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Be Mindful of Your Ps and Qs

Anyone who has tried engaging in business with the government has probably been confused over the copious use of acronyms. Fortunately, JetCo Solutions has learned this language so that our clients don’t have to. However, it’s essential for companies in the world of government contracting to understand the distinction between the commonly referenced Request for Quote (RFQ), Request for Proposal (RFP), and Request for Information (RFI). This one letter difference has large implications that, if properly understood, will set your company up for success in government bidding.

Request for Quote (RFQ)

A Request for Quote (RFQ) is exactly as the name suggests. The soliciting agency is primarily after your price and is seeking competitive quotes for goods or services through an informal method. RFQs are primarily evaluated on the Lowest Responsive and Responsible Bidder terms, meaning the award will be made to the lowest bidder who meets the requirements and specifications articulated in the solicitation. Though your company may submit a quote, your offer is not binding until a contract is initiated between your company and the contracting officer.

RFQs are used for purchases below the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT), and they typically have quick deadline turnarounds as fulfillment is expected as soon as possible.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

A Request for Proposal (RFP) is solicited when a government agency is formally seeking a proposal for a solution. RFPs are used for large-scale government objectives that don’t have a cut and dry solution, such as construction projects or web design.

Unlike RFQs, RFPs are used for procurements above the Simplified Acquisition Threshold established by the requesting agency. RFPs are evaluated based on the company’s:

  • Technical response,
  • Demonstration of complete understanding of the Statement of Work (SOW),
  • And fair and reasonable pricing.

Request for Information (RFI)

A Request for Information (RFI) is the government’s way of performing market research. RFIs guide contracting officers in developing requirements for future RFPs and RFQs that, subsequently, generate quality responses. In some cases, RFIs may help the government budget for upcoming RFPs and RFQs.

It’s vital to determine which form of bidding best aligns with your company’s core competencies and resources. A common topic discussed at JetCo Solutions is that government contracting, and bidding, are not for the faint of heart. It requires a great deal of persistence and hard work. However, this hard work combined with mutual respect between JetCo Solutions and our clients creates a divine effect that amounts to RESULTS.

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