The perfect eRFQ
The right request will represent three C’s: complete, comprehensive and clear. To do this, all Request for Quotes (RFQs) should begin with the essential information—and Quotes & RFQs makes that easier than ever by auto-filling most details.

All you need is:

A good name for the request
Detailed description – including attachments and pictures (relevant documents always help)
A due date – be sure to allow vendors enough time to quote
The maximum number of quotes allowed (if not unlimited) – when reached, the request will no longer be publicly visible on Quotes & RFQs

For most agency buyers, the most challenging part of an RFQ is the description. This is especially true when the buyer isn’t the subject-matter expert and the requisitioner hasn’t provided ample details—if you’re not a techno-engineer, for example, it’s more difficult to properly describe a request for the complex moving parts of a device. Luckily, we created this guide to serve as a checklist for both novice and experienced Quotes & RFQs users. Follow along, and you can yourself from endless back-and-forth chatter with vendors.

Here are the three must-haves for a perfect request:

1. Specifications

To get the job done right—the first time—vendors will need as much information as you can provide. Naturally, that means starting with the specifications of the product or service itself. Think about a computer, for example; its ‘specifications’ will include every physical detail, such as the model number, processor, brand, etc. In this section, remember: the more, the merrier.

For Goods, include all that apply:

Quantity
Color
Size
Shape
Brand
Features and options (i.e. is it self-propelled or push, battery operated or otherwise?)
Customizations (i.e. the trim level or specific customizations for police or fire vehicles)
Part numbers, SKUs, ISBN, or product numbers
Versions and model years — to avoid looking for obsolete items
Condition — new/refurbished/reconditioned
Warranty & Service

Pro Tip: With Quotes & RFQs, adding photos or other attachments is simple: just drag and drop!

For Services, include all that apply:

Images relevant to the service requested
Location for the service to be performed
Size/area
Any materials or other required components required
Any specific labor requirement (i.e. number of people or specific tools to be used)
Preferred skills / training — especially for mechanics, electricians, and others who typically attend a vocational school or training program along with respective certifications and licenses
Any insurance/permitting requirements

Pro Tip: For construction, maintenance or any other service that involves a particular “space,” always remember to include square footage and specific details about the area that needs servicing.

2. External Parameters

Whether you were asked to fill a brand new computer lab with the best and brightest technology for students, or charged with ensuring your city’s streets have the brightest LED lights installed, you’ll need to consider key details outside the product or service itself. These are the External Parameters.

For Goods, include all that apply:

Deliver on/before date
Delivery details (including inspection & acceptance rules)
Ship to address
Selection criteria
If you are willing to accept substitutions or alternate products
Color
Size
Model
Brand
Condition — Especially for books and vehicles; you may be ordering new textbooks, but will consider used if they are in quality condition.
Pricing template — Especially if you require a specific format or quotes for multiple items
Description with manufacture and part number if available
Quantity
Units of Measure
Discount/Payment Terms
Freight Charges (usually it is FOB destination)
Handling Charges

For Services, include all that apply:

Perform on/before date
Preferred quoting method
Do you want a quote for the service overall, or an hourly/daily rate?
If you are willing to accept changes such as:
Alternate date/time for service
Price adjustments or discounts
Partial service (i.e. if you need roof repair and painting, will you accept quotes for just the repair or just the painting work?)
Time, date and location for walkthrough, if required.
Selection criteria
Pricing template — Especially if you require a specific format or quotes for multiple services
References Required?
Site Inspection and Acceptance
Subcontractor Obligations

3. Policies

Finally, you’ll need to describe your company’s policies and request additional information from potential vendors. This is a great opportunity to use the Quotes & RFQ's ‘custom fields’ feature, which allows you to supercharge your request by adding these details with the click of a button.

For BOTH Products & Services, include all that apply:

Pricing inclusions (i.e. delivery, installation, and training)
Pricing validity requirements (e.g firm price for 90 days)
Payment terms
Tax exemption from sales and/or use taxes – Please provide your tax exempt number
Payment method
Insurance Requirements (COI)
Applicable permits/safety requirements
All questions/documents/addendums regarding the quote must be submitted via Quotes & RFQs
Private
Group Chat

On Quotes & RFQs, your agency’s Terms and Conditions are loaded into your agency settings by your administrator. Enter them once (and update as needed) and they automatically become part of each eRFQ. This ensures compliance and transparency.

Pro Tip: 36% of cancelled requests on Quotes & RFQs were cancelled due to not receiving accurate information, while 22% of awarded quotes are based on quality, availability, and shipping—not just price—so be sure to include all specifications for the best possible experience.
Was this article helpful?
Cancel
Thank you!