The Request for Proposal (RFP)

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The Request for Proposal (RFP)

An organized RFP is beneficial to the vendors as they can provide the specific information you need to make an informed decision about their product. Key components of the RFP is an introduction with general information about the need for instrumentation including data such as volume, ordering patterns, need for STAT and ASAP testing, degree of automation needed, complexity testing requirements, ability to utilize reagents from multiple vendors, QC storage requirements, linearity range of tests, etc. The next part is to give the vendor the instrument needs of the laboratory based on the performance standards established. The final part is to inform the vendor when a decision to purchase will be made and who are the decision makers. The table below describes a general outline for what to include in an RFP.
Outline for a Request for Proposal
General
  1. Name of instrument
  2. Options
  3. Power requirements
  4. Environmental requirements
  5. Temperature requirements
  6. Date instrument was introduced in the laboratory
Pricing
  1. List price
  2. Reagent price per test
  3. Supplies price per test
  4. Service/maintenance contract price
  5. Trade in consideration
Testing
  1. Tests available
  2. Profiles
  3. Throughput (theoretical and actual)
  4. STAT capabilities
  5. Measurement principles
  6. User-defined methods
  7. Discrete or batched
  8. Temperature control
  9. Startup/shutdown
Reagent
  1. Type
  2. Volume
  3. Stability/storage requirements
  4. Amount consumed per test
  5. On-board storage
  6. Normal shelf life
  7. Continuous monitoring capabilities
  8. Short detection capability
  9. Bar code system availability
  10. Type of pipettor
  11. Vendor service availability and location
  12. Waste disposal system
Supplies
  1. Sample cup type
  2. Pipette tip type
  3. Cuvette
  4. Other supplies
Sample
  1. Types that can be used
  2. Volume per test
  3. Minimum volume
  4. Availability of evaporation prevention system
  5. Dispensing mode
  6. Short detection capability
  7. On-line tray capacity
  8. Auto dilute capability
Optics
  1. Light source
  2. Optical mode
  3. Monochromator type
  4. Wavelengths available
  5. Bandpass
  6. Detector type
  7. Dual beam
  8. Biochromatic capability
  9. Other unique optic features
Computer/data management
  1. Type
  2. Storage capability
  3. Memory (calibration, patient files, linearity checks, etc.)
  4. Delta checks availability
  5. Display unit type
  6. Compatibility with LIS
  7. Output printer type if applicable
  8. Bidirectional interface
  9. Self-diagnostic capability
  10. Calibration capability
  11. Quality control capabilities and data storage
Service and Training
  1. Warranty
  2. 24-hour service availability
  3. Nearest service representative
  4. Service assistance by telephone or on-line
  5. Training of operators (when, where, how long, by whom?)
  6. Maintenance procedures
  7. Make critical informed decisions