January 2020 | Sponsored | Knowledge Base

Keeping Your Eye on the Prize: What Formula One Can Teach Us About the RFP Process

Tags: Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Transportation Management, Technology

Bid management software is like a team boss, acting as the face—or rather, interface—of the complex data streams racing through your network.

Jonathan Evans, Director of Client Solutions, Logistical Labs, 312-999-9762

Formula One (F1) is arguably the most data-driven sport that exists. Cars are equipped with approximately 150 sensors that generate 2,000 data points/minute—including tire performance, track temperatures, steering and braking patterns, and more. That amounts to roughly 4 terabytes of data per car per race. All this data is used to drive fast decisions on the track, where every second counts.

Fast decision-making is also vital in business, so what can we learn from F1 teams about carrier procurement? In both racing and bid management, steering toward a successful outcome takes more than a skilled driver or purchasing manager. It takes a reliable network, powerful technology, and rapid-fire data exchange.

Data-Driven Decision-Making

Before data analytics became a key component to F1 races, winning or losing depended on the driver's split-second decisions on the track. Now, decision-making is largely driven by technology, allowing drivers to focus on their core competency—driving.

Imagine if an F1 driver had to plot fuel management mid-race. How would that extra work impact their performance?

The driver at your organization is the person making procurement decisions. Selecting the right carriers for the right rates while covering commitments can be a challenge. It often involves massive lane spreadsheets, manual data entry, and mismanaged carrier relationships. Procurement decision-makers can lose focus—getting caught up in organizing Excel files instead of making decisions that lead to ROI. Like F1, technology can do most of the work for you.

Watch any F1 race, and you'll see team bosses staring at monitor banks while issuing instructions to the drivers. What may not be immediately clear is that those bosses act as the face of robust data streams flowing in from mission control centers full of race engineers.

Bid management software is like a team boss, acting as the face—or rather, interface—of the complex data streams flowing through your network. You collect massive amounts of data every day, but if you don't have the right tool for analyzing that data to drive decision-making, you may be wasting valuable time.

An Empowered Network

F1 pit crews are notoriously efficient, and the best can change a car's tires in under two seconds. Something else that should take seconds? Adding carrier rates to your master response list.

Too often, shippers will send out RFPs, collect responses one by one, and manually add those responses to a master Excel document. This workflow is like a driver pulling into a pitstop and changing the tires himself.

When sending RFPs, if you are spending time re-entering the rates that carriers send back, your time isn't being used wisely. Bid management software can collect responses automatically within seconds of the carrier submitting them, which allows you to focus on strategic initiatives with the time saved.

In racing and business, efficiency is key. When managing your next RFP, make sure you have the right tools in place that eliminate inefficiencies and allow you to keep your eye on the prize—finalizing and executing the routing guide.






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