How tenders can help you to cope with uncertain times

This summer, Brexit and the trade war between the USA and China have dominated the business news headlines. At the same time, the economy seems to be stagnating and the labour market remains under pressure. All of these uncertainties have one thing in common: they will most likely cause transport costs to rise in the years ahead. This is a good reason to carefully review your current suppliers and existing contracts, and perhaps even to issue new tenders in the search for partners who can help to further strengthen your supply chain. Or are you holding out and hoping the storm will pass?  


It all starts with insight 

Nothing beats issuing a tender as a way of gaining insight into the market conditions. From price-quality ratios and volume discounts to surcharges and exceptions… the tender process gives you a unique opportunity to compare multiple suppliers on multiple levels. But to be truly effective you need to make a fair comparison based on clear objectives. That starts with having insight into your own ordering process, routes, delivery addresses, volumes, frequencies, variation and exceptions. At IDS we help our customers to extract this data from their IT systems and analyse it correctly, so that everyone has a realistic view of the situation. 


Ideas for improvements 

The insights that you gain by gathering and analysing the data often generate ideas for improvements before you even get as far as a tender. For example, you might decide to introduce line hauls to hubs, or to improve your customer segmentation to reduce the number of shipment days. Alternatively, should you start taking freight exchange platforms into account, and if so can they be integrated into your existing workflow? 


Quality matters too 

At IDS, we regularly help logistics managers to translate the resulting insights and ideas for improvements into a clear tender with concrete selection criteria and preconditions. Increasingly, the long-term effects of lower carbon emissions and horizontal supply chain integration are key factors in that process. But in the current market conditions, capacity management and risk management as well as high-quality and reliable customer service sometimes matter just as much as the price, if not more so.  Thanks to our knowledge of the logistics sector, we can help you to emphasize the right aspects in your tender request to ensure you can cope with the volatility.


Multiple roles 

As a 4PL supplier we are an independent supply chain partner. Hence we always go in search of the best transport solution for each customer, without being burdened by restrictive contracts or our own assets. In tender processes, we put our experience along with our data analysis to good use in various ways. For example, its up to you whether our tender experts take care of the entire process for you or limit themselves to just writing a sound project plan, including all the necessary documentation. Alternatively, you can task us with evaluating the tender bids, drawing up a list of potential suppliers or promoting the tender in the market. The result is an optimal mix of different suppliers with whom you can collaborate smoothly, even in uncertain times. 


Reaping the benefits  

After signing up new suppliers, the use of the IDS order platform to exchange information between you as the shipper and your new service providers ensures a trouble-free transition and subsequent operations. Once you have the order instructions, performance reports and invoice control at your fingertips, nothing will stand in the way of you reaping the benefits from the tender. Besides that, you will be in a perfect position to provide your customers with guaranteed service, despite the current uncertainty.  


If we can help you with your tender process or you would like to know more about our extensive data analytics capabilities, please contact Arno Spoek: