The Request for Proposal (RFP) process is the most complex of the procurement processes. An RFP is issued when we want the vendors to propose a solution which we will evaluate for award, or when we have characteristics or issues which we want to consider in the decision to award other than price.

The time it takes to prepare and issue an RFP is substantially longer than an ITB because of the need for extra care and detail in developing the selection criteria, specifications, requirements, scope of work and terms of the RFP. An RFP process allows more flexibility in the evaluation of criteria for award; however, it also requires more diligence and effort to produce a document that clearly identifies your wants, needs and process for award. An evaluation team must be created and organized which adds time to the process as well.

An RFP is used when we are unsure of the exact item or service we want or are wanting to do some "shopping" between brands or types. Procurement will work with you to develop an RFP which will result in obtaining a product or service which gives you the best mix of characteristics and cost as defined by your needs.

An RFP typically has 3 main categories to be evaluated:

  1. The first category that must be evaluated is the required specifications. These can be seen as the “needs” of the University. If any proposal does not clearly meet all of the required specifications, it will be immediately rejected; therefore, it is important that we work diligently up front to identify the required specifications correctly. The required specifications will also be evaluated based on how well they meet the specifications.

  2. Second, there are the “preferred specifications” or “wants” of the University. The proposer’s responses to these specifications described in the RFP are evaluated and points are awarded accordingly.

  3. The last category evaluated in an RFP process is cost. The points awarded for cost may be equal to, greater-than, or less-than the point value of all the required or preferred specifications in the RFP.

The evaluation process can be lengthy as it may require presentations, testing, best and final offers, or other evaluation processes.

The award of an RFP takes more time than ITBs or RFQs. The extra time is to allow the proposers time to submit protests of award, and the subsequent disposition of any such protests.

Although it takes extra time and effort developing, administering and awarding an RFP, the result is a product or service that is specifically suited to the department’s need at a competitive price.

When submitting a request to issue an RFP to Procurement you will need to do the following:

  • As soon as you have the budget and approval to move forward with soliciting for a purchase or contract, contact a Procurement staff person or the general email address to notify someone that the request is under development. In some cases Procurement can obtain sample RFP’s or specifications from colleagues or other universities’ procurement staff. We can provide you with an RFP template so you can get a more clear understanding of what the document includes and what the process entails.

  • Submit a completed and appropriately signed Departmental Requisition. This will indicate you have the index number ready and budget authority is granted.

  • Include a comprehensive description of the goods or services you are seeking, any required specifications, and a list of your mandatory requirements and desirable evaluation criteria. Procurement will work with you to develop additional specifications or evaluation criteria if needed. Often, we will need to meet with you in person to review these items.

  • If you would like Procurement to obtain proposals from specific vendors be sure to attach their complete contact information. Procurement must obtain proposals from a minimum of three vendors. If you do not know three vendors, list your preferred vendors and Procurement will search for others. Procurement will advertise the RFP on the Business and Bid Opportunities web page as well.

To submit a request fax it to 737-2170, email it to our general email address, or put it in campus mail. Please do not send two copies of your order such as an original and a faxed copy. This will only increase the risk of duplicating an order.