RFQ Process

The RFQ process can be complex and is vital to the supplier-client relationship.

What is an RFQ?

When appropriately managed, the RFQ process can be used to provide consistent information across functional and geographic silos, increasing the engagement of stakeholders across the organization, and saving time and resources while eliminating errors.

RFQ definition: An RFQ, or Request for Quotation, is a document submitted to potential suppliers and returned with an itemized list of prices.

RFQs allow a buyer to ensure they are getting the best value, and the best suppliers, for necessary products, and that suppliers have the opportunity to sell the most products at an appropriate price point, taking variables in the product, volume, and region into account. Buyers typically submit RFQs in a detailed invoice or proposal-style format.

An RFQ is widely considered the most significant problem area related to electronic parts procurement. The response to an RFQ often entails manual and laborious data entry practices, unnecessary with technical solutions available today. Distributors, manufacturers, and suppliers unnecessarily waste thousands of hours and millions of dollars tackling orders and requests because of manual and inefficient processes.

Download the free eBook: Best Practices for RFQ Intake and Response

Why does automation make sense for the electronics industry?

Without automating the RFQ process, suppliers burden themselves with an onslaught of data and no way of efficiently sorting through thousands of lines of critical information.

Automation not only streamlines processes but provides for the collection of large amounts of data. Using this data intelligently, organizations can learn more about consumer behavior, buying patterns, and their own organizational efficiencies. This, in turn, can lead to making strategic decisions based on actual, real-world data and taking advantage of all opportunities to grow the business as soon as they arise.

Related: How to Solve the 3 Most Significant Problems in Electronics Manufacturing

What are the key steps in the RFQ process for distributors, contract, and component manufacturers?

The RFQ Process for electronic parts purchasing relies on speed and accuracy to quickly transmit proposals and orders between distributors and manufacturers. Most likely, whoever processes and responds to requests the fastest, is most likely to win the business.

The RFQ process for the electronic parts industry follows the timeline below:

(1) Process intake of the RFQ (turning a manual file into actual data)
(2) Process the RFQ itself (confirming part numbers, fetching prices, fetching spec data, confirming factory capacity and ATO, etc.)
(3) Business intelligence, data availability across the organization.

When selecting a supplier:

    • For the electronic parts industry, sometimes only a small number of distributors have the necessary part a buyer requires.

    • While the supplier selection might be small, responding to proposals quickly and with competitive pricing is necessary as competition can be fierce. 

When confirming receipt of RFQ request:

Many times a soft request is needed by a distributor to confirm the following:

      1. Communicating physical specs of parts
      2. Communicating/confirming pricing
      3. Communicating//confirming inventory or ATO (Available to Order) for the timeframe of the RFQ (which might be months or years)
      4. Communicating delivery date
      5. Communicating Quality or Compliance requirements (for government or regulated orders).

There are countless points throughout the RFQ process where distributors, manufacturers, and suppliers have the potential make mistakes with RFQ intake and output. Tackling thousands of lines of data is impossible and avoidable with solutions like the Orbweaver Suite. When it comes to the RFQ process speed and accuracy dictates the winner in most cases.

With automated solutions like Orbweaver Connect and Advance, users can streamline the process, aggregate data instantly, and cut the review time by more than half. Recently, KEMET saw RFQ efficiencies execute up to 1000% faster with automation solutions for the RFQ process.

“Our partnership with Orbweaver has allowed us to use their leading products and collaborate with their best in class people to develop JetStream, KEMET’s new quoting platform that enables us to be faster, smarter and more collaborative to respond to the thousands of lines we quote globally every day.”  

- Fernando Spada VP - Global Distribution at KEMET Electronics Corporation

Read our KEMET Corporation case study to learn more about  improving your company’s efficiency with Orbweaver Advance.

Automation of the RFQ Process is the only way to guarantee a swift and accurate process of an RFQ. To compete, win business and provide the most accurate quote, learn more about Orbweaver Connect and AdvanceRFQ automation solutions built for the electronics industry.


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