Transport and logistics procurement are increasingly becoming more sophisticated and methodical. Even companies with three or four trucks are now being asked to tender for contracts they have held for many years. Logistics companies need to develop compelling bids and proposals that go beyond addressing the mandatory criteria and give the reader the confidence to award them the contract. Safety is important and having the right equipment is critical. There is lots more to it. Here are five effective strategies to help you win more logistics and transport bids and tenders.
1. Safety. When talking about safety, it’s important to go beyond talking about a commitment to safety and how you are committed to the safety of your drivers and other employees. You need to provide evidence.
Think about providing statistics on total safety incidents over the past three years. Attach copies of your safety management programs, driver fatigue policies, and other safety related documentation to your submission. Talk about technology. Do you have a 360-degree camera capability on your trucks? If so, provide details of their capabilities and screenshots of the images they are able to take. Does your GPS system enable you to identify when and where a truck is stationery and alert you of any unnecessary stopping? Talk about this and the positive impact it has on the safety of your drivers. Finally, insert screenshots to demonstrate your safety initiatives.
2. A wholistic view. It's important to take a wholistic view of any contract and how you will deliver it. Sell the full scope of your service. That means not focusing only on your fleet of trucks, drivers, and operations team. It is just as important to focus on your warehouse and any other 3PL capabilities. Talk about your storage facilities, maintenance facilities, truck-wash facilities, and any capital investments you have made as a business. This will give the reader a comprehensive snapshot of not only your fleet of trucks, but your entire operation. As always, real life pictures lend additional credibility to your bid.
3. Business continuity and disaster recovery. A mature, logical, and methodical approach to business opportunity is needed. In order to gain the readers confidence, you need to clearly identify the potential risks within your business and the contract. For example, risks may include:
You need to assess the various risks and demonstrate the processes you have put in place to mitigate them. Do you have alternate warehousing facilities you can use at short notice? Do you have sub-contractor drivers with their own equipment? Is all your content stored in the cloud on a secure server?
All your initiatives need to be detailed and provide the reader with the confidence you will provide a consistent and exemplary service.
4. A personalized proposal — with evidence. Logistics and transport tenders can sometimes be described as boring! The reader will be reading through proposals from different companies with similar services and it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. One way is to personalize your bid as much as possible. Put in quotes from your executive, management, and operational personnel. Add in real life images of your personnel next to the quotes and the reader will feel like they are getting to know your team. This gives them comfort in selecting your company.
Furthermore, this will demonstrate that you have thought through the contract with your team and are putting forward a united team of people who will deliver the contract.
Evidence is also key. Facts and figures should be lettered through your proposal. Letters and testimonials from third parties provide further credibility to your bid. Take the time to include and attach evidence to show that you have researched and will do what you are proposing.
5. Customer service. Give the client what they want. This is sounds simple. It is simple. However, it is often not the most obvious option. When you are writing about or selling your business, you will usually focus on your key strengths. This is also often the case for transport and logistics tenders. You may be particularly passionate about your fleet of refrigerated trucks, or alternatively, your service levels. It is important to put yourselves in the client’s shoes and think about what they are looking for and what they see as key challenges. This will provide you some idea of what they want.
Your solution must address their needs. That means assessing your key capabilities and tailoring those capabilities to the client and their benefit. It may mean the client is more concerned about your refrigerated warehousing capability than your fleet, or they may be looking for a true 24/7 service offering as opposed to simply an emergency line to your directors.
Always look at the opportunity from the outside in and not the inside out to give your company the best prospects of success.
Jason Cooney is founder and director of Tsaks Consulting.
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