For transportation operators, winning new business lies at the heart of their strategy. Tenders are serious business – the basics are that many transport companies bid and only one wins. There is no second place. You can either win business for new routes, agencies or areas, or lose the bid.
In many cases, 5% can be the difference between the highest and lowest bidders. Sometimes the delta between the best and worst bid can be less than one percent; so do optimisation-related savings matter? Yes indeed.
Before we go into some tips and tricks for bidding on transportation business, let’s review some basic steps you need to go through to prepare your bid:
Collection: During this phase, your goal is to get as much data as you can, so the tender bid you create is based on accurate information.
Assumptions: Once you’re past the data collection phase, you may need to make some assumptions regarding data that’s missing – from exact timetables to on-time performance levels, depot locations and more.
Creativity: Take a look at the data you’ve collected and try to consider new ways of looking at it. This can be anything from using a variation on labor regulations (e.g. offering longer breaks at different intervals) or re-assigning routes between existing depots.
Running many scenarios: At this stage, your goal is to run as many what-if scenarios as you can, to discover the best options and get the insights you need for a winning bid.
Since many of our customers rely on our expertise to apply for tenders (and win them), we thought we’d consolidate some of what we’ve learned here:
Many public transit operators complain that applying for tenders takes too long. It is such a time intensive process that some companies do not take part in all the tenders they would like to, just because they do not have enough scheduling resources on hand.
Next-generation planning and scheduling platforms offer a fairly quick fix to old and sometimes inaccurate time-consuming scheduling practices by harnessing the power of cloud-computing and AI to come up with better optimised schedules and rosters that reduce operational costs significantly and at the same time offer the operator the ability to quickly model the competing bids, examine the impact of different scenarios on KPIs, configure various rules and preferences and more.
Most importantly, these tools offer better operational control and minimize the risk of winning a tender without the ability to contain costs.
What is the preferred option for next-generation transportation planning and scheduling platforms? In the transportation world, cloud needs some explaining.
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