Request for quote

An RFQ is an approach for businesses and organizations to ask vendors and other outside companies to provide them with a quote. This quote involves how much something will cost, whether that is a particular service, project, or product.

A request for quotations is similar to a request for proposal (an RFP), but RFQs are more heavily focused on the cost estimate and how the respondents would meet the requirements of a specific job. The RFQ is the step right before submitting an RFP, that is a more implicated and complicated tender.

A company supplicating vendors for a product or a service will send out a request for quotations to different qualified companies. Those companies will then reply with an itemized form showing prices and estimates for each part of the requested project or each of the products ordered.

It is also essential to understand that responses to RFQs are not offers, but precisely what the name suggests: quotes. Responding with a quotation is not an offer or a binding contract. A contract will be created only when the vendor or service provider accepts a request from the soliciting company.

Why Should Someone Request an RFQ?

An RFQ permits the company wanting the services or products to easily compare quotes between companies, as they are mostly utilized when the product or service needed is standard between companies or that are built universally or with individual specifications.

What does it mean? It means that the quotations are comparable because of the little difference between the service or product from the company to the company. For instance, let’s say an organization is trying to order 100 of a particular type of gear that has a specific size and material. This product will be uniform and invariable between various vendors.

This would be a case where an RFQ would be utilized. The quotations from each vendor could be easily compared because of the uniformity of the product requested.

There are also benefits to using RFQs. You will not have to prepare procurement solicitation documents, which can minimize the procurement processing time. Additionally, since the company gets to select where they want to send the RFQs to, there will not be as many offers to sort out.

Can the Government Request an RFQ?

If the government is searching for a service or a product, it can undertake like as any other business and ask an RFQ from disputes.

Often, the government will be thinking about undertaking a particular project and will send out RFQs to obtain data for future planning.

That being said, the RFQ sent off by the government does not mean that they will be accepting a bidders response. They might just be researching to decide the future.

Once the offers, there may be some further contracts. The government will plan to make sure that they are getting the best negotiation.

Are There Any Downsides to an RFQ?

While the benefits of RFQs are numerous, there are some downsides which are worth mentioning.

Since the soliciting company gets to select which suppliers or businesses get the RFQ, it can limit the competition. As a consequence, this can result in irregularities because of selective and few responses.

This selective requesting might also lead to the exclusion of specific companies and vendors. Even if your company sells the same product or provides the same service, you may not be contacted for an RFQ.

Also, we mentioned earlier that responding to an RFQ does not show a binding contract with the solicitor. So be careful: till you have an offer in writing and signed purchase order or a contract, nothing is set in stone. Try not to make a mistake by considering it is a done deal just because you’ve responded to an RFQ. Make sure to follow through and get things signed and in writing.

How to Respond to an RFQ

How you reply to a request for quotations will depend on what’s being requested. Each RFQ should outline precisely what product or service it is requesting information on. This will let you know precisely what to detail in your response.

Unlike responses to RFPs that want more information, the RFQ response should be focused solely on the price and the estimate of the product or service.

Since you have been requested directly and the outcome of the RFQ will likely be depended on the lowest quote alone, salesmanship may not be as crucial with RFQs. However, in your response, along with your selection, it can hurt to detail why you should be selected over other vendors.

In a letter along with your quotation, you should detail:

  • Your experience with similar projects
  • Your flexibility
  • Your history of completing tasks efficiently, on time and according to the price
  • Any cases other why you are capable above other vendors to finish the project or provide the product

The accessibility to the Internet has made many government agencies turn either to state-run, or vendor operated websites that provide listings of RFQ’s as well as RBIs and RfPs. Many let vendors sign up at no charge to obtain e-mails of requests either generally or for particular categories of product or service for which there is demand. In most cases, the entire process is done on-line with replies as PDF files uploaded or scanned documents to the server; in other cases, or for legal reasons, a response must be sent in hard copy form and on CD/DVD or flash drive by mail or delivery service.

The suppliers have to send back the bidding by a set date and time to be considered for an award. Discussions may be held on the offers (often to clarify technical capabilities or to note errors in a proposal). The offer does not have to mean the end of the bidding; multiple rounds can follow.

After the RFQ process, professional procurement entities have to analyze the quotes and try to get the best deal for the job (by negotiations, or by conducting an e-auction (a reverse auction or a ticker auction). The aim is to determine the fair market value of the goods or services and thus generate savings for the company.

RFQ’s are best suited to services and products that are as standardized and as commoditized as possible, as this makes each supplier’s quite comparable. In general, many businesses use an RFQ where an RFT or RFI would be more appropriate.

An RFQ allows various contractors to supply a quotation, among which the best will be chosen. It also makes the possibility for competitive bidding a lot higher, yet the suppliers could be quite sure that they are not the only ones bidding for the products.

Requests for quotations are most commonly utilized in the business environment but can also be found being applied to domestic markets.

Bottom Line

A request for quotations is an excellent method for both soliciting companies and suppliers to communicate in terms of products and services. Whether that company is a government agency or not, the RFQ will supply an estimate of a particular project or task.

With all of the different kinds of requests and paperwork, these types of offers and proposals can become complicated and confusing. We understand how to work with it.