The value of engaging potential suppliers early



There are a multitude of factors to consider when starting up a freight tender. Collecting data, setting up trade lanes, defining quality requirements, etc. One factor that is often overlooked is the importance of creating supplier engagement.
Put yourself in the shoes of a logistics service provider. You have several RFQs to attend to and yet another one lands on your desk. How likely are you to dive into the new one right away? Not very likely, right?
So how do you make sure that the supplier will indeed pay attention to your RFQ from day one and invest the time and effort necessary to produce a quality bid? One approach that is gaining in popularity is to hold a supplier webinar early on in the process.
Shortly after sending out your RFQ, invite all potential suppliers to a webinar style information meeting where details of your business, key points and demands as well as important info on the tender process itself can be presented. This will produce several benefits, of which the following exmples are a few:

  • Ensuring that you grab the attention of the suppliers right away, ”forcing” them to internalize the information of the RFQ.  Also, from a supplier point of view, having the possibility to gain info and ask questions right away will increase interest and engagement early in the process and facilitate an early start to the bidding process.
  • Not only will a webinar provide suppliers with knowledge on the RFQ, but a webinar is also a perfect opportunity to create excitement and incentive for the suppliers to really want to win your business. What makes your business unique? Why should this be a prioritized tender? A well presented webinar serves just as much as a cheerleading excercise as it does as an informative lecture on practical details.
  • A more practical effect of inviting to a webinar is that it works well as an indication of who has actually received/noticed the RFQ and who hasn’t, allowing for early reminders/checks if the RFQ has even reached it’s intended receiver. If you have invited a lot of suppliers and you don’t work with a tendering tool that provides a possibility for this kind of follow-up, this can be a very handy way to learn who needs reminding/redirection of invitation.