Evaluate bidders on qualitative criteria by creating an RFI questionnaire.
In the ‘Overview’, Click 'Start online' to enter questions online, or use the 'Download template' button to download a RFI template that can be used to design the RFI offline, or ‘Copy existing RFI’ to copy an RFI from a previous event.
On the ‘Questions’ tab, click the ‘Add questions’ button to begin your RFI.
This will provide the screen shown in Figure 3 to begin designing your RFI.
Below the questions header, there is an additional header to allow a description to be attached to the question.
The ‘Pre-bidding RFI submission’ selector allows bidders to submit responses to RFI questions before the bidding round opens (Figure 2).
Purchasers have the option to enter an optional identifier for a question in order to compliment the question number, or a different identifier other than the question number (Figure 3).
Response Types and Formats
The RFI offers 3 different response types:
- Mandatory: The question is mandatory, but bidders can access the bid sheet without providing an answer to this question
- Gating: Bidders are required to provide any response to access the bid sheet. If you wish to require bidders to provide a specific response, then use the "Single-choice" input and mark the required response. The 'Bid Sheet' screen and associated screens will be inaccessible until a bidder provides the required response to all gating questions.
- Optional: Bidders are not required to answer this question and can access the bid sheet at any time.
The following question response formats are currently supported:
- Text:Text responses are ideal for explanations and comments. You can convert this to a drop-down selection by selecting “Yes” for ‘Restricted input?’ and then adding a list of values separated by commas (e.g., Red, Blue, Green, Orange). The bidder will only be able to pick from one of these values. To remove a restricted value, simply click the ‘x’ next to the value.
- Number: This response type expects a numeric response.
- Currency: Once this response type is chosen, you can decide if the bidders select the currency (“Bidder defined”) or if you select it for them (“Purchaser defined”). If it’s Purchaser defined, then you’ll also need to select a currency from a list (based on the currencies picked in the ‘Overview’ screen).
- Single Choice: This allows bidders to choose from a single response selection of restricted responses. A long list of single choices can also be imported
- Multiple Choice: Allows bidders to choose multiple responses from a selection of restricted responses.A long list of multiple choices can also be imported.
- Date: The bidders will select a date from a calendar.
- File: The bidders will need to upload a file; supported formats are: .xlsx, .xls, .pdf, .docx, .doc, .odf, .csv, .txt, .png, .jpg, .jpeg, .tiff, .tif, .bmp, .pptx, .ppsx, .pptm, .gif, .odt, and .zip
Categories, Supporting documentation and Comments
RFI questions can be organized into categories. This allows bidders to quickly filter and navigate to questions based on purchaser defined categories. To add a category, click the ‘+Add’ button in the left hand side of the screen (Figure 6). This will present a screen to add a name and description for the category, and then click ‘Save’.
Once a category has been created, questions can be added to that category. Click on the ‘Category’ section, which will present you with the categories previously created, and then select the category that the question will be added to.
Purchasers can allow bidders to comment on questions along with their answers. By clicking the ‘Allow comments’ checkbox, this allows bidders to submit comments that support their answers to their questions. Documents can also be attached to support RFI question by clicking the ‘Supporting documents’ checkbox, and then either drag and drop their file into the upload section, or browse and choose their file to upload (Figure 7).
Once the question has been created, click the ‘Save button’. This will show you a quick preview of your question with the following admin controls below (Figure 8):
- Edit: Re-design the RFI question along with the requirements and response types.
- Add Question: Insert another question before, after, or add a sub-question into the current RFI question.
- Move: Reposition the question before or after another question.
- Delete: Delete the question from the RFI.
Once the RFI question has been created, purchasers can click the ‘Preview’ tab. This will show the RFI questionnaire from the bidders perspective (Figure 9).
On the left hand side, bidders will see their RFI progress along with options to filter through the RFI questions. Bidders can filter through the RFI questions via the following options:
- Text: Enter text that matches the text in the question.
- Categories: Select which category of questions they wish to respond to.
- Questions Responses: View which questions have been unanswered, answered, or view all questions.
- Requirement: View questions based on the following response types: Mandatory, Gating, or Optional.
The following selector provides the option to copy an existing RFI from a previous event, or delete the current RFI in place. Copying an existing RFI replaces all the information in the current RFI (Figure 10):
Once you have finished designing your RFI, the overview page provides a quick graphical overview of the RFI design, along with the number of RFI question, Categories, Supporting Documents, and Gating Questions.
Via the RFI Overview tab, you can choose to enable or disable RFI responses. By default, RFI responses RFI responses can be submitted at any time during and after rounds. Only when the event is closed will it not be possible for bidders to changes responses.
However, you disable RFI response submission at any time by toggling the button to `Off` option. This will stop bidders from answering RFI questions. For example, you may want to restrict RFI responses from round 2 onwards, so that bidders can only add or edit response during round one.