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A Guide to the Request for Quotation (RFQ) Process

A request for quote (RFQ) is a formal business process that an organization uses to elicit a price quote from a prospective supplier. It allows the potential buyer to receive cost estimates from one or more businesses for specific products or services, enabling them to make a more informed purchasing decision. These are often available on a supplier’s website in a digital format, making it easy for the potential buyer to download the document and provide the necessary specifications.

request for quote comparison
From the buyer’s perspective, RFQs are particularly useful when the objective is to compare price estimates across multiple suppliers. This expedites the selection process and allows the buyer to quickly review bids and choose the supplier that offers the best price. When filling out an RFQ, it is important to provide the relevant information that will allow the supplier to accurately quote the job or parts to be provided. The following fields are typically included in an RFQ form:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Company name
  • Product specifications and attached drawings
  • Quantity required
  • Pricing details (price per unit, total price, etc.)
  • Quality requirements
  • Deliverable details
  • Additional notes

fields to include in rfq form

Considerations for the RFQ Process

A well-constructed RFQ should be straightforward in design, allowing the potential buyer to provide their needs to the supplier in a clear and concise way.

Step One: Preparing Your RFQ

As a prospective buyer, an effectively designed RFQ will save you  and your Suppliers substantial time and effort in the long run. To get the most accurate quote from the supplier, your RFQ should include the following design elements:

  • Clear instructions on how to complete the RFQ
  • Identification of the due date
  • Highlighting mandatory vs optional information requirements
  • Hover over comments and instructions on how to complete each data element
  • Clear instructions on how to send in the RFQ
  • Ability to attach documents / drawings by the Supplier

Step Two: Distributing Your RFQ

The completed RFQs should be distributed to the potential suppliers, making sure to provide them with adequate time to review your specifications. During this time, be prepared to answer questions and share additional information to suppliers if needed.  Once RFQ responses start coming in, keep track of the submissions and set aside some time to thoroughly review each bid.

Step Three: Making a Final Decision

After reaching the deadline for receiving bids, each supplier’s response should be closely evaluated to determine the best supplier quote for each part or service. If a pricing template was used, comparing bids and agreement terms across multiple suppliers will be fairly straightforward.

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Having an automated solution to collect and compare supplier quotes is the best practice and most efficient way to do this. Once the most qualified supplier is chosen, a notification or purchase order should be created to finalize the agreement.

Step Four: Closing

During this phase, a closing contract containing the information outlined in the initial RFQ is finalized and signed. Any remaining negotiations (packaging, pricing, deliverables, etc.) should be discussed and settled. After the contract is signed, the other suppliers should be notified that another selection has been made.

Request for Quotation Templates

The format of RFQ forms will differ depending on the industry, the type or volume of products being purchased, and the level of detail required. Use these RFQ templates as a reference to help build your own. The RFQ form depends on a number of factors, from the products being purchased to the level of detail required. Below are some RFQ templates that you may find useful:

Product Information Basic RFQ template – This sample contains a very basic RFQ template that contains supplier and issuer information fields, and a line item with a required bid price by the supplier.
Product Information Multiple items with Unit of Measurement and Quantity – This sample contains a more detailed RFQ template with the ability to add multiple line items, currency, unit of measurement and notes.
Product Information Detailed manufacturing RFQ Template – This sample allows the supplier to fill out raw materials, assembly, tooling costs, country of origin information and more.

QStrat offers these sample templates at no charge. We have many templates in our library that are designed for specific commodities and industries.  Please contact us to review our full suite of RFQ forms.

Software Solutions for RFQs and Quoting

QStrat offers specialized RFQ software solutions to simplify the sourcing and quoting process, so clients avoid the time-consuming process of manually tracking and organizing multiple bid submissions. Our easy-to-use software streamlines and integrates the entire process from start to finish, allowing all bids to be received and reviewed in a consolidated and easy-to-navigate platform. Our specific product offerings include:

  • QLM Distributor Quoting: Our QLM Distributor Quoting software allows Distributors to instantly build an RFQ event from customer-provided item attributes and part details. It also allows suppliers to be systematically assigned based on SKU requirements and supplier capabilities, eliminating the need for searching through files or past events. It provides suppliers with all relevant supporting information to ensure quality responses and accurate quoting. And finally it provides the ability to markup Suppllier quotes and send a quote to your Customer.
  • QLM Sourcing: Our QLM Sourcing software allows Manufacturers to more efficient manage the Supplier Sourcing process by automating the routing and tracking of RFQs with built-in automated workflow tools. It provides an organized, secure repository of all quote data (attached documents and drawings, supplementary notes, etc.) that can be quickly navigated.

Contact QStrat for Our Innovative Solutions

A well-constructed RFQ is an excellent way for potential buyers to communicate their specific requirements and invite suppliers to submit bids for consideration. However, effectively managing and responding to multiple bids can quickly become overwhelming.

By standardizing and automating the RFQ process using quoting and sourcing software, buyers can submit requests to multiple suppliers and receive bids in a format that allows for quick and easy comparisons.

At QStrat, we understand the unique challenges associated with sourcing and quoting in today’s complex and competitive marketplace. To help simplify the process, we have developed innovative, user-centric quoting software and services designed to fit the needs of various industries. Our integrated quoting solutions provide everything you need in a single consolidated interface, making it easier to compare information and make well-informed decisions.

To learn more about how interactive PDF forms and QLM Sourcing can dramatically simply your RFQ process, read more about how to simplify and automate using RFQ software.

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