An RFP (Request for Proposal) is a document that lists down the requirements of a company to address a specific area of concern. The RFP document is then released to potential vendors/partners so that they can respond based on the specific set of requirements listed in the document.
Why is an RFP required?
An RFP document allows a company to list down all the functionalities that are essential/desired in a solution. The RFP also helps potential vendors/partners to understand the requirements in detail and share the best fit that their product/solution achieves.
The RFP process helps a company to evaluate the received responses, to shortlist the product/solution that meets the majority of the listed parameters/functionalities. This process allows a company to get responses from a large number of vendors/partners about specific requirements without the cost and effort involved in a traditional process
The Process to issue an RFP
Before issuing an RFP, the company should conduct internal brainstorming sessions across cross-functional teams and draw up a requirement/function list. The requirements/functions identified, should be classified according to:
Essential: Functions without which the product/solution does not meet the stated objectives
Important: Functions that are necessary but can be managed with workarounds
Desirable: Functions that are good to have which neither affects the operations nor the efficiency of the operations
After listing down all the essential functions/requirements, the evaluation criteria for the RFP needs to be finalized. The evaluation criteria should consider the responses for each of the functions listed in the RFP and assign points. This process helps in narrowing the list of potential products/solutions that need to be evaluated.
RFP for selecting a Warehouse Management System
The process of creating and sharing an RFP for a WMS application will follow the same steps listed above. When creating an RFP, the major pain points identified by cross-functional brainstorming will become essential functions. In the same way, important, and desirable functions need to be identified and documented.
A similar study can also be conducted in your warehouse to identify Essential, Important, and Desirable requirements.
A sample RFP listing down different functions in a WMS application is attached as part of this blog. The sample RFP document can be used as-is or modified as per requirements and shared with vendors.