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A Request for Proposal (RFP) is
an invitation for vendors to submit a proposal for a specific product or service. RFPs are usually designed to get vendors to provide a creative solution to a business problem or requirement.
(1) a request to the vendor community which requires submission of credential and a formal plan addressing the needs that have been set forth in the solicitation. (2) a request for vendors which invites submission of a formal plan to address the needs that have been set forth in the solicitation.
used to solicit proposals from the bidding community based on a set of defined requirements. The requirements may be general in nature allowing the bidders to propose a solution and the specific products to be used. The RFP describes the problem requirements, contractual terms, and required format for the proposal responses. The RFP also includes the specific criteria which will be used to evaluate the received proposals.
Plan the project in terms of cost schedule, functional requirements, and resource requirements.
Develop a "baseline" that represents a current "as is" description of the affected environment in terms of current cost, inventory of systems, and services.
Develop a "needs assessment" which describes management’s assumptions on how to more effectively serve its customers.
Determine the future requirements by analyzing anticipated needs and project objectives.
Determine the disparity between the current environment and the future requirements in order to identify the gaps that need to be filled to get from the current environment to the desired environment.
The various tasks that comprise the baseline activity are designed to establish a clear picture of the goal and objective of the procurement. In addition, a detailed understanding of the current environment is typically established in order to determine if there is a gap between the current environment and future needs. Finally, this
baseline understanding of cost and service levels is useful in conducting a cost/benefit or return on investment analysis.
Develop the Statement of Work — a technical document that outlines basic requirements.
Proposal preparation tasks are focused on defining the requirements, which are then presented in the form of a Statement of Work or similar document. The Statement of Work indicates desired services, the roles and responsibilities of each party, and the required service levels or performance standards.
Proposal due date. (Generally, according to industry practices, service providers need four weeks to respond comprehensively to anything other than simple undertakings. Less time may result in poorer, less innovative and probably costlier solutions.)