Don’t answer an RFQ is advised?

Why you should answer an RFQ

Amazingly, we found an article from the recent past recommending NOT answering a quote request. This would appear to represent perhaps the worst advice in our situation we’ve ever seen! The article appeared in the March 7, 2013, edition of Inc. magazine, and was also featured in a Linkedin group. The title is “Death by RFP: 7 Reasons Not to Respond”.

The first thought in this article is this: “Flattered to be asked to respond to an RFP? You shouldn’t be. Here’s why they’re bad for your business”. The link is above, in case you wish to read the article.

We’d be very interested if anyone agrees with the response recommended in the 7th reason not to respond. We could not disagree more strongly.

Please comment below with how you feel about the response. Also check out the rest of our blogs and let us hear your opinions on them.

Proficient Sourcing provides candidates to buyers seeking manufacturing suppliers for custom parts or assemblies, and our capabilities cover a very wide variety of manufacturing processes.  In most cases the buyer needs a NEW supplier, perhaps due to something new or an existing supplier failure. In these cases the buyer depends upon a responsible response to the inquiry, which is usually a drawing and/or request for quote. Our job is to make this as easy for the buyer as we can, and we do this without cost or obligation

In our case, buyers seeking quotes are often new to us, and also are issuing RFQ’s to others. Therefore, regardless of our recommended shops and their subsequent quote, we do not expect to win all quotes. So how does it help us NOT to bid on work? Allowing a RFQ to die without response would not encourage a buyer to come to us for future needs. How would that behavior help anyone?

Our position is that the shops we work with are to either no-bid a request for quote or answer it. Not only that, but when asked to offer a planned response date. We recognize there are circumstances where our chances of success are low, but if the requested work fits, NOT answering is a guarantee of NOT getting that work.

Here are some situations where a buyer needs a new supplier: A current supplier fails or goes out of business; the need is for something unavailable via the current supplier base, or the company wishes to outsource something heretofore done internally.

Admittedly job shops are more commodities than product sellers in most cases. That’s surely one reason why the article is not a perfect fit. But it’s also the case that every good shop has a sweet spot, and its our job to find that shop for every RFQ we see. In some cases we can suggest multiple candidates. Check us out Proficient Sourcing.


So while we disagree with advice NOT to answer an RFQ, the subject begs the question of how to structure the quest for the right supplier so that better results occur. This we will tackle in upcoming newsletters, and we’d welcome any advice on that subject!

One Comments

  • Robert Vannelli

    September 14, 2017

    Not sure of the wisdom of not responding to an RFQ. I know when we conduct a competitive sourcing event, we try to include bidders whom we believe would be a good fit if selected. We also recognize that preparing a quotation takes time, and it is unfair to a bidder to ask it to dedicate resources to the preparation of the quote without some reasonable expectation the bidder is qualified and otherwise eligible to do the work. So from my perspective, I would like the bidder to say it is not quoting and state why. If the reason seems legit, such as shop workload, not being able to meet all of the technical or commercial requirements, etc., I am fine with that. Personally, the bidder who takes the time to respond makes me more inclined to solicit a quote from that bidder in the future.
    Perhaps another situation for a different article is the bidder who says it will quote and never does, and fails to offer an explanation. Major turnoff for future RFQs.


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