2-2 Start Request for Proposal (RFP) Development

Once a decision has been made to purchase the requirement, an RFP is required. A Statement of Objectives (SOO), Statement of Work (SOW), specification, or product description must be developed before issuance, because these solicitation documents guide the content for the RFP. Well-written requirements documentation details postal objectives, supplier performance metrics, clarifies expectations, establishes ground rules, and is a prerequisite to successful purchasing and contract performance.

Adequate preparation time must be allowed to ensure that the RFP’s SOO, SOW, specification, or product description properly describes the requirement and conditions, without being so prescriptive that opportunities to achieve innovation for best value evaluation 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. See 1-10.2.2. Approval requirements are further outlined in Section 2-24, Review and Finalize Request for Proposals (RFP). The contracting officer, in consultation with the internal business partner, will determine whether to solicit prequalified suppliers, using a broad or limited group of suppliers, and/or other suppliers within the commodity market. The latter is preferred when:

When doing so will further the competitive interest of the Postal Service, the contracting officer 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 internal business partner need. In these situations, the contracting officer and the purchase/SCM team should consider Sections 2-8, Conduct Spend Analysis and 2-20, Develop and Finalize Sourcing Strategy topics.