One of our most frequently requested areas of support is the management of logistics tenders. Here, a transparent and reliable selection process combined with strong change management is a critical success factor.
Most of our team has worked for leading 3PLs in senior managerial and analytical roles. This practical experience allows an in-depth understanding of what lies behind the proposals and promises of the bidders. With the experience of over 100 logistics tenders worth billions of euros, we are highly proficient and have developed an innovative process and tools.
We support our clients from an early stage to the very end of the tender process. However, in most cases, this is not the end of the journey – the “real” work starts the same moment when our client and selected 3PL shake hands. Our involvement typically continues throughout the contract drafting and sign-off, implementation, go-live, hyper-care, and successful operation stabilisation.
Carrying out a change of 3PL requires not only focusing on the “new” but above all, managing the project as a whole, including a robust migration plan from the previous operator. We have the practical skills to carry out ambitious and challenging transformation programmes. With decades of experience in this field, we know precisely how to manage exit and start-up risk proactively from basic to very complex and large-scale operations.
Our tested approach is broken down into the following stages:
At this early stage, we help to determine an appropriate tender strategy, including:
The expected role of 3PL and scope of services
Ownership model (facility, equipment, methods/system, process execution)
Applicable degree of automation (high-level opportunity assessment)
Applicable IT systems and integration framework
Approach to localization/s (pre-determined or proposed by 3PL, dedicated or multiuser site)
Commercial model (open or closed books, hybrid, gain share)
Diversification or consolidation of current 3PL’s
The universe of potential bidders with relevant experience
Request for Information (RFI) to confirm relevance/early interest of 3PL’s (anonymous or NDA backed)
Express Audit of the existing site/s
Network Design Study (NDS) to determine optimal product flows and locations
Duration: 2-4 weeks
At this stage of the project, together with our client, we prepare tender documentation, which includes:
Invitation to Tender/Request for Proposal (main document)
Specifications of the scope of services,
Specifications of operational and quality requirements,
Specifications of KPI’s and expected performance
Current and forecasted volumes and activities
Current and forecasted characteristics (e.g. structure of orders, portfolio complexity, throughput and storage seasonality etc.)
Proposed Heads of Terms (essential contractual conditions expected from the future provider)
Bidder Profile and customized Quotation Model (information to be filled by the bidder)
Duration: 12-18 weeks
Once the tender documentation is ready, we (or our client) distribute the RFP to selected bidders who have previously signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).
The bidders are instructed to send a list of their questions within the set deadline. On this basis, we prepare a consolidated Q&A document, then shared with all tender participants. This process ensures a consistent set of assumptions, access to information, and improves the overall quality of offers.
We use a stage-gate approach to qualify bidders through the iterative process – from the initial long-list through a mid-list and finally to a short-list. After each round of submission, we summarize the offers and provide meaningful comparisons and insights to ask the right questions and drive informed decisions.
In the final round of negotiations, when the offers are nearly equalized from the cost and quality of service point of view, we help to assess the short-listed providers and formulate the recommendation based on important differentiators including:
Commercial flexibility and speed of decision making
Strength of the implementation, operational and leadership teams
IT and technological proficiency
Long term commitment to productivity and ops excellence culture
Customer engagement culture
The decision to award a contract is usually confirmed by a Letter of Intent (LoI), which, together with the Offer and negotiated Heads of Terms, allows for the project kick-off. The contract preparation and conclusion are often part of the implementation work; however, both client and 3PL need to get authorization for the sign-off, which typically takes between 3 to 8 weeks (depending on investment/commitment size).
Whether you choose a cooperation model to be “closed book” (activity-based tariffs) or “open book”, our Quotation Model (QM) allows you to gather transparent and easily compare offers from participating 3PLs, with excellent insights on the costing elements and logic. Using our tested QM toolset, we link the individual cost drivers to labour/equipment productivity and usage of space, materials and external services. The input costs and applied mark-ups are fully transparent at every stage of the tender.
The above approach reduces the risk of selecting a partner who "forgot" to include important elements of the offer, making it look cheaper! 3PLs appreciate working with us and using our methodology, as it helps them to avoid entering into an unprofitable contract by mistake or omissions.
We frequently directly lead or facilitate negotiation process on behalf of our clients. We also feel comfortable to support the client’s procurement/logistics teams from the “back-seat” – the engagement model depends on our client’s preferences and/or availability of the client's resources.
Reconstruction of dry food and non food supply chain of leading Polish retailer. It included: planning, ordering, stock management warehouse location, tender management for new 3PL partner (DC and transportation) plus implementation support
Reconstruction of dry food and non food supply chain of leading Polish retailer. Scope includes: planning, ordering, stock management warehouse location, tender management for new 3PL partner (DC and transportation) and implementation
Select and contract 3PL for omnichannel DC (70.000 m2), select and contract automation vendor, implement selected solution.
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