Supplier Qualification – Looking beyond the bottom line



We recently posted a blog detailing which suppliers you should invite to respond to your RFQs: incumbents, new suppliers or a mix? But, there’s more to freight procurement, especially when you have specific requirements that go beyond simple pricing.

Have you ever tried to narrow the list down by launching a questionnaire or RFI before or during the tender phase? Or including your requirements - which must be then replied to by the LSP - in the RFQ itself?

If your answer is no, why is this? Many businesses feel they know the carriers they’re working with, but it’s not a good idea to work on assumptions. If there are factors beyond the price that are important to you, then it’s well worth making these clear. It will help you fine tune your supplier selection and make sure you’re matched with the best possible partner. 

After all, there’s little benefit to getting something cheap, if it’s going to be late, show up damaged or worse.

Factors to consider

When it comes to ‘soft’ requirements, the most common requests are transit times, frequencies, capacity and confirmation of needed detention and demurrage free times. You can also add generic company data from the supplier, such as geographical coverage, number of employees, years in the market, experience with your industry and so on. Or ask for items such CO2 emissions if your company is trying to become more environmentally friendly. Depending on your markets and products, additional capabilities can be checked.

This type of information can be really helpful and give you a better idea of the party you are working with. To really filter the out the best match, you can include a rating on those items, based on which are most important to your business. By analyzing additional soft criteria, you might find that Supplier A is a better option than Supplier B, even if this wasn’t apparent at first. Naturally, you can qualify both new and incumbent suppliers by looking into the soft facts. Just remeber that this should be done before you award a contract, so either before the actual RFQ or at latest during the tender!


TenderEasy makes it  really easy to ask for this type of information, but also evaluate it and compare responses. This information is also taken into consideration when running scenarios, meaning you can have total peace of mind regarding your choice of supplier. And it’s all just one click away!

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