The request for proposal which is also known as request for quotation is a different way for negotiation and selection. It is very different from the traditional way of selection due to the fact that the clients set their requirements and standards before the proposal and the competing companies follow exactly what is needed. The importance of the request to proposal is that it eliminates the chances of companies bidding in a haphazard manner since they are now in possession of the full details. In fact, to put it differently, a request for proposal gives a detailed picture of the demand of the client; therefore the contractors can afford to bid accordingly.
Due to the fact that the request for proposal writing could be challenging and time consuming, many businesses and organizations find it hard to participate in a bid process or end up not writing bids that win. Organizations will attract better bids if they write a good request for proposal. The following is a step by step guide on how to create a good request for proposal.
Step 1. Know what you want: It is important to first have a vision of what you expect from a project. Knowing what you want is one of the first steps to enable you ask the right question about a service provider.
Step 2. Access Your Goal and Mission: it is important to understand that your company goals and mission may be as important as the details of the project in itself. It is better to align your vision of the project with the company’s goal.
Step 3. Determine Your Budget: Know the amount you are willing to spend on the project.
Step 4. Put a Timeline: The timelines should include for the proposal and the project itself.
Step 5. Read other Requests for Proposal: One of the best ways to create a good request for proposal document is to read from others. Reading other people’s request for proposal document will give you an insights of what information are necessary. You can compare various layouts with the one you have in mind. It gives you an edge. Download any sample and go through it.
Step 6. Establish the Projected Scope and Boundaries of the project: ensure that you know the boundaries of your project before you start. Adjust if needed.
Step 7. List Your Needs and Your Wants: List your “must haves” and “like to haves”.
Step 8. Decide on who will Read the Proposal and Award the Project.
Step 9. Specify minimum qualifications.
Step 10. Draft a Scorecard for the evaluation of the proposals.
Step 11. Include all relevant details as you write the proposal.
Step 12. Be specific but don’t be over specific.
Step 13. Organize the request for proposal effectively.
Step 14. Request references.
Step 15. Ensure you proofread your request for proposal document before you send it out.
Step 16. Send the request for proposal to only reputable firms.
Step 17. Ensure adequate amount of time is given for the response from the recipients and stick to your deadline.
1. Do not overwhelm your readers with unnecessary information in your request for proposal. Ensure that only the relevant details like how you want the proposal to be formatted, how and when to submit the proposal among other useful information.
2. When drafting a scorecard for the request for proposal document, it is important to determine a rating system for the proposals. The rating will show proposals with high scores making it easy for you to make your choice.
3. Ensure that you call the references that the service providers provide. Do not leave anything to chance. Be sure that the past clients are satisfied with the service provider before taking any decision.