WebSphere Commerce Enterprise

Request for Quote (RFQ)

A buyer can create a Request for Quote (RFQ), by using the WebSphere Commerce Accelerator, for unique variations of goods and services that are offered in a catalog. If buyers cannot find a product or category that match their needs within a catalog, they can select attributes from the personalized dictionary to precisely define the product specifications. A buyer can also create an RFQ by using the contents in their shopping cart, or add a shopping cart to an existing RFQ.

A requisition list is used by buyers to add products to RFQs. Buyers can include multiple products in one RFQ, and define unique specifications for each product. They can include attachments on the RFQ or product specification level. They can also specify the terms and conditions for the transaction. When the buyer submits an RFQ request, it is placed into a "future" or "active" state. By using the WebSphere Commerce Accelerator, a seller can view the RFQ and submit a response when the request is in an "active" state. A buyer can also change or cancel an RFQ.

For an existing RFQ, a buyer can negotiate the price at the category level. The RFQ summary and list pages within the WebSphere Commerce Accelerator display this information.

When sellers respond to an RFQ, they have the option of responding to each attachment, terms and conditions, product, category, as well as to each product specification or comment. Sellers and buyers negotiate aspects of RFQs (for example, price adjustments at the percentage or fixed price levels are a common point of negotiation). Sellers can specify a fulfillment center, or substitute a product (if the buyer provided that option in the request). A seller can also modify or cancel a response.

Once sellers respond to the RFQ, the buyer closes the RFQ and evaluates the responses to choose a winner, or multiple winners. When the RFQ response is accepted by the buyer and the seller is notified, the RFQ transaction is completed by using one of the following processes:

  • The buyer places an order that already contains the RFQ information.
  • A contract already containing the RFQ information is created.
  • The RFQ can go to the next round.

A record of the RFQ is maintained in the RFQ request list for a predetermined period, so that you can copy an RFQ that you repeatedly use. Responses are retained for the same period to facilitate a seller's response to similar requests from the same buyer.