Using a request for proposal template can greatly simplify the process of creating a document to send to vendors and suppliers as a means of requesting bids for products or services needed by your company.
About Request for Proposal Templates
While there is no one specific form that a request for proposal (RFP) must follow, there are certain types of information that need to be included in such documents. By starting the writing process by reviewing a template that includes headings for appropriate content for a request for proposal, you won't have to spend your time creating a basic outline from scratch. Instead, you can look at a complete list of possible content and make an informed decision about what to include in your own RFP. Simply choose headings that make sense for your project and add additional sections as appropriate.
RFP Content Sections
Content sections often contained in requests for proposal include:
Title page - RFP documents typically begin with a title page that specifies the name of the particular request and the name of the company requesting bids. It often includes the company's logo, telephone number, website address, and physical location.
Signature page - The signature page should be a form for person submitting the request to sign and return with the bid. The language should specify that the individual has the right to submit a RFP on behalf of the company he or she is representing.
Table of contents - A table of contents should be located at the front of the RFP that provides details about the information prospective bidders can find in the document. It should include a listing by topic complete with page numbers.
Schedule of events and deadlines - RFP should clearly state the deadline for final submission as well as any other relevant dates. For example, if there is a proposers' conference or cutoff date for submitting requests for clarification, those dates should be specified.
Terms and conditions - The RFP should provide potential vendors with details of all applicable terms and conditions, including payment terms, conditions under which an agreement can be terminated, insurance and bond requirements, and other relevant standard and special circumstances that may apply.
Details of request - Clearly define exactly what it is you are asking bidders to provide for pricing and delivery information. Information included in this section are facts such as:
- Relevant definitions
- Purpose or intent of the request
- Relevant background
- Duration of award or term of contract
- Payment method
- Technical specifications
- Scope of work
- Project management procedures
- Summary of deliverables required
- Budget format
- Ongoing support and maintenance
Vendor requirements - Provide details on any requirements vendors must comply with in order to be eligible to provide products or services. This section may include experience requirements, licensure, accreditation, and other mandatory qualifications.
References - Vendors may be asked to provide a certain number of references who can attest to the company's experience or quality of service. Specify the type of information bidders need to provide, including company name and contact person, contact information, length of relationship, and type of services or products provided.
Financial - In some cases, bidders are asked to provide documentation demonstrating they have financial stability to honor their proposals.
Submission requirements - Provide details about the format that should be used for submitted bids. You can specify details like the type face and font and the type of document format to be used. Many RFPs also specify the manner in which proposals should be turned in, such as hand-delivery, certified mail, or other methods.
Create Your Own RFP
You can use this request for proposal template as a starting point for drafting your own document. Include sections that make sense in the context of your needs, and add additional sections as appropriate. Review additioanl RFP samples for more ideas and information.
Before sending the finished product to suppliers and vendors, proofread carefully. Make sure you have provided all information necessary and that bidders can easily tell exactly what it is you are asking them to provide.