It is quite necessary for any organization or even a decision maker to develop Request for Proposal (RFP) followed with Research Proposal (RP) documents. As one of the main documents necessary in the proposal preparation process, RFP facilitates preparation of a well detailed proposal with an adequate participation of all stakeholders in the organizations. Most of the organizations lack research specialist who can execute the required job effectively; hence, organizations are forced to go out for institutions such as universities and consultancy firms for help. Under this situation, the Request for Proposal is synthesized to aid in the process of preparing a complete proposal (Guffey & Loewy, 2010). This research paper will deeply engage in outlining the process and content of preparing a detailed Request for Proposal and the Research Proposal. A good Request for Proposal and Research Proposal should contain information and meet the requirements as described further in this paper.
An abstract is one of the vital elements for a complete research study. However, it is an optional part of the of the research proposal depending on the specifics of the research and the contents, as authorized by the company. It should contain brief information of the null or alternative hypothesis of the study, a description of what the research questions entails to cover, and lastly, brief explanation of how the researcher will collect the records and analyze the available data. This helps the person that uses the research information to have a hint of what to expect in the research proposal. Moreover, the researchers must state clearly whether the RFP will be informal or formal. If it is formal, then it is assumed that it has been prepared for external use.
The Research For Proposal must be defined clearly as one of the vital document request and it can be developed by a research specialist of a given department in the organization, a selected advisor, a decision making personnel or even a product supplier to the researcher. The document has been found to be highly essential as it outlines who authorized its preparation, which will monitor and supervise the project and lastly the necessary documents that the researcher needs to carry out, along with a complete and detailed report work (Leedy & Ormrod, 2005). However, after its preparation, suppliers are given deadline on the day they should present their proposal. The suppliers have been found to rely a lot on the RFP as it is said to be a key benchmark for future profit forecasting and preparation of budgets of the business. Thus, it is recommendable to take care and allocate enough time to the RFP preparation. Mostly, the private organizations do not advocate preparation of RFP as they deal with the bidders directly, who ensure that unnecessary costs have been cut down (Anderson, 2010). Thus, in general terms, the government is the main user of the RFP.
On the preparation of RFP, there must be a problem that needs to be solved. It acts as a guide to the researcher thus reducing the amount of work and unnecessary resources wastage. It should be noted that different companies prepare different types of RFP depending on the problem researched, size of the business and the researcher analyzing the data. However, some of items such as summary, recommendation technical factors and conclusions must be found on all Requests for Proposal. Lastly, the Request for Proposal helps to define the system and elaborate whether it is electronically oriented or manually operated. Moreover, the RFP facilitates the outlining of policies to be followed and outline who will administer the project work (Fraenkel & Wallen, 2011).
In order for the organization to achieve the fruits of the project, administration system must be clearly defined. As a matter of fact, the RFP Participants must be available for them to be questioned over the problem. Secondly, dates of when the proposal will be complete and when the project supervisor will start work with his team must be defined. Moreover, in order to ease the work, the researchers must agree on how to lead others, how the proposal requirements will be fulfilled and lastly how the challenges found on the way to realizing complete report will be solved (Msweli-Mbanga, 2011).
The contacts and names of the participants are clearly started to ease the communication process among them. Necessary tools that can act as a hindrance to the research process are availed to the administrators. Under this stage, the level of education and cooperation of each administrator is highly considered to avoid failure of the research proposal. Notice should be taken that there is a chairperson, secretary and members in the process of drafting the research proposal.
After identification of the administrators, the committee is obliged to commence the project on the RFP work by giving out a detailed summary statement of the problem. A research problem refers to what the researcher intend to study. Mostly it is found to be a gap in some need that needs to be solved. It is quite vital for any researcher to summarize the problem in a simple sentence for the benefit of the users.
An overview of how the organization has been affected by the problem is given before highlighting the need to prepare RFP for the problem. A good example of a problem about supply chain management in an organization can be framed as; ‘How will the organization supply chain be impacted if the government raises tax on raw material’?
Note that sometimes, the researchers may decide to include a section of the significance of designing the RFP so as to shed some light to suppliers and management of the organization, in terms of the essentials of the RFP. Moreover, depending on the type and size of the organization, the researcher may find it necessary to include hypothesis of the RFP in the course work, for the benefit of the user (Zikmund, 2003).
