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Requirements and Request for Information (RFI) Processes

Discover how industries use requirements for compliance, automation, and quality with Coarchy's modern RFI, RFP, RFQ solutions.
By Michael Jones
Published Feb 28, 2024

Requirements are gathered and used in many different ways.


Requirements are often sent from an organization to a software provider to see if their requirements are met. This process is called a request for information (RFI). This RFI process is were sent through in a document or spreadsheet format, but more modern solutions have been developed like Coarchy’s RFI feature. There are other requests that a company can receive such as a request for quote (RFQ), request for proposal (RFP), bid requests, or a security questionnaires (link).  


RFIs are received and processed across different industries, often by proposal managers, sales teams, and marketing teams. They serve as a marketing and sales tactic to provide potential customers with the information they need about a product. An RFP, RFQ, or RFI process typically involves a minimum yearly spend of $10,000 per product.


In the technology industry, which will provides software, requirements are specified in most detail with an RFI, but can be given with a RFP or RFQ. They use tools to make their RFP and other types of requests to go faster based on an internal knowledge base. This allegedly allows you to respond to more get leads easier, and scale your sales team. While this sounds like a great idea, each response document send in requires different phrasing, and a different response than what has already been written so the reuse of the knowledgebase is not as helpful as it could be. 


In the automotive industry, requirements are gathered to ensure functional safety in hardware, software, and vehicle operations (ISO 26262), including organizational maturity levels, ranging from unpredictable and poorly controlled processes to measured and continually improved processes (CMMI, Automotive SPICE).


Requirements are gathered for the medical industry to combine process, people, and technology to ensure compliance. Certain products accelerate compliance, and are their main use-case. These include planning, analysis, varying levels of detail in the design, unit implementation, unit verification, integration (testing), system testing, and release (IEC 62304). The compliance requirements also include software validation, risk analysis, and design validation (FDA 21 CFA Part 820). 


In the aerospace and transportation industry, requirements are gathered for reducing time-to-market and improving quality / safety. The compliance requirements are for categorizing potential serious, minor, or no effects in the systems; it provides  a safety assessment process and hazard analysis to the different actors involved (DO 178 b/c). This also includes CMMI compliance. Another reason for gathering the requirements is traceability from requirements to testing, verification, and validation. 


In embedded systems, requirements improve quality, efficiency, and project management. Compliance requirements apply to military jets, life-critical medical devices, industrial control systems, and other reliability-critical systems (FAA DO-178B Level-A, FDA Class III, ISO 26262).


The financial services and insurance industry uses requirements to mitigate risk, improve quality, reduce rework, prove compliance, and market faster, aligning teams across industry standards like BABOK, agile, and scaled agile. Requirements tools shorten review processes, enhance productivity, and reduce defects.


Using requirements in industrial manufacturing allows people to design systems that are safe to operate and work correctly or fail in a predictable safe way (IEC 61508). They also use a ReqIf file format for requirements. 


When documenting requirements in the energy and utility industry, this ensures that organizations follow performance, operation, testing, safety, and maintenance (IEEE 1547-2018). They also verify per component potential failure modes with their causes and effects (FMEA). 


The primary use of requirements in the automotive, medical, aerospace, transportation, embedded, financial services, insurance, energy, utility, railway, and industrial manufacturing industries is for compliance and automation facilitation. However, the application of software and requirements extends beyond these areas. This is where Coarchy comes into play. Coarchy gives organizations the tools to write high quality requirements for developers to develop high quality software tailored to that organization. 

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