A3 Freight Payment understands the challenges associated with procuring a freight bill audit and payment solution.
Drawing on experience from participation in hundreds of freight payment bids, the A3 Freight Payment team offers the following advice and resources to assist you with your RFI/RFP efforts. If you are looking for information on a specific topic you don't see listed, please contact us as we frequently update content on this page and may have a reference document related to your interest.
Bid Planning Recommendations
Proper planning is essential for any successful procurement initiative including one targeting freight payment services. Prior to conducting an Request for Information (RFI) or Request for Proposal (RFP), the procurement team in conjunction with the subject matter experts should take the following steps:
- Establish the goal for outsourcing freight payment
- What do you want to achieve?
- Why are you outsourcing?
- Document internal costs
- Mail receipt, sort, delivery
- Validation of invoices
- Audit process
- General ledger coding
- Data capture/keying
- Carrier customer service
- Information reporting
- Disbursement process/fees
- Establish baseline costs and ROI breakeven
- Secure executive team support for RFI/RFP
- Establish measurement criteria for success (should be tied to outsourcing goals)
- Establish high level vendor measurement criteria
- Financial stability
- Industry reputation/experience
- Size of company
- Business strategy/target market
- Global capabilities
Bid Process Recommendations
A quality bid process should involve several steps to ensure a thorough analysis of potential providers
- RFI draft/distribution
- RFI response evaluation/elimination
- RFP draft/distribution
- RFP Q&A Meeting/Conference call
- RFP response evaluation/elimination
- Finalist presentations
- Finalists evaluation/elimination
- Perform finalist site visits
- Select new provider
Bid Content Recommendations
The content of an RFI/RFP is extremely important for several reasons:
- It communicates to potential vendors the amount of effort placed on the initiative
- It outlines the requirements for your business
- It serves as the backbone for your evaluation of providers
Following are some specific recommendations for content for both RFI/RFP documents:
- Ask Yes/No questions
- Focus questions related to qualifying prospects on macro criteria
- Include questions targeted to your evaluation criteria
- Provide as much overview of your business as possible
- Include detailed/specific questions
- Allow for commentary or inclusion of supporting documents for any questions
- Dictate pricing format/requirements
- Provide explicit details of expectations regarding all processes and deliverables
- Include your standard contract for evaluation by potential vendors
- Include the following information used by many freight payment companies to establish pricing:
- Transaction volume by carrier and desired processing method (electronic vs. manual)
- Spend by carrier (be sure to indicate date range)
- Description of general ledger coding process
- Integration of internal source documents (match files)
- Currencies to be disbursed
- Domestics/global processing requirements
Make the process of evaluating providers easier by following a few recommendations:
- Establish a quantitative and qualitative scorecard used to evaluate each provider. This format ensures decisions are made based on facts and capabilities and not personalities or specific concerns from cross functional evaluation teams. Vendors can then be scored and compared using quantitative metrics.
- Dictate the pricing format for all bid responses. Each provider has their own preferred pricing template and standardizing the response allows you to truly compare costs among providers. Be sure to allow for additional commentary/discussion to understand any costs a vendor may have left out.
- Whenever possible, structure RFP questions specifically to your expectations or requirements. For example, rather than ask can you process EDI transactions, ask can you process my list of carriers (provided) via EDI.
- Host a Q&A conference call at the beginning of the RFP. Use this time to walk through your current processes and requirements and allow participants to ask clarifying questions.