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The State of The RFP in 2019: A Snapshot

A new report about the public sector’s request for proposal (RFP) process says that projects concerning IT products and services typically take organizations the longest to complete.

The report notes that on average, public-sector organizations spend about 70 days on RFPs for IT products and services from postage to award.

A request for proposal (RFP) is a document that asks potential suppliers to submit business proposals for procuring products and services to the organization seeking them.

Bonfire, a procurement software provider specializing in the RFP process, released the report in November 2019.

During 2019, Bonfire analyzed data from over 6,000 RFP submissions at 278 public-sector organizations to provide a current snapshot of the RFP landscape.

Bonfire’s new report, “State of the RFP 2019,” included analysis of municipalities, health care organizations, higher education institutions and K-12 schools.

RFPs matter as they fuel government at every level. Whether they’re federal, state or local governments, agencies rely on RFPs to acquire most of their assets. In turn, this enables the public services that citizens enjoy – and rely on – daily.

Consequently, RFPs impact every level of society from cities to hospitals and schools. More importantly, RFPs help ensure that billions of dollars are spent fairly and judiciously for the public good.

As time marches on, however, RFPs aren’t keeping up with rapid changes in technology. At many agencies nationwide, the RFP process is costly, time-consuming and slow to produce successful procurements. Digitizing RFPs, meanwhile, could speed up the time needed for posting, analyzing and awarding them. It would also enable data analytics, which could improve the RFP process overall.

Recognizing this, GovLoop is sharing Bonfire’s new report. Here are some of the report’s other interesting statistics:

  • 18 is the number of RFPs that the average public-sector organization runs annually as of 2018.
  • 57 is the number of days the average RFP took from posting to award in 2018.
  • 4 is the number of submissions that the average RFP received in 2018.
  • 116 is the average page length for one submission that the typical RFP received in 2018.
  • 19 is the number of RFPs that the average municipality runs per year as of 2018.

Bonfire’s report includes more valuable insights into how construction, IT and professional service RFPs are unfolding across public-sector organizations. The report additionally features information on:

  • Benchmarks on RFP set-up, vendor submissions and evaluations.
  • Data-driven answers to your questions about vendor participation, project duration
    and evaluator behavior.
  • A deep dive into the set-up of the three most common types of RFP projects.

This article is an excerpt from Bonfire’s recent report, “State of the RFP 2019.” To get the full story on the RFP process in 2019, read Bonfire’s entire report here.

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