A Bid Document is an output of the Plan Procurement Management process. This document is used when requesting proposals from potential suppliers to the project. The document will contain a description of the products or services that are to be procured. The same document can be issued to several potential suppliers so that responses can be compared in order to select the best supplier for the products or services that are being requested.
The Bid Document can have different forms depending on the nature of the products and services that are being requested.
If the products and services on offer by the potential supplier are already a fit for the project, the bid document may take the form of a Request for Quotation (RFQ) or Request for Proposal (RFP). In this case, the evaluation of the bid responses will usually be based on the cost and delivery schedule.
Where products or services are required and there isn’t enough information to determine whether they are a good fit for the requirements of the project, a Request for Information (RFI) will be issued first to determine more about the product or service.
The response to the RFI can be used to ask further questions to refine the product or service if required. Suppliers can be shortlisted on the basis of the response to the RFI to concentrate on those which have a good fit prior to moving to the next stages.
Based on the response to the RFI, the next stage will progress to a Request for Quotation (RFQ) to determine the cost of the products or services required. In this document, more detail will be provided to enable the supplier to provide an accurate quote for the costs and a schedule for delivery.
The Bid Document itself will vary in complexity depending on the value and risks associated with the procurement. Where there is uncertainty or complexity, a Request for Proposal (RFP) may be used which will ask the supplier to describe in more detail how they will provide the products or services and how they satisfy the requirements of the proposal.
The supplier will then be expected to respond formally with a Statement of Works (SoW) and contractual terms and conditions in preparation for agreeing to the procurement of the products or services.