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difference bwtween RFI / RFP / RFQ

What is the difference bwtween RFI / RFP / RFQ .

Can anybody give an example ?

Regards ,


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3 Answers

  • Sep 08, 2010 at 02:11 PM

    RFI u2013 Request for Information

    An open enquiry that spans the market seeking broad data and understanding.

    RFQ u2013 Request for Quotation

    An opportunity for potential suppliers to competitively cost the final chosen solution(s).

    RFP u2013 Request for Proposal

    Sometimes based on a prior RFI; a business requirements-based request for specific solutions to the sourcing problem.

    Request for Information (RFI)

    As the name suggests, RFIu2019s gather information to help decide what step to take next. RFIu2019s are therefore seldom the final stage, but instead are often used in conjunction with the other 3 requests detailed in this article.

    An RFI is a solicitation sent to a broad base of potential suppliers for the purpose of conditioning, gathering information, preparing for an RFP or RFQ, developing strategy, or building a database about:

    The suppliers, including: facilities, finances, attitudes, and motivations

    The state of the supply market

    Supply market dynamics

    Trends and factors driving change

    Alternative pricing strategies

    Supplier competition

    Breadth and width of product/service offerings, by supplier

    Supplier strategic focus, business, and product plans

    RFIs may include a detailed list of products/services for which pricing is requested. The pricing should be used for comparative purposes, not as the basis of buying decisions. Through analysis of RFI responses, strategic options, lower cost alternatives, and cost reduction opportunities may be identified.

    Request for Quotation (RFQ)

    RFQu2019s are best suited to products and services that are as standardised and as commoditised as possible. Why? To make the suppliersu2019 quotes comparable.

    An RFQ is a solicitation sent to potential suppliers containing in exacting detail a list or description of all relevant parameters of the intended purchase, such as:

    Personnel skills or competencies

    Part descriptions/specifications or numbers


    Description or drawings

    Quality levels

    Request for Proposal (RFP)

    An RFP is a solicitation sent to potential suppliers with whom a creative relationship or partnership is being considered. Typically, the RFP leaves all or part of the precise structure and format of the response to the discretion of the suppliers. Indeed, the creativity and innovation that suppliers choose to build into their proposals may be used to distinguish one from another.

    Effective RFPs typically reflect the strategy and short/long-term business objectives, providing detailed insight upon which suppliers will be able to offer a perspective. If there are specific problems to be addressed in the RFP response, those are described along with whatever root cause assessment is available.

    While specific data, offerings and quotations may be sought, questions about the following will make up a significant portion of both an RFT an RFP:

    The specific items on which the suppliers are proposing

    Business requirements

    Performance measures



    Instructions on how to reply

    Due date

    How will we evaluate how feedback will work

    Describe the process for selection

    Request for cost breakdown (sometimes)

    Communication: cover letter (sets the stage), calls in advance

    Who to contact with questions

    Addressee - chosen carefully

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    Former Member
    Sep 08, 2010 at 04:17 PM
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    Former Member
    Apr 17, 2014 at 09:37 PM


    RFI : Request for Information

    RFQ : Request for Quotation

    RFP: Request for Proposal

    well, in RFI a state, county or any agency would ask for information from potential vendors for a specific solution it is looking for. For Eg: if an agency wants to implement an ERP solution it would raise a RFI.

    SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, etc., will state about their product and generally they DONT talk about the pricing. NO SPECIFICS on the Pricing.

    in RFQ and RFP, they ask for specifics on a solution with Pricing, delivery methodology etc etc.

    the difference between them is thin: one can respond to RFQ only when asked for.

    But if a specific company has a great product which is innovative and there are no competitors yet, that company can voluntarily propose a solution to an agency & that is RFP.

    Hope this helps.



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