Requests for Information: Useful first step in large procurements

Requests for information (RFIs) can help reduce the complexity of a public procurement, improve the volume and competitiveness of proposals, and streamline decision-making.

Used at the onset of a procurement, an RFI gathers the most current information on a product or service, including:

  • Potential vendors (i.e., service providers who may be suitable working with your organization)
  • Products and services available (i.e., what is being sold in the market, and which organizations are offering similar products and services)
  • Current market information (e.g., pricing structures, contracting arrangements, capabilities).

The key benefits of issuing an RFI are:

  • Prepares the market for a (potential) future procurement. This helps to ensure a healthy volume of applicable and competitive proposals will be submitted.
  • Gives the organization time to align their upcoming procurement with market conditions. Through discussions with vendors, organizations can ensure ‘what they intend to ask for’ is ‘what the market is offering.’
  • Narrows the focus of the future request for proposal (RFP). By the time an organization issues an Request for Proposal (RFP), it will be familiar with the vendors that are expected to participate, the solutions that are available, and the ‘priority items’ that will drive decisions.

For more information on RFIs and how they may benefit a large and complex procurement, please contact danb [at] (Dan Blackburn), Senior Director of Growth & Innovation.