I’ve been asked two or three times this week already. How long does it take?

And I suppose the simple answer is, how long has it been a strain? It depends.

But let me give you a couple of very simple case studies, one where it took a very long time and one a very short time and then at the end I’ll suggest what is a reasonable time frame.

Watch the video below!



How long does it take?


So we’re talking here about outsourcing, warehousing and transport. In both cases, it was a national outsourcing contract. If you think about what needs to take place through an outsourcing process, there are loads of videos on the channel so do look at that if you want the detail. If you’re thinking about the process, you’ve really got to sort of document what it is that you’re outsourcing to begin with. That takes a bit of time. You’ve got to decide which suppliers you’re going to invite to tender unless it’s an open 10. Well, that’s very rare these days. You then have to brief them, send out all the documentation. You’ve got to allow sufficient time for those suppliers to put their bids together and this is where people generally get it wrong. They don’t allow enough time for suppliers to actually put their solutions together. I won’t go into it too much because there’s loads of other videos on my channel about that. But you need to know enough time that they can absorb all the data that you’re sharing, that they can work out the solution, that they can work out the resources they’re gonna need and the costs and so on. And that’s probably an area where people leave too little time.

You’re then gonna have to go through a stage where you’re evaluating all of the sponsors that have come into your tender. You’re then going to select which ones you’re gonna pick. You’ve got to inform them of the results. You get a man to negotiate the contracts, and then you got to implement the contract. So how long does all of that take?


Long Time Frame


Uh, let’s start with the long one. So this was a while back, I should add, I’m sort of picking from a history here of having done this a few times. I think when I last looked we’ve done this 267 times in different countries around the world, different industries and so on. So I picked a couple of extremes. This is a long one and it was a government organization. They wanted to really get ahead of the curve with your life, be well prepared to go to market, allow those supplies, plenty of time. We started working on it 18 months out, so, there you go and there was a lot of internal work to term on you know the documentation and so on, and exactly what was going to be outsourced and what services were required and so on. All of that was done about six months before actually putting the 10 back out. Then they decided to leave, I think it was two months for suppliers to actually put their solutions together. Now it’s all like 3 months because it was quite a tricky operation. It was quite unusual, so allow a bit more time and then time for evaluation and so on and implementing the contract. So that was, you know, an 18 months of time frame to do it all. A little bit unusual, it wouldn’t probably take that long, obviously and we’ll come back to the sort of normal time frames in a moment.


Short Time Frame


Let’s jump to the other end of the scale then, and a very short time frame. So again, a couple of years ago, I sort of picked older ones. I bet they’re kind of guess who they are. So a couple of years ago a company came to us and said “Oh, we have a little bit of a problem with our warehousing distribution contract. We’ve had this really tricky relationship with our 3PL and it’s getting worse, the relationships not going to survive. We really want to go to market and during our initial discussion with 3PL basically turned around to our plant and said we’ve had enough, we want you out of the warehouse in six weeks.” And this does happen. It’s not the first time that I’ve come across this. So that really left them in a very tricky position. I had a warehouse full of product. They had to find a new 3PL very quickly, implement the contract. When they first approached us, we kind of went, “Woah! It’s gonna be so hard to do that in six weeks.” But thankfully they’ve already done some preparatory work putting the documentation together at least. So, like sort of gave us a couple of weeks into the process if you like. We took it on and obviously it was like hugely compressed time frame. It was a real struggle.

One of the first things we did was to sit down with them and say, ”Okay, what were the other 3PL’s that you’d like to have participate in this tender process, RFP, RFT? Whatever you’re gonna call it. They had a few, we threw in a couple of extras that we thought might work well with them. We briefed those companies very quickly. “This is coming out, we need you to respond very quickly.” We still, I think allowed them two weeks to respond. It wasn’t overly complex. It was a pretty basic warehousing task on their national distribution to their customers. Obviously, you know, the shortlisting process, the valuation was already compressed and we managed to do it just so all the product could be picked up, taken over to a new warehouse and so on.


 Find out the Typical Time Frame for Outsourcing Logistics by watching the full video above!


If you need any help with your outsourcing and if you wanna have a chat and bounce some ideas around, I’m happy to help.
You can book your free support here: https://www.logisticsbureau.com/outsourcing-consultants/


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Contact Rob O'Byrne
Best Regards,
Rob O’Byrne
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +61 417 417 307
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