What's the Difference?

Both RFP (Request for Proposal) and RFQ (Request for Quote) are documents used in the procurement process to solicit bids from potential vendors. However, RFPs are typically used when the buyer is looking for a solution to a problem or a specific project, and vendors are required to submit detailed proposals outlining their approach, qualifications, and pricing. On the other hand, RFQs are used when the buyer already knows what they want and is simply looking for pricing information from vendors. RFQs are usually more straightforward and focus solely on pricing and product specifications.


Full FormRequest for ProposalRequest for Quotation
PurposeTo solicit proposals from potential vendorsTo solicit price quotes from potential vendors
ScopeBroader scope, including project details and requirementsSpecific scope, focusing on pricing and deliverables
Response FormatMore detailed responses requiredUsually shorter responses focusing on pricing
Selection CriteriaMay include technical capabilities, experience, and pricingPrimarily based on pricing and delivery terms

Further Detail


Request for Proposal (RFP) and Request for Quote (RFQ) are two common procurement processes used by organizations to solicit bids from vendors for goods or services. While both RFP and RFQ serve the same purpose of obtaining competitive bids, they have distinct attributes that make them suitable for different situations.


An RFP is a document that outlines the requirements, specifications, and evaluation criteria for a project or service. It allows vendors to submit proposals that detail how they will meet the organization's needs. On the other hand, an RFQ is a document that requests pricing information from vendors for specific goods or services. Vendors are expected to provide a quote based on the information provided in the RFQ.


RFPs are typically used for complex projects or services where the organization needs detailed proposals from vendors. The scope of an RFP is broader and may include technical specifications, project timelines, and evaluation criteria. RFQs, on the other hand, are used for simpler projects or when the organization already knows what it needs. The scope of an RFQ is narrower and focuses primarily on pricing information.

Vendor Selection

When evaluating vendors, RFPs allow organizations to consider factors beyond just pricing. Vendors are evaluated based on their experience, qualifications, and proposed approach to the project. This allows organizations to select vendors based on overall value rather than just cost. In contrast, RFQs are primarily focused on pricing. Vendors are selected based on their ability to provide the required goods or services at the lowest cost.


RFPs offer more flexibility for vendors to propose creative solutions to meet the organization's needs. Vendors can suggest alternative approaches, technologies, or methodologies that may better suit the project requirements. This flexibility allows organizations to benefit from vendors' expertise and innovation. RFQs, on the other hand, are more rigid in their requirements. Vendors are expected to provide pricing based on the specifications outlined in the RFQ without much room for deviation.

Time and Effort

Preparing an RFP requires more time and effort from both the organization and vendors. Organizations need to carefully define their requirements, create evaluation criteria, and review proposals in detail. Vendors need to invest time in understanding the project scope, developing a proposal, and addressing all the requirements outlined in the RFP. In contrast, preparing an RFQ is quicker and less resource-intensive for both parties. Vendors can simply provide pricing information based on the specifications provided in the RFQ.

Relationship Building

RFPs are often used when organizations are looking to establish long-term relationships with vendors. The detailed proposals submitted in response to an RFP allow organizations to assess vendors' capabilities, communication skills, and compatibility with their organization. This can help build trust and collaboration between the organization and the selected vendor. RFQs, on the other hand, are more transactional in nature. They are typically used for one-off purchases or when the organization does not require a deep relationship with the vendor.


In conclusion, RFPs and RFQs have distinct attributes that make them suitable for different procurement scenarios. RFPs are ideal for complex projects where organizations need detailed proposals and value-added services from vendors. RFQs, on the other hand, are more suited for simpler projects where pricing is the primary consideration. Understanding the differences between RFP and RFQ can help organizations choose the right procurement process for their specific needs.

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