If you’ve ever worked on an RFP, then you know how much time and effort it takes to prepare one.
You might as well call RFPs - "BTMO"s – Burning The Midnight Oil.
Wait, have I lost you already with these acronyms?
What is an RFP?
An RFP is a Request for Proposal. It is a way for companies to bid on all types of projects, ranging in value from a few thousand to a few million dollars. When a company begins to work on an RFP, they dedicate a great deal of time, effort and money towards the project because they ultimately want to win the bid and get the business.
Basically, an RFP is important - like REALLY important - and once you work your way through one, you want to control every last detail until it reaches its destination - which is easy to do until you hand it over to the courier.
Given the fact that RFP’s have deadlines, sending them through mail or courier service canmakes sleep hard to come by. Missing the deadline by a single minute will void your proposal and all that work has been for nothing (not to mention the loss in potential income for your company). So what do you do? After you do your due diligence and research the best shipping carrier, be aware that there are things out of their control: weather, mechanical problems, human error, etc.
Realizing this can help you plan for it, here’s how:
Ship with Multiple Carriers Yes, it will cost you more money, but not nearly as much as the process to create the RFP in the first place. Mistakes and conditions beyond the carrier's control do happen. By shipping with 2 different carriers, you significantly decrease your risk of missing your deadline. Furthermore, with the savings you get shipping with two carriers using Secureship is almost the same as using one carrier without Secureship’s discounted rates.
Verify the Shipping Address You won't believe how many times
we've seen this happen. A missing suite number, building number, typo
in the address - they're all contributing factors to missed deadlines and can easily be avoided. A shipment that has an incorrect address can take up to 48hrs to correct.
Find a local printing shopFind a printing shop in the same city as the RFP’s destination (the closer in proximity the better). If bad weather hits, you can electronically transfer all those documents and have them printed right there and then delivered. This is also a great idea as a back-up plan anytime you ship, regardless of how nice it is outside. If you are tracking your shipment and you see it will not arrive in time for whatever reason, that print shop will be a lifesaver.
Add a day or two of contingencyYou’re probably going to hate me for saying the obvious, but ship early. Seriously. We all work with deadlines and often we are working right up to the last minute, but while we’re on the topic of saving, how about save your sanity? Get those RFPs done as soon as possible and out the door.
So the next time you have an RFP to ship, just remember these 4 simple things - use multiple carriers, verify address, find a local print shop, & ship early!