rfiIt’s 2015 and an important trend that we are tracking in Canada is around the increase in RFP/RFQ/RFI Proposals and Tenders being created.

So, what’s up specifically with all of the RFI’s Request for Information Tenders that we are now seeing?

As a heads-up for Canadian Businesses – this is the look of things to come.

Whether dealing with Government Agencies or Commercial enterprises – if you lead your company’s business development, then you really ought to discover RFIs.

In this Blog, I will try to shed some light on the potential that winning an RFI can provide.

As you know – there is substantial competition for every product and every service in just about every business sector today.

The fair process in Canada of Tenders/RFPs for Government Departments have become increasingly overwhelmed by the sheer number of responses they can receive on a bid.

Therefore RFIs are on the increase, as they help narrow the field of service providers by weeding out the other contenders.

This process is a fair and structured method of capturing key information and pricing on products and services from a variety of suppliers – prior to actual purchase.

RFI’s are often issued before the RFP is created.

As a Supplier, your only chance to win these contracts – is in knowing about them. Accordingly, RFIs can truly make or break companies.

What we are seeing this year is that if you are invited to respond to an RFI, the Evaluator of the RFI can choose to procure directly with the winner of the RFI – effectively bypassing the arduous process and competition of an RFP. Again this is good news for an incumbent or an up-and-coming bidder to gain new and substantially important contracts through the RFI process.

To take advantage of responding to the smorgasbord of RFI and Tenders available for your products or services – we recommend as a first step to register your firm on the most important Federal Gov’t website, Buy and Sell Tenders site. Refreshingly, this is provided as a FREE service.

To register, you just need to have a Canadian HST business number to obtain the required SRI which creates a Government listed profile for your business.

Once you receive the email confirmation of your SRI, you can then Register to Provide Products and Services – and then you are off to the Bidders and Tenders Response race for RFPs/RFIs/RFQs.

Other well-known contenders in the Electronic Tendering Services arena are:

MERX which is a paid for scaled-subscription service; listing Public Sector, Canadian Agencies, Crown & Private corporations and U.S. Tenders.

And Biddingo, which costs $250/year is a portal connecting Suppliers to the decision-making-buyers from Canadian; Provincial, Municipal, Education, Crown Corporations, Housing, Construction and Healthcare sectors, including the Private/Commercial sector.

To ensure that you are prepared to enter the realm of tenders and proposal responses, the next step is to speak with an expert to determine your chances of being chosen as the winning bid.

There are plenty of Agencies, Writers and RFP Coaches to help with getting your company organized and well prepared around the minutiae and detailed processes involved in writing and winning responses. This help is just a phone call away. The Key elements that a RFI pro can help you with, are:

– assessing the potential of winning and delivering the RFI solutions

– understanding how to meet the mandatory and technical requirements

– clearly articulating and differentiating your company from the other contenders

Being prepared with a professional, compelling RFI that gets scored highly on the evaluators scorecard is a great way to start.

This Vince Lombardi quote sums up my RFI thoughts today:

“If winning isn’t everything – then why do they keep score?