HCL Commerce Enterprise

Request for Quote (RFQ)

A Request for Quote (RFQ) is a type of trading mechanism available in HCL Commerce. You can maintain and administer RFQs using the HCL Commerce Accelerator. When you publish the advanced B2B starter store provided with HCL Commerce, you get the RFQ request tool.

A Site Administrator makes the decision, during the setup of HCL Commerce, if they want to enable the RFQ trading mechanism. The Site Administrator must consider the following items:

  • Whether approvals for the RFQ response process should be enabled. If enabled, responses will be reviewed before transmittal to the buyer.
  • Notification and job scheduling must be enabled to ensure that buyers and sellers are notified of changes in the status of RFQ requests and responses.

A buyer can create an RFQ for unique variations of goods and services that are offered in a catalog. If buyers cannot find a product matching their needs in the catalog, they can select attributes from the personalized attributes dictionary to precisely define the product specifications. A buyer can also create an RFQ using the contents in their shopping cart, or add a shopping cart to an existing RFQ.

A requisition list can also be 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 HCL 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 HCL Commerce Accelerator display this information.

When sellers respond to an RFQ, they have the option of responding to each attachment, terms and conditions, and product, as well as to each product specification or comment. They have the option of specifying a fulfillment center, or substituting a product if the buyer has provided that option in the request. A seller can also modify or cancel a response.

Once sellers have responded 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.

    This is called an Order RFQ. When the RFQ is completed it becomes and order. The buyer will not get the same price or quotation of the RFQ on future transactions.

  • A contract already containing the RFQ information is created.

    This is called a Contract RFQ. When the RFQ is completed it becomes a buyer contract which can be used repeatedly. A contract RFQ represents an agreement between the buyer and seller on the quotation of products.

  • 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.