Winning the deal with successful RFP process

RFP Process

You can see the process flow of distributing an RFP and choosing the winning vendor. The process steps are as follow –

RFP info gathering:

the SC (Supply Chain) understands the requirements of the product / service from the project (the PM, COO, Engineering, etc.), and begins writing the RFP according to the template explained above.

Identify intended audience:

after putting together a final draft of the RFP, the SC needs to identify which vendors are capable of delivering the product / service.

Approve RFP draft (decision):

The PM reviews and approves the draft that will be sent out to the potential vendors. Specifically they need to approve the technical requirements, deliverable and timeline. If it isn’t approved then the draft returns to step #1 for re-drafting.

Align draft to legal standards:

the legal team need to review the draft and make sure that it is according to the legal standards and that the company is covered from a legal contractual standpoint.

Allocate funds:

The finance division needs to approve the budget stated in the RFP, and allocate sufficient funds.

Approve distribution (decision):

the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) or key stakeholder of the project approve distributing the RFP to the vendors. If the distribution isn’t approved, it returns to step #1 for re-drafting.

Distribute RFP:

The buyer from the SC distributes the RFP to the vendors.

Conduct initial filtering:

The buyer conducts the initial filtering of the vendors, leaving only those who meet the minimal standards of the RFP.

Agree on short list:

The PM (along with their top-team) review the list of vendors approved by the SC, and choose the top 3-5 vendors.

Perform due diligence:

The legal team check the vendors on the short list, to make sure that they are who they say they are.

Re-distribute for best and final offer:

The buyer contacts the vendors on the short list, and apprises them that they made the first cut. They then give them an opportunity to improve their quote. The buyer can also share with them where their quote stands in comparison with the other vendors. For example: your quote is second best out of five.

Recommend bid winner:

After the best and final offer was returned, the PM makes their recommendation of the chosen bid.

Approve funds (decision):

The finance division needs to allocate the appropriate funds to pay the vendor. If there aren’t sufficient funds, the PM can choose a vendor with a lower quote, or stop the process completely.

Approve winning bid (decision):

The CEO or key stakeholder approve the bid, if appropriate funds exist. If the bid isn’t approved, the PM needs to choose another vendor or stop the process completely.

Sign contract with the vendor:

the legal team officially signs the contract with the winning vendor.

Monitor vendors’ progress:

The PM and team monitor the progress of the product / service to make sure that it is as agreed, covering all aspects.