Request for Proposal (RFP) for 3PL Services: A Template

Whitepaper, Blog, News

September 30, 2016

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There are a lot of articles out there dispensing advice on how to go about the RFP process when choosing a logistics partner or 3PL. (In fact, we wrote some ourselves earlier this year). Few articles, however, show you how to do it. None are comprehensive in the least.

This is not because RFPs are something new, or have some sort of secret formula. Quite the contrary: Good RFPs give certain kinds of information and request certain kinds of information in return, in a very formulaic way. So much so, in fact, that we wondered why one couldn’t just build a template to simplify the construction of RFPs for companies seeking shipping and storage solutions.

We saw no reason not to. So we built one ourselves.

In fact, we here at Materialogic have found that having some guidance when constructing an RFP is incredibly helpful. There are certain pieces of information that 3PLs need in order to provide an accurate bid and set reasonable expectations. Having a template for your RFP guarantees that you provide the right information, and that the right kinds of information are requested from companies in return.

You can download our template for free here. To use it, you simply need to fill in the appropriate blue boxes with information from your company, including your business’ goals and needs. When done, save as a document, and you should have an RFP ready to go!

If you have questions about the content of the template or the RFP process in general, we would be happy to help. In the meantime, keep in mind:

  1. Transparency is key. Be honest about your volumes in each channel, as well as your challenges and pain points. Give numbers in terms of highs, lows, and variation. Don’t sugarcoat anything.
  2. It pays to be selective. Send RFPs to companies you think will be a good fit. You’ll have more time to go through the details of each proposal when there are fewer of them.
  3. We all want to know you. Provide candidates with a little information about your business. How does it run? What are your needs? What is the culture like? What frustrates you? The best partnerships are often not a matter of price or capabilities, but of cultural fit.

We are here to answer any questions you may have. Please don’t hesitate to contact us and good luck!

 

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