What is a Request for Information?
A request for information (RFI) is a formal way of requesting information of various kinds from different suppliers. Most likely with the aim for future deliveries of products or services. The RFI is normally a document containing a description on why the information is requested and a specification to what information that actually is requested. The RFI is mainly used if you need to involve a supplier in a new project or if you want to scan the market for other and better potential suppliers. The number of suppliers that are available could be huge, and the RFI creates a structured process to narrowing down the longlist of suppliers to a smaller number of interesting suppliers: the shortlist. When having a shortlist it is possible to go for the next step, an RFP or RFQ.
When to use a Request for Information?
It is a good idea to use an RFI when you have a lot of potential suppliers and/or you do not have the information you need about them.
Distinction between the Request For Proposal (RFP) and the RFI
The difference between the RFI and RFP is that the RFI is just for requesting information, while the RFP is a request to really get a proposal on how the supplier would like to design or choose a component or create a service to you. The RFQ is on the other hand a request to actually get a price on a product. This is something you do not usually do in an RFI.
Benefits of an RFI
- Information is gathered in a formal, structured and comparable way.
- Suppliers understand that there is a competition going on.
- You show that you try to act without a prejudice or with a preferred supplier.
- You get a formal reply from the suppliers
What to include in the RFI?
This is a suggestion of a table of contents to an RFI. To download a full template, scroll down and click on the link.
Table of contents
Introduction and purpose of the RFI
Abbreviation and terminology
· How to deliver the answer
Background description of what is requested
· Of [your company]
· Of the context in which the product or service will be used
· Statement of need
Conditions which will be terms for future RFPs or RFQs
Form to fill in as answer to the RFI
Bear in mind that the section regarding confidentiality obligations is very important. Especially if a non disclosure agreement is not signed.
Download free template of an RFI
This RFI template assist you when putting together the RFI. It is a word file which contains a form that includes instructions and sample information. It will hopefully save you time and make sure that you do not forget anything. If you are uncertain of how to write, need an example or want to know what an RFI is, then download and take a look. It is free!
|Click to download a free template of a Request For Information (RFI)|