expected to umbrella information that demands answers from subscribed vendors like:

The information may be; Cost of Services (open for negotiation), Samples of previous work, proof of competency, and proof of successful tasks.

5. Evaluation criteria

Stating the criteria that matter most in the aim, goals and project of the company is very necessary.

Besides, it helps the bidders understand the rate at which they are being assessed. The company may use weighted scoring or light scoring.

 If the choice is weighted scoring, the format may be:

• 30% on the cost estimate

• 35% on a technicality

• 10% on approach

• 15% on management

• 10% on Innovation

6. Possible Road Block

A pre-information should be given to vendors of roadblocks or contingencies which may lead to delay in completion of the project. This aids in filtering bidders who are experts and who can’t beat the target.

Guidelines for Submitting the Proposal

This last phase exposes vendors to important details like,

• Location: where it can be accessed

• Time: time of access of RFP

• Quantity: Copies of RFP to be included.

• Office of Submission

• Mode of scoring

Dateline

Last, at this stage, the expected date the company stops receiving Requests for Proposals.

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9 Key Process of RFP

9 Key Process of RFP

Most times, the request for proposal processes may vary depending on the organisation or project.  Therefore, the following are vital processes for consideration:

1. Create boundaries of a project

In the initial step before writing an RFP, questions are channelled to organisational management about the major challenges which may arise from the project.

Some questions which may be necessary to ask are; what is the total budget tagged for the proposed project?

When are the datelines of execution or if it may fluctuate? What are the non-negotiable project features?

2. Knowledge of the key stakeholders and advisors

Identifying and understanding the organisation, vendors and consultants are necessary when writing an RFP.

Assigning leaders for each project execution is important and a minute group of stakeholders to assist the project leader during an interview while sketching the RFP format and screening responses.

3. Relate and define the need of the project to stakeholders.

4. Writing of RFP: (see how to write a request for proposal above)

5. Establish draft criteria for scoring

Given that you’ve just finished taking the pulse of your colleagues on this project, the excellent time to draft your scoring criteria follows. It frequently weighted these criteria to reflect your priorities.

6. Circulation of RFP

If prospective vendors don’t really see the RFP, all of your efforts will be for nought. The type of vendors you wish to reach will influence where you post or publish your RFP.

If you prefer to work with local businesses, identify the local business periodicals and place a brief article in their classified section.

7. Accessing of respondents

Conduct a preliminary study of responses, focusing attention on their potential methodology, (This is often included within the section called the Statement of Work)

8. Score the responses and select a vendor

The organisation indulge in screening/ selection of respondents

9. Negotiation and Signing of contracts

Choice of the vendor does not appear to suggest that you have a legally binding agreement.

The RFP response is a proposal, and you can accept it with alteration or used it as a starting point for further discussions with the potential vendor.

Last, as you agree on completion dates and deliverables, document and include them in the contract.

Need for Request for Proposal

Need for a request for proposal by government or other agencies. They create RFP for reasons like:

A detailed definition of the organisation’s need in an RFP will measure the exposure of the vendor’s understanding of the project.

They ensure transparency of government agencies and NPO through RFP on project goals and choice of vendors.

Clearly, creating an RFP boosts the organisation’s morale to establish a benchmark on project performance.

Usage/Application of RFP

For an organisation with the capacity to meet specific needs through external resources, RFP is the tool to find vendors or partners with solid resources, expertise and skills.

RFP is appropriate for use if the project attains the below criteria:

• Scope complexity

• Hard data analysis and comparison

• Bids from expertise or qualified vendors

Post Writing Steps of RFP

Hence, after scrutinising the compiled Request for Proposals RFP, the organisation carries out the following to attract vendors:

Document Circulation- documents are circulated through online platforms like trade news outlets, giving vendors a wide time range to find and give responses to the RFP.

Negotiations with the successful vendor- the partners review item’s costs and engage in negotiation to lower bids.

RFP Roles and Responsibilities

The definition and documentation of key roles and responsibilities aid an organisation to develop a standard and an effective RFP process.

In the course of attending success, request for proposals gigantic coordination.

Different experts and stakeholders must see the need to work together to issue a need, accumulate information, and explore solutions.

Stakeholders/Key Players Involved in RFP Process

Key Players Involved in RFP Process

1. Business stakeholders

This is a departmental business unit or team that proffers purchase or solutions. Similarly, the team presents key factors for consideration and determinants on the target the solution should meet.

In rare cases, the stakeholders access and evaluates RFP responses.

2. Chief Financial Officer CFO

The determination and evaluation of cost associated with the project and return on investment ROI, where the determination of the financial viability is ascertained, are handled by the CFO.

3. Consultant

Because of expertise level, they review and understanding the proposed needs of the client and also choosing qualified vendors, manage communication and screen qualifications.

4. Procurement Professional

A procurement professional or manager gathers and synchronises the creation of the RFP.

Undoubtedly, they are very vital in internal team members’ relationships, for they determine the challenges faced by the organisation and suitable solutions to problems at hand.

Also, they are linked to vendors with the initial request, progress monitoring, provide answers to questions, and evaluation of responses.

Request for Proposal Documents

There are other requests to prospective project partners during the procurement process.

Using an RFP document presents detailed guidelines to help any potential vendor establish a preferred solution to executing a project.

 However, RFP is among the uncommon requests. How do we differentiate RFP from other written requests?

1. Request for information (RFI) 

This written document aids the organisation to gather vital information for certain project execution. Also, it gives room for better decision making on the procurement process, defining the RFP.

