How to prepare a good RFP/RFQ to get an accurate quotation from OEMs

A well-written and prepared Request for Proposal(RFP) or Request for Quotation (RFQ) is a key to obtaining an accurate proposal from the prospective contract manufacturer. While the structure of the Request for Proposal/Quotation could vary from product to product, there are some common sections that you should have when you’re looking for a contract manufacturer for your hardware product. 

1. Exclusive summary

The section should provide your prospective manufacturing partner with a brief company introduction and high-level product requirements. The section also might include the key assumptions like target price and estimated selling volume. 

2. Business model overview describes your target market, sales channel (online or offline), product promotion, and distribution methods.  

3. Product specification and requirements. 

This section should include comprehensive product requirements. For hardware product you should prepare the following information: 

  1. Product hardware specification. 
  2. Mechanical CAD files: 
    1. 3D model (STEP)
    2. 2D drawings 
    3. Mechanical BOM
    4. Color Material Finish file (CMF)
  3. Electronics PCBA files: 
    1. Gerber files 
    2. PCB requirements
    3. Schematics
    4. Electronics BOM
    5. Datasheets
  4. Packaging: 
    1. Layout design 
    2. Package material specification
    3. Artworks (sleeve, warranty cards, etc)
  5. Datasheets. If you have specific or rare components in your BOM file. It’s good to add them here.
  6. Assembly Instructions.
  7. Quality requirements and Acceptance Quality Limit (AQL)

4. Assumptions and constraints

You might want to list your assumptions and constraints in this section like your anticipated manufacturing schedule, shipping date, NRE costs, sample costs, etc.  

5. Terms and conditions 

If your company has established policy and procedures, you might want to include the 

  • Non-recurring engineering (NRE) payment terms 
  • Tooling payment terms 
  • Goods payment terms (for example T/T 30/70)
  • Warranty 
  • Procurement requirements
  • Forward and reverse logistics terms

6. Required content and materials 

This section might include requirements for the content and materials you want to get in response to the Request For Proposal/Quotation.  

7. Selection criteria

If you want your prospective manufacturer to know your selection criteria, you can include them in the RFP.  

8. Contact information 

The more time you spend on preparing a good RFP/RFQ the less time you spend on back-and-forth communication clarifying details and, therefore you have a better chance to get a more accurate proposal that meets your requirements.  To prepare a good proposal takes time. Normally, depending on the complexity of your product it could take 2 – 4 weeks. The process involves evaluation of your products CAD files by engineers, sourcing department must check components lead time and prices based on the requested volume. The manufacturing has an extremely complex supply chain, so the evaluation and preparation of proposals is rarely done by the manufacturer alone and involves the involvement of many sub-suppliers ( like Tooling suppliers, Package suppliers PCB manufacturer, etc) in the evaluation and proposal preparation process.

If you need any help in the preparation or verify of RFP/RFQ or you need help with sourcing the right manufacturing partner, please send us your request at