An RFQ is a process where a customer requests a quotation from specific suppliers. A customer can be a company or public entity and the supplier can be a producer or contractor. Furthermore, the RFQ line items to be quoted can be either goods, services, or a mixture of both.
Ultimately the customer's decision-making process is based on the information submitted in the quote for price, payment terms, delivery terms, delivery time, quality requirements, and other such minimum qualifying criteria.
The customer can include information in the RFQ of their preferred requirements, but the supplier can choose to quote whichever terms they want. However, a supplier is more likely to have their quote approved if they meet the terms offered by the customer.
It's common to use templates which can be in the format of word documents, excel forms, and PDFs. Attachments and other supporting documents can be in a variety of forms depending on the software used to create them, for example, technical drawings made in CAD software submitted in DWG format.
Some companies have RFQ submission forms integrated into their website or use 3rd part portal systems that allow the supplier to log in to submit their quote. Still, to this day, the most common mechanism for communication between customers and suppliers is email, with the most typical format being an excel form with general and product-specific information. Supporting files are added to the email as attachments, and the email body contains an appropriate, professional introduction and a brief explanation of the RFQ.
Sending professional-looking documentation as a customer or supplier is always a good idea, as is having a standardized way of working. This will not only benefit your team but will also improve the efficiency of working with the same partners in the future. Often this pre-business, strategic data process can be overlooked meaning that a company has no evidence to demonstrate why certain decisions were made. Do you have a dedicated set of tools and a standardized way of working with RFQs and quotes?