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Nourot's first bid-preparation tip is to evaluate the existing transportation network with an eye toward how well it is meeting, or failing to meet, customer expectations. This step also should include an examination of how the company's network has changed since the last carrier bid. If new locations, vendors or customers have been added or deleted, this should be reflected in the bid proposal.
Another part of bid preparation is an overall opportunity assessment. This should include examining existing cost and service levels to see if they are in line with industry standards and benchmarks. "Keep in mind with a bid process that you can expand or shrink your carrier group," says Nourot. When bringing in new carriers, however, it is important to assess the time and cost of integrating them into your network as well as how that process will impact your operations and customer service.
Once the bid is packaged and distributed to carriers, be prepared to quickly and clearly respond to inquiries, Nourot says. "And make sure you have a concise template for carriers to use to respond to the bid that leaves little room for modification."
After the bid is awarded, the final step of implementation is one that is often overlooked, says Nourot. "If there are new carriers, you need a process for introducing them to your organization with site visits and visits with the management team. This step also needs to be managed effectively so new carriers are on-boarded successfully."
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