What is RFI in procurement

Request for information (RFI)

TheRequest for Information (RFI)is a procedure within purchasing that precedes the overall procurement process. It can be used in both strategic and operational procurement and thus bridges the gap between two functional areas of the supply chain. At the same time, the content of the RFI can be very different, as it can contain both technical and commercial aspects.

Basically, the RFI process starts at points where not all of the information and data relevant to the decision is available. This can be the case when new items have to be implemented, drawings or specifications are changed, unusual demand quantities have been generated or simply when purchasing wants to work with a new supplier for the first time. It does not matter whether it is a direct or indirect purchase process.

RFI is used for the first exchange with an external partner and is intended to create the basis for the selection of suppliers and thus for a later offer process. Purchasing provides the supplier with previously known and relevant information, for example drawings, project plans, catalog numbers, quantities and similar parameters. Often the technical departments or project managers of the suppliers and the own company are already mediated here in order to clarify more in-depth questions such as production, implementation or quality assurance.

The entire process deals with very fundamental aspects and does not directly serve to conclude a specific business relationship. Rather, general parameters such as feasibility, standard delivery times, price estimates or minimum purchase quantities are clarified. The suppliers are given the opportunity to compare their portfolio with the customer request. The inquiring company, on the other hand, gains information on whether the known suppliers can meet their own requirements or whether other companies need to be consulted. If the desired product is not available on the market, the RFI can even result in the company having to change its own design or even develop new manufacturing processes with the help of suppliers.

Purchasing takes on an interface function via the RFI. The information received is used for the further progress of the internal processes, but is not yet a basis for the binding conclusion of a contract. It is therefore important to inform the companies that have been contacted. Often many contract modalities that will later become even more important (for example delivery and payment conditions, exact price tables, discounts, bonuses, etc.) are not even part of the RFI.

inorder provides you with appropriate templates that take these diverse requirements into account.