RFx – What’s the difference between RFI, RFP and RFQ?

RFx – What’s the difference between RFI, RFP and RFQ?

RFx events are an essential element of a successful procurement process. With e-procurement systems like Procurehere they’re also a catalyst for significant cost reduction. RFI, RFP and RFQ are terms which refer to the different requests falling under the RFx umbrella.

It’s easy to get caught up in the jargon and forget that understanding and implementing these events at the right stage of the process is vital to a positive outcome. At Procurehere we’re committed to making things simple, so here’s a simple guide to the difference between RFI, RFP and RFQ.

Let’s start at the top. RFx stands for ‘request for X’. It’s a term that encompasses the various stages of the requesting process. When we refer to RFx, we reference the formal requesting process that covers RFI, RFP, and RFQ.

RFI stands for ‘request for information’. The clue with this one is really in the name! It’s often used in the early stages of a procurement process, where buyers are keen to discover relevant information from potential suppliers.

The purpose of an RFI is to gather submitted information in order to compare suppliers to see who might be suitable for further parts of a procurement process. It is traditionally undertaken in the planning stage of a project.

RFP stands for ‘request for proposal’. An RFP is a request by buyers for potential suppliers to come up with a proposal for a project. These requests are often used when a buyer has an understanding of the outcome they want, but are uncertain of the best way to undertake it.

RFPs tend to be more open than RFIs, allowing a supplier to provide their own suggestions around how they would design and complete a particular project.

RFQ stands for ‘request for quote’. An RFQ is similar to an RFP but with a more defined scope setting out the needs of a buyer. It will often have a formal list of work, supplies and equipment required for a project, that suppliers will then submit costs for.

An RFQ is positioned more firmly in the competitive bidding process of supplier requests. This is typically used when a buyer knows what they want, and are looking for how suppliers would deliver to meet those requirements.

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