18 Oct Back to Basics – A Tendering Glossary
By Christine Brown, Tuesday 18th October 2016
For those new to the world of bids and tenders, the acronyms commonly used can be confusing enough on their own to send people running. For those dipping their feet into the tendering world, or even a reminder for those already experienced in Tendering, here is a basic glossary guide:
RFI – Stands for ‘Request for Information’ this is often the first part of a multi-stage tendering process. The Client will request some basic information about the Supplier in order to filter out anyone who doesn’t meet their requirements. Commonly they will want to know basics such as company address, company number, finance figures such as turnover, insurance levels and some generic info about possible products and services you can supply. They may ask for details about a particular subject that is of importance to them as a company, such as environmental targets or quality management systems. Successfully passing this stage will lead to an invitation to participate in an RFP, RFQ or ITT.
RFP – This is a ‘Request for Proposal’, and often the contents will cross over with an RFQ. You will commonly be asked to provide responses to a Client’s requirements and produce a proposal document detailing your proposed solution and pricing. Success at this stage will result in various next steps depending on the Client, you may be invited to present your proposal to a board, or be invited to an ITT stage, or you may go straight to contract award.
RFQ – A ‘Request for Quotation’ often is issued as an alternative to an RFP as they will usually request similar information. In an RFQ the primary element is often pricing, although this isn’t always the case and you will often be asked to also write responses to requirements as well as submitting pricing. As with an RFP, success at this stage will result in various next steps depending on the Client, you may be invited to present your proposal to a board, or be invited to an ITT stage, or you may go straight to contract award.
ITT – An ‘Invitation to Tender’ tends to have the largest amount of work required to respond to. As the final stage of a written tendering process, it is here that Clients will want to know every last detail about your product or service offering and how your company works. It is likely you will be asked for evidence of policies and procedures as well as references and pricing. While some ITTs can be shorter, it isn’t uncommon to be supplied with multiple documents of over 100 pages. The key is not to be intimidated by this, as many will just be for your information. Set aside some time to read through the documents and list what needs a response. And if it is still intimidating call Bid and Tender Support for assistance on 01908 382414, because success at this stage will lead to a contract award which could grow your company’s success!