RFQ vs. RFP.

Not sure whether you need a request for quote or a request for proposal? Learn the difference between an RFQ and an RFP.

What’s an RFQ?

A request for quote (RFQ) is a document used in the procurement process that requests pricing options for a specific product or service. Companies typically issue an RFQ when they know exactly what they want from a vendor and don’t need any additional details, or when they want a head-to-head pricing comparison between competing vendors.

What’s an RFP?

By contrast, a request for proposal (RFP) describes the scope of a proposed project in detail.

In addition to requesting pricing from potential vendors, the RFP will break down the requirements of the entire project, including the project duration, scope of work, and required experience. Responses from would-be vendors, called proposals, should contain everything the business needs to know about how a vendor will solve their problem or complete their project.

When to use an RFQ versus an RFP.

Generally, businesses use an RFQ when they already know the exact product or service they need, and all they are looking for is the price.

An RFP may be used when a business isn’t entirely sure what they need. They’re requesting vendors to send in a proposal outlining how they would solve the given problem.

An RFP may also be issued to identify vendors who can perform a specific type of work or provide a specific service, or to weigh competing project approaches and qualifications of multiple potential bidders. Formal bids may follow the submission of proposals to complete the vendor selection process.

Almost all requests for quotes and proposals are sent electronically. It simplifies collecting proposals and evaluating quotes, and it speeds up the approval process when it’s time to sign a contract on the dotted line. Electronic signature software like Adobe Acrobat Sign will help you manage procurement documents — from RFQs to RFPs and beyond ― with the click of a button.

Discover everything you can do with Acrobat Sign to help make your procurement process more efficient.