2-2 Start Request for Proposal Development

Once a decision has been made to purchase the requirement, an RFP is required. Well-written requirements documentation clarifies expectations, establishes the ground rules, and is a prerequisite to successful purchasing and contract performance. Adequate time must be allowed to ensure that the RFP properly describes the requirement and conditions, without being so prescriptive that opportunities to achieve best value are lost. A preliminary RFP will be developed at this stage; review and finalize RFP activities will be conducted during the Perform Solicitation-Related Activities task of USPS Supplying Practices Process Step 2: Evaluate Sources.

The purchase/SCM team is responsible for developing the RFP. Approval requirements are further outlined in Section 2-24, Review and Finalize Request for Proposals (RFP). The CO, in consultation with the client, will determine whether to solicit prequalified suppliers and/or other suppliers. The latter is preferred when:

When doing so will further the competitive interest of the Postal Service, the CO may decide that overall demand for a type (or types) of goods or services makes it more effective to issue an RFP for an expanded list of requirements, rather than for a specific client need. In these situations, the CO and the purchase/SCM team should consider the Conduct Spend Analysis and Develop and Finalize Sourcing Strategy.

Once it has been determined that an RFP is appropriate, an SOO, SOW, specification, or product description must be developed before issuance, because these solicitation documents guide the content for the RFP.