What is an RFx? Happy you asked. An RFx is a ‘catch-them-all’ term used to describe any type of ‘Request For’. Usually this includes - Request For Proposal (RFP), Request For Quotation (RFI) or Request For Information (RFI). The ‘x’ in RFx stands for Request For anything you need for your procurement processes and strategic sourcing.
If you are not familiar with the term, RFx refers to the critical business to business communication that happens in procuring goods & services which are not “off the shelf” (i.e. business users need to communicate back and forth before being able to contract). RFx literally stands for “Request For anything”, normally taking the form of an RFP (Request for Proposal), RFI (Request for Information), RFQ (Request for Quote) and RFB (Request for Bid). Currently, all RFx communication between businesses (buyers, suppliers, brokers, etc.) is done via a huge number of email exchanges (with lots of attachments). This leads to operating inefficiencies (just think of all the admin dealing with thousands of emails between all users in the RFx process), compliance risks, poor governance standards, a lack of transparency and miscommunication.
As an RFx expert in the procurement world, these terms are a big part of everyday life. With industry lingo filled with procurement acronyms, synonyms and terminology, even an industry expert has some trouble navigating through the procurement jungle - no matter how many RFx you’ve awarded or responded to.
At DeepStream, with partners and vendors in renewable energy, offshore wind, shipping, telecoms and a number of other industrial businesses, procurement processes look very different. This is why the ‘catch-them-all’ term RFx is a term as agile as next generation RFx software need to deliver, covering all the different needs every business has. We like to picture our RFx software as a blank canvas and brush, and our users can color it with anything they prefer to make the best out the canvas and paint the most beautiful procurement art piece ever made.
In order to make life a bit easier and to navigate with ease through the next generation of agile RFx software, we have created a glossary of terms and definitions that every RFx Hero (this is what we at DeepStream calls our power users - being the superheroes of the company) should have in their life.
The RFx and Procurement Glossary Guide
Best value - The end result of a successful RFP and procurement process. An outcome that perfectly balances price and quality to meet the buyer’s needs.
Bid - The portion of the proposal that offers a price for goods or services. Bid/No-bid discussion. The RFx bid/no-bid process is a way to consider various factors that will influence the viability and prioritisation of a project.
Buyer - The issuer or business that has the intention for a tender and sends an RFx to evaluate their options
Blank Canvas - The option to start a new RFx based on own needs for the request. Later can be saved as templates for quick wins.
Deadline - the day and time the buyer sets as a deadline for the RFx. Can be different documents to be signed or viewed in certain Stages.
Collaborators - Team members ability to collaborate on different RFx.
Digital Clarification - A product feature that removes the need to waste time using an Excel file back and forth over email but instead in the digital platform.
DDQ - A due diligence questionnaire is a tool used by buyers to evaluate potential vendors for risk
E-sourcing - Also known as e-procurement.
RFP - Request For Proposal
RFI - Request For Information
RFQ - Request for Quotation
RFx - Request For anything
Pre Qualification - Just like your company page on LinkedIn, Buyers and Vendors can fill in their qualifications to highlight Vendor’s offerings or Buyer information.
Templates - Saved procurement processes often used for a Buyer’s RFx to reduce time spent on issuing an RFx
Line Items - summary view for ease of comparison
Pages - Used to group requirements into a logical structure, like ‘Technical’ and ‘Commercial’ and the ability to set permissions for internal teams against these.
Vendor - Also known as a seller, responder or bidder. The person or vendor responding to the RFx with the goal of providing a service or product.
Stages - Use stages like ‘RFI’ and ‘RFQ’ to structure how suppliers will progress through your request. You can set specific requirements, documents and deadlines for each stage
Shortlist - A list of often used Vendors listed as first choice for quicker awards
Vendor Network - The network effect that occurs when Buyers are inviting Vendors to a digital RFx platform (such as DeepStream) from which Buyers easily can search for Vendor’s Pre Qualification pages for faster awards.
Tender - The process that allows governments and financial institutions to solicit bids for large projects. Each tender has a specific deadline for submission.