Eliminating Spreadsheets in Air and Ocean Freight Procurement

Eliminating Spreadsheets in Air and Ocean Freight Procurement

Alpega’s freight procurement module TenderEasy significantly improved CooperVision’s international freight procurement process, yielding savings in time and freight spend.

The Challenge

As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of soft contact lenses, CooperVision, a division of CooperCompanies, has a global supply chain crossing several international borders. When it came to freight procurement, their bid process and evaluation of air and ocean carriers was intensely time-consuming. Their biannual full freight RFQ for international freight was conducted manually using only Excel spreadsheets.

To compare bids across carriers, CooperVision had to take the information submitted from 14 carriers’ individual spreadsheets and identify common lanes and current rates. They didn’t have a way to examine the differences between their current rates and newly submitted rates, applying their volume or shipment characteristics. And with the unwieldiness of analyzing all those spreadsheets, they conducted only one round of bids.

CooperVision was then asked to collaborate with another division of CooperCompanies to help leverage its larger volumes and drive additional cost savings. Knowing they’d add lanes to the RFQ, CooperVision realized they were increasing the workload and complexity to run a proper RFQ by 30-40%. Multiple spreadsheets weren’t going to do it. They required a better way.

They needed a tool that could collect all bids, validate the data, separate rates out by appropriate site, and provide the ability to make comparisons reliably and quickly—saving time in the process.

The Solution

After vetting several providers, CooperVision selected Alpega’s TenderEasy solution. Much of what they were seeing in the market were general business procurement tools tied to an ERP, whereas TenderEasy was a stand-alone procurement solution specifically designed for freight. This allowed CooperVision to focus on the basis data used in bids and how to use TenderEasy within their existing business process versus trying to modify the actual software.

CooperVision now uses TenderEasy for their ocean and air freight procurement. They’ve onboarded new carriers, realized a 50% time savings, and expect to recognize substantial savings in 4 out of 5 key lanes that drive a significant portion of their international freight spend. Their RFQ process is simpler, smoother, and quicker.

They’ve gone from one round of carrier submissions to two during their RFQ process. With TenderEasy, after the first round they can analyze the data, narrow down the group, provide carrier-specific feedback on rates, and start the second round within 3 days. This allows CooperVision to spend their time at meetings with carriers collaborating on cost-saving opportunities like routing adjustments, consolidation programs, etc., outside of submitted rates.

TenderEasy also provides the ability to run “what if” scenarios, i.e., what if we increase volumes in a certain region? What if we use these carriers for 0-500 kilos and others for 501 kilos and up? The ability to experiment and get to a greater level of granularity in analyzing scenarios with carriers was appealing in terms of forward planning.

With TenderEasy, the entire freight procurement process is made more efficient by automating what were manual, multiple steps. CooperVision found it easy to learn, logically designed, and intuitive. Using Alpega’s TenderEasy has allowed them to achieve their goals and cut the time it takes to run their biannual RFQ in half.

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