Contract Negotiations for Small Parcel Shipping – Is This Something My Business Should Do?
The real question here is not why should your business negotiate for better shipping rates, but instead – why not? But before you call your friendly carrier rep for a meeting, there are a few points you will want to consider first.
No one knows your business like you do. Well, this SHOULD be the case at least. Review your shipping data. Is there a volume amount or specific geographic area that saw the biggest increase? Are there areas of concern Did you see a high amount of late deliveries? Are you able to offer customers the best shipping options at the most competitive cost? If you are trying to negotiate a better price or shipping option than what you currently have, it only makes sense that you must know what you currently have. If you sit down at the negotiation table with your carrier rep who knows your business data better than you do, who now has the advantage?
Also, before you feel victorious with discounts that are negotiated, you need to know that they are discounts that will truly be beneficial to your business. Discuss the negotiated services with the carrier – and get details in writing – to ensure the services will affect your bottom line. Ask questions like, “If these discounts were in place last year, how would our total spending have been different?” Again, this enforces the point that you must know your shipping data.
We’ve discussed the importance of knowing past shipping data, but do not lose sight of needs for future shipping plans. Shipping costs can change drastically if your business grows to include more or less shipping locations or more or less shipping frequency. As your business expands, you may notice a change in peak shipping dates or that you are shipping more frequently from a different location than originally planned. Or perhaps you have emerged into a new industry all together. Regardless of the reason, you do not want to pay for services you do not need.
Of course YOU are an advocate for your business, but do not perceive your carrier representative to be the opposite. Obviously it’s in the rep’s best interest to procure your business, but it’s also in his best interest to keep it. Building a good working relationship with your representative is a great way to assure that both sides will confidently reach decisions that are beneficial. Performance evaluations do not end with your employees. If you do not feel your carrier representative is providing the excellent service to keep your business, it may be time to pack up and ship out and find someone new.
Over the next few blog posts, we will go into further detail of how to tackle your contract negotiations. Refund Retriever is not a third party negotiation company. Again: Refund Retriever does not get involved in negotiating shipping contracts. Instead, we simply promise to simply provide you with expertise (via this website, our social presence, and our videos – all free of charge), and as an auditing customer we’ll give you reports (also free) with insightful, convenient, and useful knowledge about your shipping. After all, it’s your data – we just manage it and make it more easily useful to you.
Our goal is to give you a clear roadmap on how to successfully negotiate yourself, free of charge. Specifically, we’ll discuss:
- Detailed analysis of shipping data
- How can Refund Retriever’s free analytical tools help?
- What is negotiable?
- How to put together Request for Proposals (RFPs)
- Other Options