Issue Date: 
Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Difference Between a RFI, RFQ and RFP

We are regularly asked what the difference is between a Request for Information (RFI), a Request for Proposal (RFP) and a Request for Quote (RFQ).

"RFX" is a term used, to refer to all 'Request For…' documents used to solicit responses, of various types, from suppliers. The three common documents are:

  • Request for Information (RFI)
  • Request for Proposal (RFP)
  • Request for Quote (RFQ)

According to the Government's eTenders portal (http://www.etenders.gov.za) the differences between RFQ's, RFI's and RFP's are as follows:

Request for Information (RFI)

An RFI is generally used when the solution to a business problem is not immediately evident or clearly defined. The RFI is used to gather information, NOT to make a selection or an award.
The Supply Chain Management Unit works with the Customer to:

  • Clearly describe the problem;
  • Solicit external expertise regarding how to solve the problem;
  • Study proposed solutions.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

An RFQ is used when the Customer understands the business problem and what's needed to solve it, including specifications and procedures. Price is usually not the determining factor in the evaluation of an RFP. Factors such as quality, service, and reputation are also taken into consideration.

Request for Quote (RFQ)

An RFQ is generally used to obtain pricing, delivery information, terms and conditions from suppliers. In this case, requestors have a clear understanding of what they need, including requirements and specifications. To procure the exact product or service needed, the Customer provides the Supply Chain Management Unit with as much information as possible, including complete specifications, quantities, and delivery schedule.

The common thread between all three types of "RFX" documents is that the Customer/Government Entity is not obliged to appoint a service provider on the results from issuing any of these requests. The best way to know that a tender award will be made is when you respond to a formal quotation or a competitive bid.

Normally a formal quotation will be for goods or services with a value of between R30,000-00 and R200,000-00 and a competitive bid will be for goods or services with a value exceeding R200,000-00.

To learn all you need to know to respond to tenders correctly, and hopefully successfully attend our How-to-Tender workshops. Visit our website www.how2tender.com to find out more and to register. For more information on the tender courses please email Werner at werner@how2tender.com.

This article was written by Werner van Rooyen, Director of HowToTender (Pty) Ltd. which specializes in tender consulting and tender training.

Title Closing Date Tender No.
Paediatric Negative Pressure Chest Drainage Bag Xl200 -With A Collection Chamber Of 400ml & A Compact Hanger. Must Have Accurate Volume Measurement, A Large Diameter Drainage Tap, A Needle Free Sampling Port. 2018-08-28 11:00 ZNQ NO.1861/ 07/ 18
Placement or Outright purchase of an automated scanning and imaging system for Cytogentics and Fish Diagnostic tests 2018-09-11 11:00 RFB 0088/ 17/ 18
Brother Printer Drum Unit. Dr3215 (Original Only) 2018-08-28 11:00 ZNQ NO.2145/ 07/ 18
Provision of panel of auditors nationally to the NHLS for a period of three (3) years. 2018-09-11 11:00 RFB 073/ 18/ 19
Appointment of a service provider to supply and erect trellis system for Coboop Irrigation Project, situated under Khai-Ma Local Municipality in the Namakwa District, Northern Cape Province 2018-09-07 11:00 5/ 2/ 2/ 1 NC RDLR- 0003(2018/ 2019)
Extremity Drape - Size 220cm X 320cm, Spunbond Drape With Laminated Spun Bond Under Leg Area To Ensure Impervious Nature, Integrated Velcro Cable Holders, Loose Non-Slip Pad Included, Sterile, Single Packed, With Expiry & Package Date, Latex Free, Water Proof. 2018-08-28 11:00 ZNQ NO.1845/ 07/ 18
Placement or Outright purchase of Point of Care Troponin Analyser in Kwazulu Natal region for a period of (3) three years 2018-09-10 11:00 RFB 068/ 18/ 19
Sterile Needles for Injection 30g 1/2 “ 0.3 X 13mm 2018-08-28 11:00 ZNQ NO.1814/ 07/ 18
Placement or Outright purchase of Automated Glass Coverslipper for Universitas for a period of (3) three years 2018-09-11 11:00 RFB 072/ 18/ 19
Spring Loaded Biopsy Needle, 14g X 20cm W 2018-08-28 11:00 ZNQ NO.1821/ 07/ 18
Hard, Plastic, Blue Scissor Clamps with Locking Ability for Clamping Lines 2018-08-28 11:00 ZNQ NO.1820/ 07/ 18
The Gauteng Department of Health invites of proposal from qualified medical doctors to perform Voluntary Medical Circumcision (VMMC) service as will be determined by the Department for a period of Three (3) years. 2018-08-31 11:00 GT/ GDH/ 099/ 2018
Supply: 300 units - Cannula manual vacuum aspiration size: 6mm; 250 units - Cannula manual vacuum aspiration size: 7mm; 100 units - Cannula Manual vacuum aspiration size: 8mm; 50 units - Syringe manual and vacuum aspiration double valve autoclavable to 121 degrees celsius 2018-08-29 11:00 356/ 18
Disposable Endoscopic Bite Blocks, 2cm Opening In Diameter & 48 French Depth, with Side Holes for Suctioning, Head Strap Inclusive. 2018-08-28 11:00 ZNQ NO.1819/ 07/ 18
Bid for the supply and delivery of pet bottles used for sugar and salt solution to assist with alleviating diarrhoea. These bottles to be supplied and delivered to various sub-structures and districts under the control of The Department of Health: Western Cape Government for a two year period. 2018-09-14 11:00 WCGHCC033/ 2018
Arterial Line Single Transducer Dtx Plus 2018-08-28 11:00 ZNQ NO.1786/ 07/ 18
Ultra Sound Assisted Liposuction Machine with an Infiltration Pump with a Variety Of Sizes Of Infiltration and Suction Cannulas. 2018-08-28 11:00 ZNQ NO.1659/ 06/ 17
Supply 3000 Units - Nebulizer Oxygen mask for peads 2018-08-29 11:00 ZNQ 318/ 18
Supply: Swabs gauze 100 X 100MM X 8Ply - non-sterile (200 PKTS X 6 months) 2018-08-24 11:00 ZNQ 435/ 18
Locking Pigtail Drain Sets - 8fr 10fr & 12fr - 25cm. 2018-08-28 11:00 ZNQ NO.1542/ 06/ 18

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7 Disadvantages of Competitive Bidding

The bidding process can be very tedious sometimes. Here are some of the disadvantages of the bidding process.

1.    Leading suppliers may not tender

In Australia, for example, government procurement guidelines only allow suppliers who actually tender to be considered for a procurement decision. If the leading supplier or suppliers do not tender, the purchaser can only consider bids from suppliers who do tender. If leading suppliers are not considered, the purchaser may end up buying inferior product or service... Read More

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