Just like any good job interview, an RFP is a two-way communication. It’s just as important to share the right information as it is to ask the right questions! Give a good first impression by painting a clear and honest picture about what your company is today, what you want to become, and who is the ideal 3PL (third-party logistics) partner for the challenges you face.
As we explain in our free Guide to Writing an RFP for 3PL Services, it’s essential to share the right information about your company with a potential 3PL provider at the right time. This information includes:
What your company is today
Start with the basics and list some demographic information about your company. This will give the 3PL a basic idea of where you fit into your market. We recommend being pretty straightforward, but you don’t need to give a boring checklist – you’ll want your personality to shine through, as well.
Here are a few thought starters:
- When you were established, and why
- Ownership information
- Your industry and any relevant sub-industries
What you want your company to be tomorrow
Next, you’ll want to dive a little deeper and talk about your strengths, weaknesses, and growth areas. You can think about it as the “About Us” section of your RFP. Every business has a unique culture and personality. Don’t be afraid to let yours show.
When sharing this information, you may need to provide internal strategies and procedures you might not otherwise share. That’s okay. To offer a reasonable solution, the 3PL will need to understand your business as well as you do.
A few points to include:
- Any problems you’ve experienced in the past
- Your 2-3 growth areas
- Any successful partnerships
Why you are seeking a partnership
What are you looking to achieve from a 3PL partnership? Here’s where you share your goals, objectives, and expectations. This can actually be the most helpful information for a potential 3PL partner. A good 3PL will be able to assess your objectives and explain how well they’re able to contribute. Each 3PL is looking for a successful partnership, just like you are!
Think about including:
- Clear objectives for the partnership
- A clear reason why you are seeking a partnership
- Expectations for the RFP process (timeline, point of contact, etc)
- Expectations for the partnership
For more details, download our Guide to Writing an RFP for 3PL Services. This free guide provides an easy-to-use RFP template, along with specific wording for the questions you should ask.
Including the right information in your RFP will ultimately save you time. If each 3PL has a strong understanding of your needs, they’ll know if they have the capacity to help you succeed or not. Painting a clear picture of your company’s status, goals, and expectations will foster mutual respect that will only help you throughout the RFP process and your new business relationship.