Request For Quotes (RFQ) vs. Request For Proposals (RFP)

What’s the difference?

A Request For Quote is a more rigid request that provides a pinpointed dollar figure for a given set of features and benefits. If you already know exactly what you need and your requirements will be unchanging, then an RFQ is the right type of request. The RFQ assumes that you have already defined the scope of work, have the necessary textual and graphics materials, and simply need someone to perform the job. The parameters are finite, and any additional work is addressed as a separate project. An example of this would be if you had all of the pictures, text, and data necessary for creating a Website, and you knew how many pages, functions, and features you wanted a developer to put together for you.

A Request For Proposal is a flexible request that provides a base price for the scope of work to be performed, but allows for additional billing on an hourly or task-oriented basis as a job becomes more defined. An example of this would be an initial Web site design that begins with available materials, but that requires more materials to be developed as the job progresses. Also, ongoing work such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on a recurring monthly basis to manage ranking and placement, or ongoing design work to maintain a Website would fall under RFP criteria.

You can think of an RFQ as a project-oriented price, whereas an RFP is a process-oriented price. If you are working with a fixed budget, then the RFQ is likely the best choice for your business because it provides a definitive price for specific work done. If your budget has some degree of flexibility and/or the scope of work may change as the job progresses, then an RFP may be the best answer because it defines the scope of work for a given price, but allows for additional billing with evolving requirements.