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.
Request to be registered on the Umnotho We Afrika Foundation database. 2018-09-30 12:00 Umnt1808_001
Appointment of consultants on various engineering projects - contract period ending 30 June 2021. 2018-09-21 12:00 EC/PN/NC/061/08/18
Services to clean locomotive toilets within a period of 24 months. 2018-09-25 10:00 KBY/54315
The Construction of High Voltage (HV) 66kV - 132kV Line (foundations, structure assembly and stringing) for various zones within the Limpopo Operating Unit, on an "as and when" required basis over a period of 36 Months. 2018-09-26 10:00 59con1879
Contractor - Construction of Nancefield Concrete Paved Roads and Storm Water. 2018-09-26 11:00 1/2018
Contractor: Construction of Nancefield Stormwater Channel Phase 2. 2018-09-26 11:00 2/2018
Provision of Air Conditioning Maintenance and Repairs for Municipal Office Building Including the Supply, Installations of New and Replacement Units for the Period of Three Years. 2018-09-26 11:00 6/2018
Supply and delivery of digital UHF repeaters, digital UHF mobile radios, digital UHF portable radios and electrical fault locating system for Saldanha Bay Municipality for the period 01 December 2018 to 30 November 2020. 2018-09-28 12:00 SBM 06/18/19
Manufacture, supply and delivery of estimated quantities of various types of low voltage (LV) power & control cables and medium voltage (MV) power cables. 2018-10-02 10:00 Corp4338
Office accommodation 2018-09-24 12:00 NIHSS/OFFICE-01/2018
Panel of Legal Practitioners to Serve for Magalies Water for a period of three (3) years 2018-09-21 11:00 RFB/MW/145/2017-18
Provision of Physical Access Control and Permit Issuing System Upgrade for Airports Company South Africa Soc Limited (ACSA) Sites 2018-09-26 14:00 COR213/2018
The supply and delivery various sizes of Ferrules. 2018-09-21 10:00 PTB1360
Provision for power transformer testing services at various sites for a period of 36 months as and when required basis. 2018-09-21 10:00 ERI/2018/TSS/01
Provision for power transformer testing services at various sites for a period of 36 months as and when required basis. 2018-09-21 10:00 ERI/2018/TSS/01
Maintenance to service roads, fencing and surfaces on an as & when required basis within a period of 24 months. 2018-10-02 10:00 KBY/54318
Provision and Installation of Multifunctional Printers to the Various Administrative Offices in the West Coast District Municipality 2018-09-21 12:00 WDM 26/2018
Rental of Chemical Toilets on an Adhoc Basis for the Provision of Basic Sanitary Services within the Langeberg Municipality for a period ending 30 June 2021 2018-09-21 12:00 45/2018
Mandlakazi Rwss: Construction of 19.8km Water Reticulation Network – Package 3C 2018-09-20 12:00 ZDM043/2018
Construction of Mandlakazi Phase 5.5 Bulk Water Supply: 44km of Bulk Gravity Mains, Associated Reservoirs, Pumpstation and Rising Main 2018-09-20 12:00 ZDM055/2018

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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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