What is the difference between an RFP and an RFQ?

You may decide to issue an RFP to multiple competiting website companies, but are you sure you know the differences between an RFP and an RFQ?

Many people often confuse the two and use a Request for Quotation when a Request for Proposal is what they should use.

Request for Quotation (RFQ)

You would issue a Request for Quotation (RFQ) when you know exactly what you need.

For example, let’s say you needed a server that would:

  • Run the Windows 2003 operating system
  • Support Exchange for E-mail
  • Is connected to a Microsoft SQL 2007 server

You would issue an RFQ based on these requirements, and then evaluate the bidders using various criterion (often price and experience).

Request for Proposal (RFP)

You would issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) when you know what you would like to accomplish, but aren’t married to any particular technology or implementation.

For example, your requirements might be:

  • Need a stable operating system
  • Need web-based e-mail
  • Need a relational database that supports transactions

Issuing a request such as this would solicit different proposals.

Hopefully, the RFP will give you a new implementation you never thought of, that saves you time and money.

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