• Rob Prinzo

Buying Software and Services: The Benefits of Writing an RFP



Organizations often rush to buy software or services before completely defining and validating all of their requirements. Because software purchases are often viewed as technology enablers, not business improvement enablers, buyers rush to see the software demonstration without having a clear definition of what they want to purchase allowing the software vendor to drive the process.

A common solution to controlling the procurement process is through a Request for Proposal or RFP. An RFP is a document that solicits a proposal and outlines the process for the procurement of goods, services or valuable assets. The RFP is sent to potential suppliers who in turn submit a proposal for the delivery of goods, services or other assets.

RFPs take a large degree of the guesswork, bias, and subjectivity out of the vendor selection process; that’s why government entities rely on this method so heavily. If you choose, you can instead conduct your own research, review provider websites, compare pricing structures, and look for testimonials on your own, the way you would if you were hiring a personal service or buying something for your own home.

However, publishing an RFP means that:

  • All qualified providers will have an equal opportunity to see the request and respond.

  • Vendors and providers will contact you on your terms and by your specified methods, not theirs.

  • Those who can’t meet your specific needs will self-select and opt not to respond, which simplifies the process on your end.

  • You’ll receive proposals from both small and large providers who you may not have discovered on your own.

RFPs are not just for the Public Sector

Due to competitive bidding requires, most public sector procurements require using an RFP to solicit vendor proposals through the competitive bidding process. However, any organization can benefit from using an RFP as part of their procurement process because:

  • By writing an RFP, buying organizations are forced to define the requirements of goods, services or assets that they wish to purchase.

  • RFPs provide a framework for ensuring vendor proposals are in a common format for consistent evaluation (a.k.a. ‘apples to apples’ comparison).

  • RFPs put the buyer in control of the sales process.

Need help with a complex software or services procurement, call the Prinzo Group and arrange a consultation with our experienced contracting team today!


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