This is the next stage after defining the problem, and it entails technical explanation from the supplier of the RFP, which should be included to avoid misconception, in details. This must be in line to the problem being studied and the desire of the sponsor. The supplier must involve the sponsor to the process in order to pave the way for lesser misunderstanding and conflict from him. Geographical, sector and time frame must be technically defined for the sponsor. Technical section of the RFP is one of the essential parts of the proposal.
Most of the time, the Proposal Request is subject to a lot of alterations. The researcher should adequately define the background of the company, project requirements, functional requirements, assumptions made in the process, design requirements, anticipated schedule set for selection, the criteria used in the process of awarding the contracts, and lastly the time to be taken by the project (Ragins & Kram, 2007). Moreover, it is quite necessary for the supplier of the Proposal Request to include some of the challenges such as inadequate fund and lack of cooperation, which likely to affect the project. Solutions to some of the problem must be found, so as to avoid termination of the RFP of projects on the way.
For the organization to reap adequate benefits from the drafted RFP, the suppliers must ensure that there is a quality control team that is assigned the work for ensuring that clear, complete and straight forward RFP project has been drafted. This reduces future wastage of time and resources from bias RFP. A bias RFP has been found to be the cause of frustration to the company and even to the outsiders, who may intend to use the RFP in bidding tenders. Moreover, the review committee helps to ensure that the RFP of the project has been clearly understood, and every bit of it has been implemented to the best of the sponsor’s knowledge.
The management board plays the next role after the technical bench. It is the work of the management board to ensure that tasks are allocated well and adequately to various players in the process of design of the RFP (Abrams & Kleiner, 2003). Proper documentation must be kept to avoid unnecessary confusion that may lead to time and other resources wastes. The suppliers, managers and all staff involved in the process are outlined in respect to their duties and qualifications. Timetables and work schedules are also drafted to aid in paving directions to the suppliers of how the RFP and the proposal should look. The management is also required to make a clear statement on the information collected, which should be analyzed, recorded and even saved. Management must also clarify the mode used to display the information to the bidders and other clients.
A contract is an agreement that involves two parties and which requires them to abide to what they agreed under contract agreements. Usually, failure to comply with the agreement means a breach of contract and the injured party can decide to sue the offender for compensation. The supplier of the RFP and the sponsors of the RFP (and the Proposal) enter into a contract, where the supplier is required to exercise confidentiality of information about the company (Porter-Roth, 2002).
The researcher must not disclose any information to the business rival or engage in canvassing with the tender bidders. Moreover, the intellectual property right and the copy right of the company are also contained in this section. Later, a license is awarded to the supplier to review the company’s initial projects work before designing the RFP. The contract agreement also contains the means of payment to the RFP designers. Any allowances or salary must be clearly stated to avoid conflict in the future. Warning is also given to the supplier that any leak of information means automatic disqualification from the engagement and no payments will be extended to him.
Lastly, all the tasks are outlined in the contract meaning any task that is not in the written document is not a component of the duties given to the supplier; hence, should not be compromised to perform it. Always all the contractual documents must be stated as the final in order to prevent any conflict in the future.
The pricing systems of RFP and research proposal differ from one company to another depending on the size and the contents of the two items. The supplier must consider several factors when setting up the cost of the proposal. The sponsor will be then provided with a list of various items that the supplier found necessary to be included in the research work. The pricing cost must include the service cost of various expenses that the supplier will incur travelling to and from the data collection site (Leming, 1991). Moreover, it will also include various expenses incurred in the data collection process, data recording, analysis, and lastly, data presentation process such cost of projectors and graphics.
Miscellaneous costs such as travelling expenses, allowances for extension of working hours, incentives for respondents, internet services and lastly telephone calls costs are also included here. Costs such as for computers, pilot testing costs, report writing costs, reproduction and photocopying costs, and lastly, the cost of managing the projects are compulsory cost that must be incurred and recorded as part of the pricing cost of the research work. In the assessment of these costs, it is vital for the supplier to exercise honesty and transparency to avoid being seen as unethical.
Other factors are considered in the process of setting up the cost of the Research Request for Proposal. The cost or the price is highly determined by the specifics of the proposal according to the sponsor intends. Secondly, the size of the project that the sponsor intends to start will also contribute significantly to the cost, as the larger the project is the higher the cost of the project. Moreover, the scope of experience of the supplier matters a lot in the cost analysis, as it is expected that experience assumes work of high quality. Lastly, the contents of the RFP will also predict the amount of cost to be included. If additional sections, apart from the compulsory one, such as background information of the company, problem statement, technical section recommendation and the conclusions are added, then the cost will change as these other costs are mainly not included in the project work.
