Requesting for products or services from vendors can be simply done by making request for proposal. You can provide some requirements of the product that you need so that the bidders can make a great response for your proposal to suit your requirements. Sometimes it is uneasy to end up with a nice request for proposal to let the bidders understand what you really need and want from them. Here are some sections you have to put in your request for proposal and how to write them.
• Introduction and Background. The very first thing you should write in your proposal is introduction because your clients need to know what business you are doing, who your customers are, what do you want from them and why do you need that. List some goals that you have set by using the product or service that you need from the bidders so that they can address them in their responses.
• Submission Deadlines and Requirements. This part is very important since it explains what kind of company or vendors you are looking for. For example, you only receive proposals from those who have experiences in this project before so that the bidders who don’t have experience can step back from writing responses. You can determine how the proposal should be formatted and whether or not a technical proposal required. It is fine for you to request a technical proposal separately by limiting the number of pages to allow you easily evaluate them. A price proposal is also needed and you can decide how the information should be provided. It can be detail with each item is listed with price or it can be simple with fixed price. Some bidders might have some terms and conditions so include statements that an appendix is allowed for covering all of them. Also, decide the deadline for the responses to ensure the bidders can make submission before the date. You should provide how long the evaluation and negotiation will take before deciding which company you want to work with. The length of this part depends on the complexity of the project, so suit it with your need.
• Project Description. Provide some purposes of why you want this project to finish. It could be because you need certain products or services for running your business. You can explain you’re the current situations in your business so that the bidders can understand why you really need the project done. The second part in this section is the description of your project in general based on the purposes and goals. Your bidders might use different approaches and you can evaluate them from this point.
• Project Scope. Now it’s the time to explain about the project description in more detail by setting some criteria the bidders should cover for winning this project. There are two types of criteria, first is the criteria the bidders should cover in order to successfully finish the project and the second is the acceptance of criteria, which is usually needed for projects with fixed-price. You need to ensure that you get what you paid for by determining each phase should be completed in the project.
• Project Timelines. Describe more in a table about the deadline of the request for proposal, when the notification made and negotiation started and the date of the contract. Each phase should be put in a table with the date written side by side.
• Budget. Let the bidders know how much budget your company has provided for this project to suit it with their requirements in bidding.
• Evaluation Factors. Tell the bidders what parts you will evaluate in the request for proposal. This will help the bidders to provide what they should cover for getting a good evaluation and rate from you. List some factors including the total cost of ownership, which is not only about the cost required for the project, but also how much the cost for maintaining the product.
It is not easy to prepare a good proposal that covers what you really need from the potential vendors. Sometimes it’s not that the vendors don’t understand what you need, but it’s because you can’t explain to them properly in your proposal. So ensure you do it right to get end it right as well.
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