request for proposal (RFP)

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An application for proposals (RFP) is a document used by a firm or government for bidding of suppliers that are involved in a project, acquisition, manufacturing or service delivery (Bovée & Thill, 2016). RFP illustrates suppliers or suppliers’ ability to meet the relevant project requirements. The first part of the offer is the context of the business, which includes its history, goods or services and the essence of its industry. The second aspect is the requisite human, financial, material and technical resources for project completion. The final part is the statement of work or a work breakdown structure that shows different phases for the project and preferable timeline.
Several factors make it necessary to offer a request for proposal. For example, when the project is complex, an organization should issue a request for proposal to identify bidders with best solutions (Bovée & Thill, 2016). Besides, government agencies should offer a request for proposal to lower the cost of the project and increase open competition. Therefore, the proposal ensures that only competitive bidders win the project thereby promoting quality products or services.

Developing a request for proposal follows a simple procedure. The initial stage involves conducting research on the project and defining information useful to the bidders (Bovée & Thill, 2016). Secondly, the company or agency identifies a suitable strategy or channel for publicizing and distributing information. For example, the company can use its website to post all information about the project and the bidding process. Thirdly, there is the creation of a timeline for receiving the proposals, selecting suppliers, and awarding tenders. Finally, the company should possess evaluation criteria for identifying the best applicants.

Organizations need RFP to inform suppliers on the ongoing projects and the required materials. It enables organizations and government agencies to identify competitive suppliers at low costs. It is done through bidding process. When formulating RFP, companies should determine an effective strategy for publicizing information on the project and evaluating the applicants.


Bovée, C. L., & Thill, J. V. (2016). Business communication today. (13th ed.).Boston: Pearson.

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