A research proposal is an essential document that a supplier or even a company can use to win a tender for supplying or manufacturing of a given product for the buyer (Madden & Miranda, 1999). Usually it is vital to ensure that the proposal is complete and clear enough. It should be concise and convincing such that the sponsor will feel prone to read and understand its contents. It must clearly fit and capture the problem of the sponsor adequately. Secondly, it must illustrate in an easy form how the researcher collected information, analyzed and recorded data and then presented it. It should outline from the beginning to the end how the problem emerged, how it is handled, and lastly, which solutions are fit enough to solve it once and forever. Individuals can improve the chances of writing a compelling proposal that will be highly accepted before the eyes of the sponsor by just following the eight easy steps, as outlined below..
First, the researcher must clearly know his or her strengths within the scope of Proposal works know the areas that he is fit enough to cover; be also a scholar, who can revise the work of other researchers in the area of interest as he is not the first researcher to work on that area. This helps to identify in advance some of the areas in the proposal reviews before forwarding the work to the buyer or the sponsor. Researcher should not avoid writing a research proposal because that area is not familiar to him.
Secondly the researcher needs to know the program well so as to avoid wasting time and resources. It is quite essential for him to keep in touch with the program officer so as to be updated step by step what is needed, and to what time limit the research proposal is completed and ready for submission. This will help the researcher submit a research proposal that will not end up in the dustbin or not be approved, in an event that is directed to the wrong group of sponsors.
Thirdly, read the supplied program from the buyer or the sponsor carefully so as to understand the mentioned requirements and terms of the project work. This will still save the researcher from wasting time on writing about a problem that will be unsuccessful in the race to win the tender. Fourthly, formulate clear objectives that are possible to be analyzed and match to the problem being researched. It is crucial to read the work of other scholars so as to have an overview of how the objectives should be drafted. Notice should be paid that the objectives must clearly match the questions initially drafted.
Fifthly, develop an appropriate timetable and a work plan that will aid in allocating time and resources, so that the researcher eventually attains a 100% success. In order to validate the research work, it is vital to make an effort to see that any problem, which needs to be mentioned as a key hindrance to the success of the research proposal, is known in advance, and a solution is found. Moreover, researcher has to ensure that the clarity of the frame of the research objectives, by avoiding words such as develop; he should rather use words like to find out, to determine, to investigate, among others in framing the objectives. In addition to that, he has to ensure that his work rotates around the work of others, who drafted one of the best research proposals. Lastly avoid research proposals full of grammatical mistakes and errors as it depicts that possibly the researcher is careless or lazy.
There are different types of research proposal; however, they can be classified into two broad groups: the internal and external proposals. Firstly, the internal research proposal is prepared by the internal management staff, such as IT specialist of or product analyst. They are mainly used internally by management to improve the performance. Secondly, there is the external research proposal, which assumes to be designed by an external researcher, and it is mainly found to be highly essential to the users. Mainly, the external researchers are highly required, where it is found that the internal researchers have little experience on the problem being researched.
The research proposal can also be classified based on the level of complexities that are relating to them. This assumes, they can be classified as small scale, if they are not complex, and secondly, do not involve a lot of costs. On the other hand, those project research proposal are highly complex, which involve large scale project works and capable of costing million dollars in order for the project to be complete.
There are several factors that should be considered in the evaluation process of a project research proposal. These elements must be perfectly fulfilled in order for any research proposal to be accepted by the sponsor. They include; first, the price set and calculated being reasonable for the supplier and the sponsor. Secondly, the technical requirements in the RFP must be adequately attained by the suppliers so that the sponsor can implement them. Moreover, there is a need to have the supplier and the sponsor not breach the contract terms and license policies. A proper implementation planning schedule must be followed to ensure that all items are fully achieved. Also, the administrative and management board requirements need to be fully achieved.
After the evaluation process, it is vital to recommend the winning supplier, stating the reasons, why he/she has been selected, is written. The report should clearly define the methods used to appoint the winning supplier, and the challenges found on the way. Lastly, contact the winner and award the contract or provide the necessary remunerations, as agreed.
It is extremely beneficial to have the best RFP and convincing Proposal as the best estimated costs are ranked from various suppliers. A proposal is a form of the document that needs to be convincing so as to lure the buyer; hence, it is quite beneficial to draft a solid one. On the other hand, a valid RFP means a satisfactory research proposal; hence, the management should create a competitiveness bid for RFP, which in turn, leads to a satisfactory research proposal. Competitive prices and properly documented research work can be accessed through comparing different proposal work of various research suppliers.