What does RFx stand for

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How to define a successful enterprise software project?

Managing all of the expectations before beginning to work on a project can be challenging. When a project is being outsourced, you need to establish what exactly you would like the team to do. To help with that, there is an entire system dedicated to that called RFx (Request For x). It envelops the whole request procedure, provides information on specific companies and helps with the management of negotiations between businesses.

RFx process helps with making an appraisal of many elements of an outsourcing company such as their location, experience, infrastructure, potential, competence, etc. You need to make a careful examination of such businesses, as it would be the best for your project if you outsource to a company that is reliable and capable of achieving what you need.

What is the “x” in RFx?

It stands for the type of request you can make for your potential outsourcing company you would like to employ. It is one of the following:

  • Request for bid (RFB),
  • Request for information (RFI),
  • Request for proposal (RFP),
  • Request for quotation (RFQ),
  • Request for tender (RFT).

All of these requests must contain thorough documentation, provided for the outsourcing company. Sometimes companies have staff that exclusively handles such requests. All of them have different purposes and guidelines for submission.

Types of requests

RFx (Request for x)

Request for bid (RFB) Request for information (RFI) Request for proposal (RFP) Request for quotation (RFQ) Request for tender (RFT)
– Invitation for prospects to bid on service

– Not a binding agreement

– Also called invitation to bid

– Gathers info for potential suppliers

– Used for major IT purchases

– Usually precedes RFP or a request for offer

– Document posted to bids from vendors

– Contains evaluation criteria

– Used for complex IT projects to boost competition

– Document containing quotes about a product or service

– Seeks a list of prices

– Used for simpler IT projects

– Invitation for suppliers to submit bid

– Specifies the services and timeframe

– Usually for a legally standardized structure

Request for information

RFI is an RFx element that helps you with an assessment of your supplier’s efficiency. It is a standard procedure that has its use in gathering information on the software development businesses you’d like to cooperate with. To create such a request, you can use an RFI template.

Most often it contains a few pages with detailed information about the supplier’s expertise, the capacity of their team, their previous projects, etc. It does not propose an arrangement, only informs that you are interested in a particular company’s achievements and specifics.
You can analyse the outsourcing companies with special comparison tools.

It can then be followed by the next RFx part – an RFP.

Request for proposal

You use the RFP when you don’t know a solution to your problem, and you want the software developers to pitch in. In the RFx, it usually follows the information request. It introduces the supplier to your company’s needs in detail. Basing on those, the software development team you outsource to can start developing a project. It should provide all of the necessary information straightforwardly; you need the RFP to lay out your requirements effectively.

The RFP addresses your needs, and it can be considered as a suggestion of your interest in working with a specific software developer.
Again – you can use an RFP template to make such requests. A solid RFP can help you develop relationships with outsourcing companies, as they get to know the necessities they need to cover. It can result in a cost-reimbursable contract, in contrast to a request for bid, which always results in a fixed-price.
With RFP, companies are encouraged to bring something unique to the table and might win the deal, even if their pricing is higher than others.

Request for quotation

You use a request for quotation when you need to know the price of the solution. You know all your needs, the product you want, and you send it to the suppliers. Issuing such request usually means that the businesses who need outsourcing are prepared for the purchase.
It also includes other details, apart from the price, such as the method of payment, deadline and other similar specifics. You should make that request to be as specific and detailed as you can.

Request for bid

An invitation to bid is used when the project is predictable, and the company has a complete understanding of the processes and procedures needed to go through with to achieve the goal. It requires providing an in-depth, detailed guideline. It typically results with some fixed-price deal.

It is actually enforced by law for most of the projects to use invitations for bid on all of their work to keep the bidding process as fair, transparent and bias-free as possible.

Request for tender

An RFT is similar to RFP, although they have a few key differences. It contains similar information, but more specific, though it is put out to the public as an open invitation for bidders to send their offers. It sits between the RFQ, which is highly detailed and the RFP, which covers a broader spectrum.

The major difference between that and the RFP is that an RFT is open to the public.

The role RFx plays in enterprise software development

That system is a convenient method of finding and making a deal with a desired software development company. It provides useful information as to who will do the job, and on that basis, you can select a company that fits your requirements the best.

It is a crucial step of every outsourcing endeavour you go on, as getting the best specialists to work on your project is immensely important. The enterprise software development sector is constantly changing and evolving. It’s getting faster, more automated and the applications are getting better. You need to be up-to-date and know which technologies fit you the best.

The RFx system provides all of the data required in a few weeks. Without it, it would take months. Sourcing Teams can share and compare suppliers’ responses through that system; it allows for quicker assessment and faster decision-making.

The RFx lets you collaborate on a bigger scale, as all of the involved members of a project such as the suppliers, stakeholders and the team get to share information, run internal surveys, ask questions and provide feedback.