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RFP/ RFQ Journey

What is the RFP, RFQ process?

While an RFQ is a request for a quote, an RFP is a request for a proposal. An RFQ is sent out by the government when they know exactly what product/service they want.  Vendors only need to qualify and know the price they are willing to submit to try to win. An RFP is sent, when it's more complicated and many factors, other than price, are to be evaluated for the government to make a decision.


How long does an RFQ process take?

RFQs take four-weeks to bid, and generally are awarded 90-120 days from the release of the RFQ.  Each response consists of four, main elements:

  • Definition of the goal of the project or service to be undertaken by the team.

  • Qualifications that member/vendors should have.

  • The scope of the project.

  • The deliverables schedule and cost.

More time may be added depending on the size of the project and the amount of information in the RFQ.

Typical RFQ/RFP process steps & STAHL’s Gate, Step, Task methods, and Approach


Phase I – Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

  • STAHL-Playbook, Prepare a Project Plan (and a clear statement of the project plan and objectives).

  • STAHL Proposal Manager and Cost Estimator assignments.

  • STAHL’s B.D. assembles Teams and schedules, drafts, and reviews to respond to the RFQ.

  • B.D.'s assembled Teams contacted for Q&A and conference Kick-Off calls

  • STAHL identifies prospective solution developers (optional) on the more difficult RFQs.

  • Phase I (RFQ) Q&A sent, with responses received and reviewed.

  • Selection and notification to team developers short-listed for Phase II (RFP) solution (Optional).


Phase II –B.D. steps and process to Request for Proposals (RFQ)

  • Past Performance GAP Analysis and developer team due diligence performed.

  • Key Personnel Identified (PM + Keys).

  • ID Developers Solution with all Phase II respondents (If required).


Phase II –Proposal and Cost Estimator Steps and Process for Request for Proposals (RFQ)


  • Executive summary and project requirements

    • Provide background information about each company and an overview of the services or goods being supplied by each, with as much detail as possible to meet requirements.

  • Submission dates and contract requirements

    • Precise submission deadlines must be established, along with what should be included in each submission, and the details of the contract.

  • Pricing details

    • Regardless of the type of service or goods to be procured from a Partner, Stahl wants to get as granular as possible with each pricing quotation. For example, Partners need to break down their labor and equipment costs, so that expenses can be pinpointed during the review process.

  • Project timelines

    • In bidding on service contracts, contract lengths, including specific dates, must be clear. When looking to provide goods, Partners must be upfront about when they expect to be able to fulfill the order.

    • The response must articulate key discriminators to submitted costs, as this is a major Selection Criteria.

    • Most often, the winning bidder will be chosen based upon pricing.

    • Selection of the preferred Solution Developers is critical in developing the contact details and timelines that must be thoroughly defined in the response.


Phase III – Formal negotiations begin on ground lease terms

  • The Letter of Intent signed by key personnel will be reviewed and discussed for availability and qualifications.

  • For Service contracts, the length of the contract and all specific dates and deliverables will be discussed in detail.

  • Discounts and Pricing are then negotiated.

  • Phase-in detailed negotiations will be completed, and documents executed.

  • The Project goes to the final decision-maker for approval, once significant business issues are sufficiently confirmed.


STAHL Consulting responds to IFBs, as well as RFPs an RFQs.


What does IFB mean in government contracting?

Invitation For Bid (IFB) is a publicly advertised solicitation for a product or service needed by the SFA. The primary consideration is cost, and the expectation is that the bids will be received and awarded to the most responsive and responsible bidder with the lowest price.

How does one respond to an IFB?

STAHL’s Fast Track-Steps in the bid process are

  1. Register interest.

  2. Attend briefing sessions.

  3. Develop a bid response strategy.

  4. Review recently awarded contracts.

  5. Write a compelling bid.

  6. Understand the payment terms.

  7. Provide References.

  8. Check and submit the bid.


What is the difference between IFB and RFP?

Unlike an RFP, an IFB requires a sealed bid process to ensure a level playing field for vendors. This also means that there can't be any negotiations about the price or services required by the contract. Evaluating an IFB is not as complex as an RFP, since the only criteria that an agency looks at its pricing.

How does one compete for an Invitation for Bid (IFB)

This competitive method of awarding government contracts is used for procurements in which the agency knows:

  • exactly what they want and how many they want of everything in the contract.

  • when and how the products and services are to be delivered.

  • The award is generally based upon price.

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