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RFP Series Part 2: How Shippers Can Mitigate RFP Bid-Fatigue

Carriers send tons of info when they receive an RFP. Learn what information shippers need on hand when sending an RFP to save time and avoid bid fatigue.

In our previous blog post, we discussed what a request for proposal (RFP) is, why it is important, and how the trend of mini bids is beginning to reshape the way carrier requests are sent in. Now that we know the differences between the standard way of doing things and the trends of mini bids, we can look at what carriers expect to hear when they receive an RFP, and what information you should have on hand to save time in this process.

Identify your RFP checklist

You should think of a request for a proposal like a first date. Everyone is different, but each should provide the necessary information required to solicit high-quality and accurate responses from bidders. Carriers want to know what is needed from them can do for them before signing a contract. You, as a shipper, want to know what assets a carrier would have to get your shipments there on time. An RFP identifies if it would be a good fit on both sides.

Naturally, some self-reflection is in order before you send out an RFP. Before signing with them, is there a way your own assets can first assist your shipping needs?

Be sure to take note of these other aspects when answering a request for proposal:

  • In what regions do you have high volume? Might it be possible to consolidate origins or destinations?
  • Are you overspending on assets where it's unnecessary? (For example, are you sending multiple trucks to one location for multiple pickups, when one truck and one pickup would save on cost and time?)
  • Could you deploy your own infrastructure on ground routes where you have full truckload volumes?
  • If you could see and have confidence in the ETA of your goods in transit, could that enable you to ship by a slower means? Like maybe switching from air to ground?

As you can tell, the preparation process is vital here. Having all of these details at the ready is key for getting a fast turnaround on your RFP. The longer you wait to discover these details, the longer it will take for your RFP to go through, which can lead to a delay of bidders or a lack of interest, both of which can affect your delivery rate.

Staying up to date with your data is the best way to mitigate any bid fatigue. Waiting until the last minute to run analyses can put unnecessary stress on your internal team. This extra strain can end up bottlenecking your warehouse even more, and the last thing anyone wants is to miss a deadline.

So how can you prevent these worst-case scenarios?

Use assets to your advantage

Technology is here to make our lives easier for a reason. By utilizing the right warehouse management software to gain a better understanding of your existing assets, you can better understand how you can leverage what you already have for the better. Even if you think your assets aren't helpful or are already being utilized, it is a good rule of thumb to take an analytical look at your assets every quarter to assess they are being put to good use.

If you still feel like you're spending where you shouldn't, consider switching to using supply chain financing tools and outsourcing ownership, like Morgan's Inventory On Demand®.  Morgan's unique custom-tailored solution lets you wait to make your purchases until your customers' orders have come through, which saves you in cost and warehouse space. To see how Morgan's custom-tailored Inventory On-Demand® works through each step of the fulfillment process, download our infographic here.

In the next part of this series, we will take a deeper look at how using a custom-tailored solution can offer your operation flexibility and price protection.

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