Sunday, December 26, 2010

Business Research Requests and Proposals

Business Research Requests and Proposals

     Throughout this paper, an attempt will be made to provide a clear perception on two major and initial documents used in a proposal process: Business research request for proposal and Business research proposal    
1. Business Request for Proposal (RFP), (What is it and how to Construct it?)

     The request for proposal (RFP) is one of two primary documents used during the proposal process and is described as a formal document that is issued by a corporate research department, decision maker, or some other sponsor with the intent to solicit services from research suppliers. Furthermore RFP is considered as an important source of future business by research suppliers (Cooper & Schindler, 2008, p. 630)

How to Generate a RFP?

     Even though request for proposals differ to a degree from one organization to another, in general there are 6 components that need to be considered while structuring a RFP:
(a) Summary statement of the problem
     The Summary statement normally appears as a letter that introduces the organization that issued the RFP and can be provided as an abstract of technical section or it can be included as the first page of the technical section (Cooper & Schindler, 2008, p. 632)

(b) Proposal administration information

     Proposal administration information is depicted as an overview of vital information of the project itself, which obtains all the dates of the RFP process, all requirements for preparing the proposal and depicts how the proposal will be evaluated (Cooper & Schindler, 2008, p. 632)

(c) Technical section

     This section obtains every record needed by the supplier to create the proposal and describes the issues waiting to be addressed, technical details, services that will be performed, equipments, software, documentations required, also identify  every possible constrain (Cooper & Schindler, 2008, p. 632)

(d) Management section

     Undeniable, every each project necessitates some level of management. Every plan, report, schedule is included in this section. In addition, requirements, training, quality control supplier’s qualification, references, websites and so forth, all are showing in this section (Cooper & Schindler, 2008, p. 6323)

(e)Contract and license section

     This particular section holds any type of contracts, non disclosed agreement that must be signed by the supplier, terms of payments and required point of reference. It is significant that the firm should be restricted by requiring the supplier to complete tasks which are not described in RFP or contract negotiation. (Cooper & Schindler, 2008, p. 633)

(f) Pricing section

     This section facilitates the sponsor to compare the cost of proposals with different approach. While designing this section, one must be aware of ethical standards that are fundamentally important specifically for this section (Cooper & Schindler, 2008, p. 634)

2. Business Research Proposal
     An offer submitted to a prospect buyer or sponsor by an individual and or company with the intention of producing a product, is considered proposal. The research proposal aims to (Cooper & Schindler, 2008, p. 636):
*. Present the management question and relate its importance
*. Discuss the research efforts of whoever has worked on related management questions
*. Suggest the data needed and how it will be collected, treated, interpreted
Moreover, the two types of research proposal include: a) Internal Proposals (which are done by stuff specialist or research department within the firm), b) External proposals (which can be solicited or unsolicited)

Structure Elements of a Research Proposal

Possible elements of a research proposal structure consist of:
I. Executive Summary
II. Problem Statement
III. Research objectives
IV. Literature review
V. Importance/benefits of the Study
VI. Research design
VII. Data Analyses.
VIII. Nature and Form of Results
IX. Qualifications of Researchers
X. Budget

XI. Schedule
XII. Facilities and Special Resources
XIII. Project Management
XIV. Bibliography
XV. Appendices (Cooper & Schindler, 2008, p. 640-646)

Forms of Research Proposal Evaluation

      A research proposal can be evaluated by generating either or of review’s form:    

A. Formal Review B. Informal Review (Cooper & Schindler, 2008, p. 640-646)

A. Formal Review

     A formal review is usually conducted for solicited proposals and is concentrated on development of review criteria (using RFP guidelines) ,assignment of points to each criterion (using a universal scale), Assignment of weight for each criterion (based on importance of each criterion), and finally, generation  of a score for each proposal. Formal method review is mostly used for competitive government, university, or public sector grants and large scale contracts (Cooper & Schindler, 2008, p. 648-649)

B. Informal Review

     Informal reviews (informal evaluations are suitable for small-scale contracts. In contrast with formal reviews, no system of points is used, the criteria are not ranked, During this process the quality and impression are dominated characteristics (Cooper & Schindler, 2008, p. 649) 

     Wada (1988) persistently would insist
” Managers Say Research is the Key To Successful Responses to RFPs…. the best advice they could offer an agent answering a Request for Proposals (RFP) was to thoroughly research the prospective client before soliciting its business..” Summarizing the importance of the Business Research Requests and Proposals, it would not be an overstatement if we state that generally the existence of a research would be almost impossible without the presence of business research request and business research proposal.

Cooper, R. D., & Schindler, S. P. (2008). Business Research Methods.
         (10th Edition) New York: McGray-Hill/Irwin.
Wada, I. (1988). Managers say research is the key to successful responses to  
        RFPs.Business Information. Retreived via LIRN/GALEGROUP.

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