Lessons from my time sourcing transports without a tendering tool - Part 1

Over the past few years, before I started working at TenderEasy, I’ve been involved in a number of transport procurement processes as a consultant. With few exceptions, most of the work, in terms of collection, calculation and evaluation of offers has been done with the help of Microsoft Excel and little more.
Having now worked at TenderEasy for just a little over a month, I’ve started to form a picture of the benefits offered by a tendering tool such as TE. In this post, I will use my experiences to highlight the impact on time spent on analysis when using a tendering tool like TenderEasy.

 
One thing that has been a recurring theme throughtout my transport sourcing work has been the extensive amount of time spent comparing and evaluating offers. Most often, this time has been driven by the fact that no offer sheets have looked the same in terms of structure, calculation rules, etc.

For example:

  • Carrier A hands in an excel sheet with span prices and minimum price
  • Carrier B hands in a pdf-file with span prices without minimum price
  • Carrier C hands in a word file offering on half the lanes presented in the RFQ

 
Can these be compared? Sure, but it is quite time consuming as well as risky, as I have now taken on a responsibility of enterpreting and adjusting the bids in order to make them comparable. Not only that, but it is not unusual for a bid to include several sets of surcharges with ambiguous applicability. More than once have I spent time in a carrier meeting discussing and sorting out how to interpret costs and surcharges – and even then misunderstandings have surfaced when I thought everything was under control.
 
Could this have been mitigated, had I used a tendering tool like TE? Of course, no system is entirely misunderstanding-proof. But having a structured tendering platform that requires the carrier to follow pre-set rules and templates in order to submit their tender would not only have saved me a whole lot of time, but just as importantly given me some peace of mind regarding the quality of my calculations and analysis.

Have you had any similar experiences? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

About the author

Jacob Wiklund is working for TenderEasy as a Sourcing Analyst / Consultant with previous experience as a consultant in supply chain management. He holds an MsC from Chalmers University of Technology. Connect with Jacob on LinkedIn

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