Procurement Terminology Confusion
Procurement Terminology Confusion
By | E-Procurement Software
Do You Mean What Your Vendor Thinks You Mean?

If you work in the government sector or are answerable to federal or state agencies, you know that there are many acronyms associated with procurement. But when it comes to having a good rapport and smooth transactions with your suppliers, it’s important to make doubly sure that you both know what each other means when certain terms are used.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the common acronyms used in procurement and e-procurement transactions :

RFI (Request for Information) is usually the first step, in which you know vaguely what you need (or at least you know which supplier to contact for the solution) and you want more information about which solutions are available. The RFI is used with vendors you haven’t worked with before.

RFQ (Request for Quote) is the term used for the request you make when you have worked with the vendor before in the past and may even know exactly which products or solutions you’re looking for, but wish to find out how the vendor would meet your needs in terms of pricing and time.

RFP (Request for Proposal) is generally the most formal and structured of these three requests. This is the form you use when you need details about a complete solution, including a timeline and how (and how often) the vendor will communicate with you about the status of your order or project.

And then there’s the ITB (Invitation to Bid), which (in many cases) is basically synonymous with the RFQ, but which may be issued to multiple vendors for bidding on your project.

Why are these subtle differences important? For one thing, understanding the differences between these acronyms, and any others you may need to use with your vendors, is important for proper communication between your organization and your suppliers. Being clear about what you expect helps ensure that you actually get what you need. Second, if your organization is involved in government contracting, that distinction between these very similar requests becomes even more important.

E-procurement solutions can help you match the right request to the right need, which makes your record-keeping more accurate as well as helping you communicate more effectively with the vendor.

Eyvo can help you streamline your process for requesting quotations, which of course helps your ordering and all your other processes go more smoothly as well. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help with your RFI, RFQ and RFP processes.

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