Respond to a Buyer’s Request for Information or Proposal

You’re interested in responding to a customer’s request for information or proposal. As a supplier registered on the Ariba Network, you have access to online tools that make doing so easy and efficient. It’s all done through Ariba Sourcing.

Ariba Sourcing helps buyers create and run events in which they exchange business information with companies like yours. They create different types of events depending on the type of information they want to collect. Let’s take a brief look at each of these:

Request for Information
A Requests for Information, or RFI, usually precedes requests for proposals or auctions. You do not typically respond to an RFI with pricing information. Rather, buyers will use an RFI to gather non-competitive data or comments from you. This information helps them qualify participants for a follow-up event.

RFIs are not competitive, so you might have several days or weeks to respond. Within the Ariba Sourcing tool, you’ll find a countdown clock that tells you how much time you have left for submitting your response to the buyer.

Request for Proposal
A Request for Proposal (RFP) is generally thought of as the second step of a longer sourcing process. In this step, buyers let you know about their business needs and ask you to propose how you would satisfy them. They want to determine which goods or services you offer, collect information about your production capacity, and learn about your prices. They can use this information to set up an auction, determine which lots they’d invite you to, and intelligently set up your ceiling prices.

As there is no real-time exchange of information between competing participants, an RFP is not directly competitive so you might have several days or weeks to respond.

First Time User? Visit the Learning Center

If this is your first time responding to an RFP or RFI through Ariba Sourcing, we encourage you to first visit the Learning Center in the Ariba Exchange User Community. There you’ll find a great deal of helpful, step-by-step guidance.

  1. Log into Ariba Sourcing
  2. In the upper-right corner of your screen, click on Help, then Help Center.
  3. A window will open. (Allow pop-ups.)
  4. At the top of the sidebar on the right-side of the window, click on Learning Center
  5. In the Learning Center, you can download product documentation and watch tutorials
  6. To download a printable version of our guide, Participating in Sourcing Events, click on For Users under Product Documentation and select the guide from the list on the resulting page.
  7. To watch a tutorial, select the topic of your choice from the menu on the right-side of your screen.

The Learning Center is also where you’ll also find guidance about participating in auctions.

Just Need a Reminder of Where to Start?

If you’ve used Ariba to respond to an RFI or RFP before, and just need to be reminded where to start:

  1. Log into Ariba Sourcing
  2. In the upper-left corner of your screen, click on PROPOSALS. This is where you’ll access your Ariba On Demand Sourcing buyers and their requests for quotations, participate in online sourcing events, and submit your sales proposals.


If you're not ready to log into Ariba Sourcing, visit the Supplier Training page where you'll find a number of helpful video tutorials.