Requests For Information (RFIs) & Draft RFP (DRFPs)

Why you should care about RFIs & DRFPs

To influence Forecast & re-competes opportunities you typically need some relationships with the customer, but RFIs & DRFPs are open requests by the government for feedback, so:
1) You don’t need to know anyone
2) They are your last opportunity to influence an opportunity in your favor before the RFP
3) If you haven’t started preparing your proposal and bid team already now is the time to start
As a rule if you haven’t responded to the RFI/DRFP/influenced the RFP in your favor most mature contracting companies won’t pursue the follow on RFP

Why the government published RFIs & DRFPs

  • Tests the plan: In the planning phase the government developed a hypothesis for:
    • The need the government has
    • The solution the government wants
    • The contractual mechanism:
    • The level of competition:
    • The evaluation:
    • The pricing:
    • Limitations on competition:
    • Past performance and other bidder requirements:
  • In the RFI the government typically shares their plan for each of these, and asks industry to provide feedback

What is in the RFI & DRFP

RFIs & RFPS contain a lot d of the same information. They both lay out the governments hypothesis on each of the items above. The principal difference is that RFIs are more informal while DRFPs are draft of the RFP, so RFP structure and content.

What this means for you

  • Tracking: You should have a few RFIs in your pipeline that you are building responses to
  • Your strategy: Your RFI response should influence the government in ways that help you (for more on this see our class on Shaping and limiting competition)
  • Start building your team: If you haven’t already now is the time to start identifying partners to team with on the RFP

How Fedscout can help you

Find RFIs

FedScout’s contract search aggregates RFIs

Planning your influence strategy

FedScout has an influence wizard to help you plan your strategy

Rants and Reflections

My unscripted thoughts after coaching hundreds of small government contractors over the last 10 years

Other resources (Individual contract checks)

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List of further reading

Video Transcript(s):

Odds are that your first contract will be as a sub to another small business, so you need to find small businesses you could work with, and start building relationships with them.

And, FedScout makes this easy. Click on the partner button below and FedScout will show you all the small businesses in your industry that have won work at one of your selected sub-agencies.

And if you’ve uploaded your linkedin connections we'll do our best to identify people you know at each small business.

And like with customers, select the companies and the people that you want to target and we’ll add them to your relationship manager.