An RFI – Request for Information differs from an ITT or a PQQ inasmuch as it is a preliminary assessment of the market.
With an ITT (Invitation to Tender) or a PQQ (Pre-qualification) the procurement exercise has been pre-determined. The purpose of an RFI – Request for Information is to provide the information required to decide the procurement process. There are a number of ways in which this information can help:
- It can help establish the level of interest there may be in supplying the product or service
- It can show how the relationship between supplier and buyer might work
- It can identify the benefits of working in a particular way
- It can reveal the weaknesses in working in a particular way – sometimes more difficult to identify
- It can provide the basis for making commercial decisions
This information may be vital in terms of deciding whether or not an internal initiative may be viable. The internal payback may depend on external factors.
In order to respond effectively to an RFI – Request for Information it is really important to understand:
- What is being asked for
- What is really needed
… and these may not be the same?
How do you handle the situation if they are not the same. If you can see the perfect solution for what they need, but they have asked for something different, you need to establish a dialogue, so that you can start working in harmony. However, the RFI – Request for Information process may preclude this. In which case you need to successfully negotiate the RFI process and move on to the next stage. If you provide them with information that they haven’t asked for you will not get very far – however beneficial your solution might be. You need to provide the information requested. You may also be able to proffer additional information *for consideration”. If this is not possible your basic response needs to be of a sufficiently high quality to get you through.
For more on how to do this please contact us.