Understanding the difference between RFP and RFI can help you make strong selections when you need to outsource. Whether you’ve been outsourcing for a long time and want to find a more distinctive method of choosing contractors for the position, or you’re just getting started, the difference between the request for proposal, and the request for information, can make your job easier.
Think of the RFI (request for information) as the information step of probing. You’re looking for information that includes everything, such as rates, experience, and relevant reasons for the candidates’ application, and you can use this to get a sense of how well versed they are in the stages of good communication with potential clients. Any vendor who cannot adequately meet the expectations, or omits the necessary information, has indicated that they do not belong on the short list. Not all vendors consider a request for information to contain financial bartering, or even information, which can lead to miscommunication if you’re looking to find out how much it’s going to cost to fulfill your needs.
For financial arrangement considerations, you’d rather submit an RFP (request for proposal). This gives the particular contractor, or vendor, the clear understanding that you are looking to negotiate a contract with someone based on price and quality of delivery. In order to get an accurate response to the RFP, you have to be able to present the vendor with all of the project details.
It takes more effort to accurately request and receive the RFP versus the RFI. The communication abilities of both parties need to be applicable, and well versed. This is often the stage used for clarifying your expectations, and receiving assurances from the vendor or applicant that they can handle the project on your timetable, and your terms. This is a more of a complete and formal step, that can easily transition into the contract request.
There are advantages and disadvantages for each aspect. The RFI gives you the chance to toss out a broad net, fish for information, and gather recon without having to give out all of the project’s details. The RFP requires much more effort, as it is much narrower in terms of expectations and desires, and will always include financial information.
- RFI is broad, and does not necessarily require financial conversations to take place.
- RFP is just as much about price, as all other aspects.
- RFP requires more effort for both you and the prospective contractor.
- RFP slides easily into contract negotiation and project outlining.