Procurement documents and what they do.
Procurement documents are an essential part of the procurement process. This article discusses some of the more common ones, what they’re for and how they’re used.
Procurement documents can be paper or electronic but, today, are more commonly digital. They facilitate an equitable bidding process and protect the seller from claims of unfair procurement practices. In nearly every case, procurement documents require the signature of an authorized representative of the buyer and seller.
Common procurement documents.
Your business type determines which procurement documents you’ll need most often. Purchasing goods and services requires a different set of documents than soliciting work from contractors. Learning which document to use and how to use it will save you time and money.
Below is a list of common procurement documents used in business today:
- Request for Proposal (RFP): This document invites suppliers or contractors to provide a proposal for goods or services. The RFP often includes plans, specifications, and other information needed for the supplier to prepare their bid.
- Request for Information (RFI): An RFI is used by both buyers and sellers. A buyer sends an RFI to prospective sellers to learn more about their product or service. In turn, a seller can use an RFI to get clarification about a buyer's RFP or RFQ.
- Request for Quotation (RFQ): This document is appropriate when a buyer knows precisely what they want to purchase. When you use an RFQ, there is usually little information included — other than quantity and part or model number — since no discussion or alternates are needed.
- Letter of Intent (LoI): An LoI is issued by the buyer to the seller, indicating that they intend to proceed with the purchase pending the seller meeting insurance or other requirements.
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