You’re finally ready to partner up with a stellar 3PL company, and you’ve sat down to write your request for proposal (RFP). Take your RFP from OK to fantastic with these 4 tips and you’ll find your company’s perfect partner in no time:
Be up-front with your requirements
Nothing is more frustrating to a potential business partner than going through a lengthy RFP process only to learn, late in the game, they’re missing some crucial element. It’s akin to being in the midst of making a beautiful cake, with the batter all mixed, only to realize you’re out of baking powder and the store is closed. Frustrating, annoying, and a waste of perfectly good ingredients.
To avoid this scenario, draw up your RFP with as much information about your business’s needs as possible. Include information such as turn-around time requirements, preferred location area, and staffing needs. Without giving away the complete weighting of your eventual evaluations, provide your potential partners with a rough estimate of what items on your list are more important than others. This will help companies provide you with the most complete picture of how their solution can solve your problems.
Ask questions that allow companies to differentiate themselves
Companies, like people, enjoy the opportunity to talk about themselves. Give a company the opportunity to talk about its history, its values, and what makes it unique, and you’re likely to get a much more detailed, informative proposal.
Make sure the questions you ask are open-ended enough to encourage answers that showcase what the company has to offer your business. Having details regarding the ways they handle your business’s unique situations, way of doing business, and philosophy will allow you to differentiate more easily between proposals to select the one that’s best for your business’s needs.
Give company background for better proposals
On the other side of the getting-to-know-you coin is giving out information about your business and what makes it unique. Giving prospective partners an idea of who you are, what your business does, and what your goals are can help the proposals more closely align with your needs.
In describing your business’s goals and values, and putting the very specific problem you’re looking to solve, you will be more likely to find a partner whose specialties and work will match your desires. Giving potential partners an idea of who you are also allows them to make specialized recommendations, and you may receive solutions you didn’t even know were possible but that will be perfect for your situation.
Align your questions to your strategic objectives
Having your potential partners answer irrelevant questions just wastes everyone’s time and can take an otherwise great proposal down a few notches. Always keeping your RFP’s goals in mind when deciding what questions you asked is important.
Begin by sitting down with all the key players in your RFP process and drawing up a list of the key purposes of your partnership. From there, draw up a list of questions that will go into your RFP, making sure each question lines up with at least one project goal.
Whether you’re new to RFP writing, or are crafting one because you’re on the hunt for a new 3PL partnership, these 4 tips can help make the whole process go much more smoothly.
If you’re looking for a 3PL company that knows how to deliver the results you want, on time and under budget, contact Cannon Hill Logistics today.