2. Request for expressions of interest (REOI)

A pre-development stage request letter to alert the interest of potential bidders on the project.

3. Request for qualification

Issuing a request for qualification gives restriction flow to a pool of potential bidders. This written document states the stages of qualification for the project, narrowing it down to professional vendors.

4. Request for quotation 

Contains information on competitive price quotes for a particular project.

5. Request for tender (RFT)

In executing a certain project, RFTs are formal and structured letters of invitations for potential vendors to bid on the proposed project based on clear, detailed specifications.

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Government Request for Proposals

The Federal Government RFP process prepares better bids by understanding the intended audience and its regulation.

When a company receives an unsuccessful offer letter, it can learn to defend itself with tools to challenge any adverse award decisions.

The Federal Acquisition Regulations and related U.S. Code or Code of Federal Regulations typically govern the federal government’s request for proposal process.

However, in a published Federal RFP forbidding, there are conventional procurement planning processes.

Evidently, this process includes inputs from the terminal and technical personnel, as well as the financial department and even legal counsel.

Sectional Divisions of Federal Government RFP

The Federal Acquisition Regulation, or FAR, governs each of the thirteen components of a federal agency RFP.

In particular, the thirteen sections described by FARs:

Section A – Information for Prospective Tenderers or Quotes

This section also includes the procurement’s title, procurement number, point of contact (POC), how to recognise legislative changes, and how to show “No Response” if you decide not to bid.

 Section B Resources or Services and Prices/Costs

This is the section of the RFP that contains all pricing details for the organisations interested in the RFP.

It describes the type of contract, identifies Contract Line Items (CLINs) and Subcontract Line Items (SLINs), the duration of the performance, identifies option periods (if any), and provides cost and profit regulations.

 Section C Work Statement (SOW)

This statement of work contains information on the specific work schedules for bidders. 

Section D – Packaging and Labelling

Section D defines a method of delivering such as reports and how materials will be packaged and shipped. Undoubtedly, this instruction may affect costs and logistics.

Section E – Acceptance and Inspection

This section explains the screening and deal-making. 

Section F – Deliveries or Performance

Supervisory performance of work and deliverables of contract goods

Section G – Contract Administrative Date

Section G involves the interaction between the Chief Administrative officer and the company by providing details on how the information will be exchanged in the contract administration, thus ensuring both performance and timely payment.

Section H – Contractual Requirements

This covers a variety of special contract requirements that are critical to the procurement, such as a change in the procedure of the original contract terms, government-furnished equipment (GFE) requirements and government-furnished property (GFP) requirements.

Section I – General Provisions/Contract Clauses

This section contains a list of clauses in government contracts. However, it does not cause a separate response, as its terms will be binding.

Section J – Exhibits and Attachments

Section J includes a list of RFP add-ons, appendices, and attachments.

Section K – Offerors’ Representations/Certifications/Statements

However, bidding on this contract, there is a list of elements like:

• Your taxpayer identification number

• Status of personnel in your firm

• Kind of organisation

• Authorized negotiators

• Technical qualification

• Disadvantaged

• Veteran or women-owned businesses are some items that must be provided, respectively.

Section L – Instructions for Preparing a Proposal and Related Information

Section L states first, an organised/outlined content,  second, how to ask questions about an RFP or procurement, third, how the proposal is to be presented.

Section M – Criteria for Evaluation

This section study rated bids, evaluation costs of all bidders or vendors.

How to Write Response to Government RFP

Response to Government RFP

Importantly, no matter which government agency a vendor is replying to, the treatment remains the same regardless of whether it’s federal, county, state, or municipal.

A government grant, proposal, or contract is often more difficult to draft, unlike a conventional company proposal because of the government’s involvement.

However, the aforementioned step is to figure out what you need to write. Similarly, some government agencies will provide you with forms to fill out and submit with your proposal. 

The majority faces challenges on how to the gaps between what the RFP requests and the forms that the agency may or may not provide.

Experience: Equally, if you have no prior experience writing government grant proposals, indeed you should a grantsmanship workshop.

These workshops increase your understanding of the critical information required and also provide an opportunity to discuss your questions about the grant (s) in question with other applicants and agency representatives

Sample proposals will assist you in determining the topics include in your table of contents and will equally illustrate how to write some details. Because each RFP is different, you will need to do a significant amount of your own writing.

Subsequently, assemble and fill out your RFP response using the supplied government forms, pre-written topic templates, and RFP instructions.

FG Request for Proposal Process after the Receipt of Bid

When an agency contracts, it receives a response;

The federal proposal process allows it to appoint a source selection team that evaluates each proposal under the government’s RFP criteria (for negotiated RFP).

Construction Request for Proposal 

For a construction request for proposal, an RFP is a chance for construction companies to get new business. It is expensive and time-consuming to respond to a building RFP because of the amount of detail and individuals involved.

The next step in the project is a request for proposals (RFP) for construction contains all the information a company will need to submit tenders like project scope, background, technical requirements and delivery.

Response: Any firm can respond to some construction RFPs because they are open bids where areas in government construction projects, this is not uncommon. Only a small selection of construction businesses may receive the RFP in other situations.

Particularly, these details define the significance of a request for proposals, its contents and processes, and the essential players involved.

Also, the information presents the differences between government requests for proposals, construction requests for proposals, and how the Federal Government responds to requests for proposals.

Finally, prospective vendors will benefit from the above complete information while requesting proposals. While enjoying the knowledge gain, comment and share.

CSN Team.

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