Writing Good RFP Questions

Last update on Nov. 10, 2015.


  1. The "best" vendor is the one most suited to your requirements
  2. The only "expert" is yourself - the buyer. Stay focused on your requirements
  3. Don't be afraid to let the vendors educate you about their products or services
  4. Closed questions (multiple choice) are better than open questions
  5. Fewer good questions are better than many questions of variable quality

Objective Bid Comparison

An RFP (Request For Proposal) doesn't have to involve questionnaires and surveys. At its most simple, an RFP can be just a letter or email to potential suppliers: "We intend to buy product/service X, please send ...

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SupplierSelect for Electronic Medical Record (EMR) RFPs

Last update on March 12, 2014.

EMR Match has partnered with SupplierSelect to launch a service for the evaluation and selection of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) vendors. EMR Match formed a committee of over 20 industry experts to build a set of requirements for evaluating EMR systems. These requirements are expressed as a SupplierSelect questionnaire with over 250 questions. Over 50 EMR vendors are now registered in the system, with pre-screening data available for a majority of those. This enables EMR buyers to manage a rigorous EMR RFP entirely through their browser using predefined criteria and issuing to pre-registered vendors.

Electronic Medical Records system adoption has ...

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Student Information System RFP managed with SupplierSelect

Last update on March 12, 2014.

Auckland University of Technology ( has successfully used SupplierSelect for evaluating and selecting a Student Information System for managing 25,000 students. 33 university staff collaborated through SupplierSelect on defining requirements and evaluating vendors' bids.

Student Information Systems (SIS) are crucial to the running of a modern university. Such systems provide a single view of a students data - billing, housing, academic performance etc. In some ways they are the analog of ERP systems for manufacturing or distribution companies.

Auckland University's RFP project faced a number of challenges. Firstly, a Student Information System is intensively used ...

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Embed Images in RFP Questionnaires

Last update on Oct. 14, 2013.

SupplierSelect now enables you to embed images within your RFP questions.

It's always been possible to associate an attachment with a question in SupplierSelect. For example, a typical question is:

"2.4.2. Please download, complete, and upload the attached spreadsheet 'pricingMatrix.xls'".

It's also been possible to attach images which are then referred to in the question:

"3.5.2. The attached file 'specification.gif' is a technical drawing of the solution we require. Please indicate timings and costs for the implementation of this specification"

It is now possible to embed an image inline with the question ...

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RFP Answer Input Validation

Last update on March 12, 2014.

Sometimes you want to restrict the type of information that can be input in response to your RFP questions. For example, you may wish to perform further analysis on answers input by respondents to your RFP:

  • Price information, and you wish to compare prices between respondents
  • Financial background information
  • Technical details about the product or service being sourced

Previously SupplierSelect text boxes were entirely free from - the user could input any information. A new feature recently added is Input Validation. When applied to a text input field, this checks the data input by a respondent conforms to a given "validation ...

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Collaborate with Vendors to Maintain Reference Data

Last update on Jan. 30, 2017.

Reference Projects enables vendor and buyers to build a set of reference information free from the restrictions of the standard tendering or RFx process.

Problems with the RFx Process

The traditional RFx cycle involves the buyer requesting a bunch of information from vendors, and providing a deadline by which they must submit the information.This workflow is ideal for projects where the buyer will only request information from the vendor once - such as awarding a specific contract. But in many cases it will be necessary to request the same information repeatedly, e.g.

  • A periodic review of vendors, such a ...

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Intercontinental Hotel Group uses SupplierSelect RFP software to enforce brand standards

Last update on March 12, 2014.

Intercontinental Hotel Group Logo

Intercontinental Hotel Group has been using SupplierSelect since 2007 to manage RFPs across all the procurement categories that luxury hotels require. In this article, Richard Tan, Director of Procurement Asia Pacific, describes how SupplierSelect helps not only with managing with RFPs and tenders efficiently, but also with achieving the brand consistency that is central to the group's success.

Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) is the world's largest Hotel group by number of rooms. It manages over 4,500 hotels and over 650,000 beds. These hotels are grouped by brand - Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Intercontinental ...

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Configurable "From" address for email notifications

Last update on March 12, 2014.

SupplierSelect sends email notifications for significant events such as an invitation to respond being sent from a buyer to bidder. Previously, all email notifications sent by SupplierSelect came from a system email address ( This occasionally causes problems, such as when the recipient is on holiday, and an automated out of office reply is sent.

SupplierSelect now supports per Project configuration of the "From" field to be used by email notifications. This a new mandatory field in "Project Details". It can be changed at any time, even after a Project is published.

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Event Marketing RFP Guidelines

Last update on Oct. 14, 2013.

SupplierSelect is currently working on an exciting project with the Event Marketing Institute to bring SupplierSelect to their members, complete with a range of RFP templates suitable for customization.

The Event Marketing Institute is a trade association and research body for the Event Marketing industry. Part of its role is to educate and encourage best practise amongst industry participants. Over recent years they have become increasingly aware of dissatisfaction amongst both buy and sell side organizations with regard to the RFP process. Vendors say they receive too many inappropriate RFPs, and buyers sometimes lack experience of running a formal RFP ...

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Email Notifications for RFP Response Workflow Mode

Last update on March 12, 2014.

Respondents answering an RFP in SupplierSelect may elect to enable "Workflow" for the given project. Doing so provides an alternative task-centric view of an RFP response in which sections or questions can be allocated to different users for update / review / approval etc. This has been available since 2007 and is described more fully here:

This has proved to be a very important feature for larger organisations who respond to dozens of big RFPs per year via SupplierSelect. Based on feedback from these groups we've now added support for email notifications and ...

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