What is a bid solicitation?
Public sector organizations are often required by law to use a formal bid solicitation process prior to awarding contracts for the purchase of products or services. The term "bid solicitation" describes both the process and the specific documents which are used in that process. The goal of a bid solicitation is to obtain competitive responses from a number of qualified suppliers. Different types of bid solicitation documents are used depending upon the organization and the products and services being sought. bidsUSA helps you find these bid solicitations:
Request for Proposals (RFP)
- Usually an RFP is an invitation to enter into negotiations. When the successful party is chosen, they have been granted the exclusive opportunity to negotiate but have not yet been awarded the contract. In contrast, a call for tenders is a more formal process. See Call for Tenders below.
- An RFP will often define evaluation criteria that includes both desired and mandatory requirements
- An RFP may seek creative solutions, ideas or concepts.
- The RFP process is generally used when seeking best value, a combination of quality, price, service and innovation, rather than just best price.
Request for Quotations (RFQ)
Call for Tenders
- An RFQ is often used when seeking standardized or commoditized products or services.
- In contrast to an RFP, an RFQ is usually more focused on pricing than on ideas or concepts.
- An RFQ often solicits information such as price per item, quality level per item, payment terms, delivery times and warranties.
- An RFQ is sometimes called an Invitation for Bids (IFB) or Invitation to Bid (ITB).
A bid solicitation almost always defines a date and time by which the RFP, RFQ or tender response must be received. If the response is received after this date and time, the response is usually disqualified. The bid solicitation response time and date are often strictly enforced.
- While often similar to an RFP, a call for tenders is a more formal, detailed process that gives bidders the assurance that if they put forward the best bid, judged according to the criteria set out in the tender, they must be awarded the job.
- Tenders are often used for construction projects.
- A tender is usually an open invitation for suppliers to respond to a defined need as opposed to a request being sent to selected potential suppliers.
- A tender is sometimes called a Request for Tenders (RFT).
Given the relatively high dollar value of the resulting contracts, respondents to an RFP, RFQ or tender are generally vetted for corporate history, financial stability and technical capability in successfully delivering similar products and services.
Are you also interested in bid solicitations from Canada? There over 1,500 open bid solicitations listed on bidsCanada right now.