Asking your suppliers the right question is key in running a successful RFP. That’s why we’ve created 3 types of questions
which can help you easily ‘extract’ all the valuable information from your suppliers in an efficient way: Free-Text; Single
Choice and Multiple Choice Questions.
|What is it?||Suppliers can provide any answer they choose without you forcing them to select from specific options. This is an open-ended question.|
|When to use it?||When you have exploratory questions. When you want your suppliers suggest with alternatives and ideas. When suppliers need to give examples, study- cases, describe situations.|
|Advantages:||You get much more detailed information from your suppliers than through other types of questions.||You obtain structured data, which is very easy to compare and analyse.|
They’re simple. It’s much easier to click a button than to type in a response. Easier and faster for suppliers to answer.
|Weaknesses:||Data is not structured and it’s very hard to compare responses. Some suppliers might be discouraged thinking there is too much information to collect and provide. If not asked correctly, you will invite a very general answer that will not have much value||Suppliers can’t be creative, offer alternatives or what can be valuable details. If not asked correctly, suppliers might need more than the choices you provided and they will be confused.|
Keep in mind that you need to always find a balance between:
- asking a lot of questions (especially open-ended ones), but which might discourage suppliers participating, might create
delays, and you putting a lot of effort into analyzing them and,
- asking too few question, not providing enough information to you to take the right decision
If you want to browse a case study about how you can use the 3 question types depending on your goal please read our article:
‘Same question, 3 different ways of asking your suppliers in a RFP’.