A Request for Proposals (RFP) is announced by the federal government for all interested contractors. In awarding contracts, the government considers expertise as well as low pricing. By law, government agencies are required to make public calls for services to prevent unfair commercial favoritism.
The process of organizing complicated procurement projects and improving objectivity in supplier selection is made easy with an RFP. The detailed nature eliminates vendor risk. Government agencies follow suit. By issuing these Requests For Proposals (RFPs), the government entities ensure that contracts are awarded fairly because well-orchestrated spending on tax dollars happens transparently.
Two Types Of RFPs
There are basically two types of RFPs. One is an open, or public RFP. The other is a closed, or private, or invitation-only RFP.
Below are the differences between the two types of RFPs:
Many government agencies, from all the levels of federal, state, or cities, issue open RFPs to allow any qualified vendor the chance of being selected. These requests are typically downloadable and can be found on websites across America by anyone seeking information about them.
Government agencies are usually the ones to issue the most open RFPs. Some important facts are:
· Public-sector RFPs often require a particular format. For instance, they may specify that responses must be in table form with 12-point Times New Roman font. And there must be printed hard copies submitted to the authority on Request for Proposal (RFP).
· Government RFPs can be difficult to navigate, as they often prioritize price over other factors. The contract terms and conditions in these documents are extensive, which makes it hard for bidders with limited time or expertise to read them properly.
· Government agencies are always seeking the most efficient and cost-effective way to accomplish their goals. That is why they create public RFPs that are complex in requirements. To ensure fairness as well as transparency during bidding processes (and because it is necessary), regulation becomes all too important when dealing within these sectors.
Closed, or invitation-only RFPs have significant differences from open RFPs:
· The closed RFPs are usually issued by a niche organization or a consultant who is conducting a market search. The intent is to locate and select a group of vendors that can provide niche products or services. They are privately issued RFPs.
· These may be chosen from collected data gathered by a Request For Information (RFI), a Request For Qualifications (RFQ), or other factors such as the vendor’s reputation or expertise.
· A key benefit for organizations using a closed RFP process is that the selection process is speedier than it is for the open RFP, which naturally draws large numbers of respondents, many of whom are unqualified.
Two Ways To Find RFPs
With open RFPs, it is a matter of careful looking. With closed RFPs, it requires more work. Here are two ways to find RFPs:
Manual Search For RFPs
Searching manually for RFPs is the least costly way to locate attractive RFPs. By searching manually, vendors can comb the Web using a search engine such as Google or even a social media site such as LinkedIn.
There are many ways to find public RFPs, including the issuing organization’s website. They are usually listed under “publishing” or “procurement.” You can also search for these in newspapers and other local publications in your area as well.
Database Search For RFPs
Vendors can choose to subscribe to RFP databases. Vendors can use a number of websites that list government and private sector RFPs. The “RFP Database” is one such database. It is difficult, if not impossible, to find private RFPs. The issuing agency is not required to have its RFPs posted at all. This is because some companies intend to choose a select group of vendors who will work with them instead.
Both public and privately issued RFPs are great opportunities for vendors to gain profit and grow their companies. But they require some effort to find. These can be found manually or by subscribing to RFP databases.
A robust software application that can analyze a written proposal would prove useful for successful bidding. The Proposal & Contracts Suite, an out-of-the-box solution developed by Scion Analytics, can effectively check a proposal document’s data content for the full compliance that gains the award of a contract.