Issue Date: 
Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Difference Between a RFI, RFQ and RFP

We are regularly asked what the difference is between a Request for Information (RFI), a Request for Proposal (RFP) and a Request for Quote (RFQ).

"RFX" is a term used, to refer to all 'Request For…' documents used to solicit responses, of various types, from suppliers. The three common documents are:

  • Request for Information (RFI)
  • Request for Proposal (RFP)
  • Request for Quote (RFQ)

According to the Government's eTenders portal (http://www.etenders.gov.za) the differences between RFQ's, RFI's and RFP's are as follows:

Request for Information (RFI)

An RFI is generally used when the solution to a business problem is not immediately evident or clearly defined. The RFI is used to gather information, NOT to make a selection or an award.
The Supply Chain Management Unit works with the Customer to:

  • Clearly describe the problem;
  • Solicit external expertise regarding how to solve the problem;
  • Study proposed solutions.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

An RFQ is used when the Customer understands the business problem and what's needed to solve it, including specifications and procedures. Price is usually not the determining factor in the evaluation of an RFP. Factors such as quality, service, and reputation are also taken into consideration.

Request for Quote (RFQ)

An RFQ is generally used to obtain pricing, delivery information, terms and conditions from suppliers. In this case, requestors have a clear understanding of what they need, including requirements and specifications. To procure the exact product or service needed, the Customer provides the Supply Chain Management Unit with as much information as possible, including complete specifications, quantities, and delivery schedule.

The common thread between all three types of "RFX" documents is that the Customer/Government Entity is not obliged to appoint a service provider on the results from issuing any of these requests. The best way to know that a tender award will be made is when you respond to a formal quotation or a competitive bid.

Normally a formal quotation will be for goods or services with a value of between R30,000-00 and R200,000-00 and a competitive bid will be for goods or services with a value exceeding R200,000-00.

To learn all you need to know to respond to tenders correctly, and hopefully successfully attend our How-to-Tender workshops. Visit our website www.how2tender.com to find out more and to register. For more information on the tender courses please email Werner at werner@how2tender.com.

This article was written by Werner van Rooyen, Director of HowToTender (Pty) Ltd. which specializes in tender consulting and tender training.

Title Closing Date Tender No.
Supply, Delivery, Installation & Commission of Three Headlight Aim Testers for Vehicle Test Station for Traffic Services 2018-12-24 12:00 RFQ/HPS/2018-19/291
Provision of Driver Education (Learner and Driving Licence) 50 Persons in Ward 38 2018-12-24 12:00 RFQ/IDP/2018-19/290
Supply & Delivery of Electrical Inventory Items 2019-01-11 12:00 SCM/2019/94/ENG
Provision of Driver Education (Learner and Driving Licence) 50 Persons in Ward 08 2018-12-24 12:00 RFQ/IDP/2018-19/289
Appointment of construction of a small administration block, 2 x grade R classrooms, guard house, erection of fence, completion of the multi- purpose classroom, nutrition centre, 2 x 3 classroom blocks, conversion of 1 x 3 classroom block into hall and external works at Leboeng Primary School located in Leboeng Village in Sekhukhune District, Limpopo Province grade 7 GB and Above 2019-01-30 12:00 EDDP 184/57B
Advanced Firearm Training Programme 2018-12-28 12:00 RFQ/DHR/2018-19/297
Updating and Maintenance of BCMM`s Water Hydraulic Models and Water Demand Analysis in IMQS - Inland 2018-12-28 12:00 RFQ/DES/2018-19/296
Procurement of Professional Service Providers from the Built Environment that specializes in Architecture, Quantity Surveyors, Civil & Structural Engineers, Electrical Engineers and OHS Agents For The Planning, Design, Supervision and Closure of the Programme 9 Schools for the Limpopo Department of Education 2019-01-28 09:00 LDOE/66PSP/2018/1
Thermocycler 2018-12-21 11:00 RFQ GAU86
Jagerust Water Treatment Plant Refurbishment 2019-02-28 10:00 E/BS3691R
Supply of parts, spares and repairs of Teledyne make of ambient air quality monitoring gas analyser for lab and site network 2019-03-08 10:00 CORP 4655
Supply and delivery of electrical material and equipment for Nkomazi LM for a period of three (3) years 2019-01-31 12:00 NKO 90/2018
Provision of a functional and technical support service for Ellipse and associated bespoke systems implemented at eThekwini Electricity 2019-02-15 11:00 E.9646
Online coal quality measurement staithes incline conveyors 2019-02-12 10:00 MPGXC005157R
The maintenance and repair of portable earthing gear in Mpumalanga Operating Unit on an as and when required basis 2019-02-12 10:00 MPDX001033
Appointment of a service provider to compile a waste characterization report - Solid Waste Management 2018-12-28 11:00 FQ/SM: 97/19
To design, manufacture, supply, delivery, removal, installation and commissioning of 2 (two) spare LP heaters (1 x LPH 3 and 1 x LPH 4) for a period of 5 years 2019-02-13 10:00 MPGXC005426
Supply, delivery and installation of 2 x automated multi-deck weighbridges at Tutuka Power Station 2019-02-13 10:00 MPGXC005428
Supply and delivery of one (1) Landfill Compactor 2019-01-18 12:00 IHLM-78/12/2018-19/COMM
Provision of Short Term Insurance for the period from 01 July 2019 To 30 June 2022 2019-01-18 12:00 FIN 01/2019/20

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Advantages and disadvantages of Consortiums

Consortiums are often considered as entities to use when responding to tenders in South Africa. The question that arises is whether to use a Consortium or a Joint Venture when responding to a tender. To help you with this we have compiled a list of advantages and disadvantages for both Consortiums as well as Joint Ventures. In this article we list the advantages and disadvantages of Consortiums. Look out for the same article on Joint Ventures.

Consortiums Advantages:

  • Easy to establish as there are no formal procedures... Read More
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