Planning Phase : Develop Request For Proposal (RFP)
|Subject Matter Experts||x|
* The ISC representative with whom the client will work and who is responsible for driving the request to a point of approval or denial.
REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL
What is the attached template?
This is a template for a Request for Proposal, or RFP, to be used when ISC-sponsored projects seek to obtain vendors’ bids to sell us their software. This template is only a guide; sample RFPs are also available on the Administrative Systems LAN.
Why do an RFP?
A Request for Proposal (RFP) is the way the University requests competitive bids when it intends to acquire a product created by a vendor. By asking each vendor to develop a proposal that contains specific information, bids containing consistent information can be compared with each other, so Penn can make the best possible decision about which product to acquire.
What is the difference between an RFI, an RFS and an RFP?
An RFI, or Request for Information, is designed to collect information from a supplier or vendor with no commitment to engage in any particular project. It is very likely that in an RFI no project details would be provided. Instead the document would focus on the vendor capabilities, skills and experience.
An RFS, or Request for Service, is designed to obtain services rather than items such as software or hardware. For example, ISC may be seeking vendors who will provide various kinds of support for software or hardware we currently have.
An RFP, or Request for Proposal, focuses on specifying a scope of work that needs to be performed (the RFP) and solicits in response a Proposal from the vendor describing how they would go about executing the project - including pricing information.
Using the attached template
This template is designed to be fairly comprehensive. In addition to the specific sections to be included in an RFP, it also includes boilerplate language for the Legal Requirements, Administrative Requirements and RFP Terms and Conditions. NOTE: not all sections included in the template need to be included in every RFP. Feel free to use what is appropriate for the product or service you wish to purchase or license.
Some notes about the template RFP:
- Information about, or a description of, each section is provided in brackets, like this [ ].
- Sample language that may be included as is or may be revised based on how the RFP will be used is either: a) provided in italics, or b) if longer, provided in an Appendix.
- Boilerplate language is provided in regular font; this language should not be changed.
- The footer contains some items that should be used in every RFP, such as page numbers, the word “Confidential”, the Penn logo, etc.
Using the Purchasing SmartSource system
When distributing your RFP, consider using the Purchasing Services’ electronic system for obtaining competitive bids: IASTA “SmartSource.” This system allows the RFP to be distributed to vendors electronically and lets them to respond the same way. It also includes a forum where vendors can post questions related to Penn’s RFP requirements; Penn staff can then respond, either to all vendors at once or to individual vendors. One issue when using SmartSource: when uploading requirements, SmartSource creates requirement identification numbers automatically. Therefore, although it retains requirements in the correct order, it cannot retain any previously created numbering system unless the numbers are included in the actual requirements. Purchasing can work with users to determine how best to number requirements.
The Purchasing Department is happy to help upload the RFP into the system and show users how to access it and conduct business with vendors. The Purchasing Department contact for IT products and services is Brent Friedman, firstname.lastname@example.org.
REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL