Mar 12, 2024

How to Write a Request For Quotation (RFQ) + Template

From basics to best practices, we've got you covered!


In a dynamic business environment, organizations are constantly challenged by cost fluctuations. It has become imperative to maximize efficiency and strategy around your procurement practices.

Efficient procurement is anchored by embracing an RFQ-centric approach. RFQs empower companies to solicit competitive bids from suppliers, driving cost savings. The process is critical for businesses requiring a consistent supply of specific products.

This article navigates the process of crafting an RFQ to ensure optimal procurement. We have also added a request for quotation template for clarity.

How RFQs differ from RFPs and RFIs

RFQs, RFPs, and RFIs are all used in procurement but serve different purposes. In some cases, a company might require all three documents in the following order:

  • An RFI (request for information) is the initial relationship-building tool. This document is used to gather information from potential suppliers. It narrows down the vendor pool, making it easier to find competent suppliers.

  • The second step in the procurement process is to issue an RFP (request for proposal). This document is sent to select vendors to solicit proposals. It outlines the project, including its requirements, timeline, and other specifications. RFPs invite qualified contractors to explain how they can meet the company’s needs. This step is typically required for complex projects.

  • The last step is to send out RFQs to chosen suppliers, asking them to submit their price quotes and bids. This process enables strategic quality and market price evaluation. It allows buyers to make informed purchasing decisions and secure the best deals.

Types of RFQs

Here are six types of RFQs and their pros and cons:

Open RFQs

An open RFQ is a publicly accessible document — any vendor can submit their quote. It is used when a company wishes to attract a wide range of bids and does not have preferred suppliers.


  • A high number of participants increases competition and the potential for lower prices

  • Fosters business relations with a variety of vendors

  • Saves time as you do not need to carry out pre-qualification processes


  • Often results in a large volume of bids to review

  • The quality and relevance of bids may vary significantly

Closed RFQs

Closed RFQs are sent to a pre-selected list of vendors. These are often affiliated with the company or have undergone a vetting process.


  • Streamlines the procurement process by engaging only pre-qualified suppliers

  • Reduces reliance on a single vendor


  • May limit competition and the potential for discovering new, competitive suppliers

  • Can be time-consuming to vet each supplier beforehand

Single-source RFQs

A single-source RFQ is issued when a company decides to deal with only one supplier. This is often because of the supplier’s track record with the buyer. It could also be due to their unique ability to provide a particular product or service.


  • Saves time in the procurement and decision-making process

  • Streamlines communication and strengthens relationships with key suppliers


  • Limits the ability to compare prices or services, potentially resulting in higher costs

  • Increases dependency on one supplier, potentially leading to supply chain disruptions

Multiple-source RFQs

A multiple-source RFQ involves requesting quotations from several suppliers for comparison purposes. It is used to procure commodities or standard products with many potential suppliers.


  • Encourages competition among suppliers, leading to better prices and terms for the buyer

  • Diversifies risk, mitigating supply chain disruptions


  • Requires more time and resources to evaluate the various quotes and negotiate terms

  • Poses risks for sensitive information, demanding confidentiality measures

Itemized RFQs

In itemized RFQs, the company breaks down its requirements into detailed components. The supplier has to provide pricing for each.


  • Enables accurate comparison of specific items or services directly

  • Improves budgeting and cost analysis accuracy


  • Can be time-consuming for both the buyer and suppliers to prepare and analyze

  • May lead to a higher volume of clarifications and inquiries  

Project-based RFQs

This type of RFQ is used for complex purchases, such as large projects or capital investments. The request covers a comprehensive scope of work rather than individual items.


  • Allows suppliers to offer solutions that encompass the entire project

  • Higher potential for innovations or efficiencies compared to itemized RFQs


  • Complicates response evaluation, requiring assessment of capabilities, methodologies, and project management alongside price

  • Minimal flexibility after issuing, possibly disrupting the procurement process

What to Include in an RFQ

An RFQ must include these critical elements:

  • Goals: Specify what your project aims to achieve. Craft a concise description of its objectives. Include the scope and relevant background information.

  • Specifications: Highlight the nature of your project and the quantity of goods required. Include general and technical specifications, quality standards, and possible customizations. Remember, more details lead to more accurate supplier quotes.

  • Timeline: A project timeline gives suppliers a clear picture of the manpower needed. It’s best to be realistic so there is ample time to get the resources ready. Mention the project start date, duration, milestones, and end date.

  • Pricing Specification: Specify the level of detail you require in the quotes. A complete cost breakdown enables transparent evaluation and comparison of quotes. Ask for itemized pricing for each unit or service, including supply and labor costs. Specify if you want the quotes to be per hour or project.

  • Submission Details: Include details on how to send back the RFQ. Mention the submission deadline along with any relevant documentation and organization information needed.

  • Contact Information: Add your contact details so suppliers can raise questions and doubts.   

  • Terms and Conditions: Mention any terms and conditions that vendors must follow. This can include payment and shipping terms, warranties, and legal requirements. Add your evaluation criteria and preferences that vendors should consider when preparing quotes.

How to write a request for quotation (RFQ)

Crafting a proper RFQ can prevent misunderstandings and improve the quality of responses. Here are the steps to follow:

Start with the basics

Contact Information and Introduction

Provide the name, address, contact information, and relevant details of your organization. Highlight your interest in receiving competitive quotes.

Purpose of the RFQ

Clearly state your reason for issuing the RFQ. Specify your goals, whether you wish to receive a service, goods, or both.

Project overview and scope

Briefly describe your project, including its objectives and the scope of work. This helps potential suppliers understand the context of the RFQ.

Specify your needs

Detailed specifications of products or services

Include comprehensive details about the desired products or services. Add any technical specifications, quality requirements, and any other details that apply.

Quantity and delivery schedule

Specify the quantity of items required and the expected delivery date, including milestones.

Criteria for evaluation and selection process

Outline the criteria that will be used to evaluate and choose vendors. This may include expected price range, quality, experience, and reliability.

Financial aspects

Price format and breakdown

Specify the desired format for pricing — per unit, per project, or other. Ask for a breakdown of costs with itemized pricing for components or services.

Payment terms and conditions

Clearly define the payment terms and conditions. Include the acceptable invoice format and preferred payment methods. You can also mention the potential of holdbacks until certain obligations are fulfilled.

Legal and compliance requirements

Standards and certifications required

Specify the industry standards that suppliers must adhere to. Mention relevant certifications, experience, and qualifications you seek.

Confidentiality and data protection

Highlight any data protection requirements that vendors should comply with. This ensures the security of sensitive information shared during the procurement process.

Additional information

Background information

Ask vendors to include relevant information about their organization to assess their capability.

Requests for samples or demonstrations (optional)

Ask for samples or demos of the suppliers’ offerings to assess their suitability.

RFQ template example

Request for quotation for the provision of [goods/services] from [vendor’s company].


[Company Name] would like to invite quotations for the provision of [requirements].


[Brief overview of your company]

[Background information about the project]


This procurement process is intended to follow the timeline below:

  • Issuing RFQ: [date]

  • Deadline for Queries: [date]

  • Deadline for Responses: [date]

  • Response Evaluation: [date]

  • Awarding Contract: [date]

  • Strategy/Delivery Meeting: [date]


Any queries about the RFQ, the procurement process, or the contract, should be referred to:

[Name, position, and contact information]

Questions should be submitted via [preferred method] only.


Quotations should be submitted by [time and date] to [email/portal].

[Additional requirements for submitting quotes]


[Company] will assess suppliers based on the following criteria:

[Factors and weightage of each e.g., Lowest price: 20% Quality: 40%]

[Additional specifications for vendors to consider] 


  • Background: [detailed background information about your requirements]

  • Scope of the project: [what’s included and what will be sourced separately]

  • Goals: [preferred outcomes i.e., what you want to achieve]

  • Input: [any demands or specific instructions for suppliers]

  • Timeline: [delivery schedule and project structure, including milestones and deliverables]

  • Labor hours: [fixed price, unit costs, or daily/hourly rates]

  • Materials: [specific goods or services required, including quantity]


[Specific terms and conditions for providing goods/services e.g., IP rights, quality standards, and shipping terms]


Section A: Organization Details




[VAT Registration Number]

Section B: Vendor’s Experience

Please provide a brief history of your organization, including [annual turnover, department background, and other specifications required].

Section C: References

Please mention two companies you have worked for who would be willing to refer you.

Organization 1:




Organization 2:




Please carefully review each section of the RFQ before submitting a response.

[Your organization]




When should you send an RFQ?

It’s best to send an RFQ when you have clearly defined requirements and are ready to solicit quotes from potential suppliers.

How do you avoid common mistakes in RFQs?

You can avoid common RFQ mistakes by:

  • Being clear about your requirements

  • Using standardized templates

  • Providing sufficient response time

  • Conducting thorough evaluations

How many suppliers should I send the RFQ to?

It depends on your precise needs and situation. If you don’t have a preferred vendor, it’s best to send RFQs to multiple entities to ensure competitive pricing.

How long should I give suppliers to respond to an RFQ?

Depending on the complexity, you should typically give 2 to 4 weeks. This leaves enough time to prepare comprehensive responses.

How long should the RFQ process take from start to finish?

The RFQ process duration varies based on multiple factors. These include the RFQ complexity, supplier responsiveness, and evaluation process. But it generally ranges from 4 to 8 weeks.

What should I do if the quotes received are too high or do not meet my expectations?

Consider negotiating with the suppliers. You could also seek alternative solutions or realign your requirements with budget constraints.


RFQs offer buyers a comprehensive outlook of the market landscape. They serve as invaluable tools, delivering insights into available products, services, and pricing. Use our comprehensive request for quotation template to gather all the necessary information from potential suppliers.

RFQs can be time-consuming, but you can expedite the process using digital procurement tools. Beebolt allows you to automate custom RFQs, helping you get the best quotes. Try it for free!

The Side-Kick You Never Knew You Needed...

Become the Supply Chain Super Hero.

Building the Global Operating System for International Trade.

© 2024 Beebolt

The Side-Kick You Never Knew You Needed...

Become the Supply Chain Super Hero.

Building the Global Operating System for International Trade.

© 2024 Beebolt