Managing Truckload Bids at Scale While Maintaining Network Optimization
Thought Leadership
Thought Leadership

Managing Truckload Bids at Scale While Maintaining Network Optimization

March 24, 2023

By Optimal Dynamics

To succeed in the highly competitive logistics industry, enterprise to mid-market carriers and asset-based 3PLs must effectively manage truckload bids and ensure network optimization at scale. However, pricing analysts face several challenges when evaluating new bids while ensuring operational efficiency.

To address these challenges, Optimal Dynamics offers a comprehensive solution with Plan, featuring two key modules: Bid Manager and Network View. Bid Manager streamlines the bid management process, while the Network View module generates a digital twin of the network for testing the effects of changes using simulations and key performance indicators (KPIs).

From importing customer bid files in Bid Manager to the scenario simulations and KPI measurements of Network View, this article looks at the key features and benefits of the Plan product within the Optimal Dynamics platform. We’re exploring how both modules work together to address stakeholders' challenges, including pricing analysts making trucking bid decisions. By providing actionable insights and strategies for optimal network performance, users can reduce business risks and make better-informed decisions.

Key Challenges for Pricing Analysts and Network Managers in Managing & Analyzing Truckload Bids

Traditionally, managing and analyzing truckload bids thoroughly is not an easy task for pricing analysts and network managers, with several complex factors to consider. They must find the best way for bids to fit together without overloading the network’s resources while striving for efficiency and optimization, even when dealing with changes in demand and while trying to grow.

Pricing analysts face the following challenges managing bids at scale:

  • Assessing the profitability of each bid
  • Determining the feasibility of taking on new bids without overloading operations
  • Accurately analyzing historical data and projecting future performance
  • Considering the impact of accepting new bids on the overall network and resource allocation

Network managers face the following challenges to achieving network optimization:

  • Balancing operational efficiency with the need to grow and expand networks
  • Ensuring optimal asset utilization to prevent wasted resources and high costs
  • Adapting networks to handle fluctuations in demand and changes in shipper requirements
  • Continually monitoring and adjusting network performance to maintain profitability and customer satisfaction

5 Key Strategies for Network Optimization and Bid Management at Scale

Effective freight bid management requires a multifaceted approach that incorporates technology, advanced analysis, and continuous monitoring. Here are five strategies that we recommend for improving bid responses.

Leveraging technology and automation

One of the most important strategies for network-optimized bid management at scale is leveraging technology and automation. Optimal Dynamics' Bid Manager and Network View modules can help pricing analysts and network managers assess bids more quickly and accurately, enabling them to make better-informed decisions. Automation streamlines data analysis and scenario simulations, freeing up time for professionals to focus on high-level strategic decisions while minimizing the risk of human bias and error and guaranteeing a more consistent approach to bid assessment.

Implementing data-driven decision-making

Pricing analysts and network managers can better understand the impact of accepting new bids on their network and operations by utilizing historical data, market trends, and company-specific metrics to ensure the most efficient allocation of resources. Plan by Optimal Dynamics enables users to incorporate data from various sources to create a comprehensive view of their network that supports more thorough analysis and insights for informed decisions.

Continuous monitoring and adjustments

To maintain network optimization while managing bids at scale, it’s necessary for the system to include automatic monitoring of network performance so users can adjust strategies based on real-time data. Tracking KPIs and evaluating the impact of changes on performance is the necessary feedback loop for continuous improvement. Pricing analysts and network managers can proactively adjust to ensure the network remains optimized and adapts to evolving market conditions.

Implementing scenario planning and "what-if" analyses

Utilizing scenario planning and "what-if" analyses allows users to test different changes and assess their potential impact on the network before implementation. Giving them a more thorough understanding of more options helps them identify the most optimal strategies for managing bids while maintaining network performance, minimizing risks, and ensuring the best possible outcomes.

Building strong driver relationships

Taking care of drivers and maintaining strong relationships is an important part of optimal bid management. Driver retention creates the opportunity for improved service quality and greater flexibility in adapting to changes in demand or other external factors. Technology and data-driven decision-making enable analysts to better understand and factor in driver preferences to foster stronger relationships.

Prioritizing Flexibility and Adaptability

Freight bid management and network optimization is a dynamic problem. With the freight market in a constant state of change, the Plan solution continues to take in data and make adjustments to be effective. Changes in market conditions, shipper requirements, and fluctuations in demand can significantly impact the bottom line if there is no system in place to adapt to these changes. Carriers and asset-based 3PLs must prioritize flexibility in both technology solutions and strategic planning to increase their networks’ agility and resiliency in the face of challenges.

Benefits of Managing Bids with an Eye on Network Optimization

With a solution for managing trucking bids at scale that keeps the focus on network optimization, companies can unlock numerous advantages for long-term success.

  • Improved efficiency: By leveraging technology, automation, and data-driven decision-making, companies can streamline the bid evaluation process and optimize network performance, saving time and reducing operational costs.
  • Increased profitability: Companies are equipped to identify the most profitable opportunities and allocate resources effectively, leading to increased revenue and profit margins.
  • Enhanced driver relationships: Companies can build a strong network by understanding driver preferences, resulting in reliability and improved service quality.
  • Greater adaptability: Businesses that combine bid management with network optimization can quickly respond to changes in the market and customer demand for greater agility that allows them to stay competitive.
  • Risk mitigation: Companies can reduce the chances of overcommitting to contracts or underutilizing resources, minimizing potential risks to the business.
  • Better informed decision-making: Using technology and data analytics, pricing analysts and network managers can gain a complete understanding of their network and the potential impacts of accepting new bids, enabling better strategic decisions for long-term success.

Harnessing the Power of Plan by Optimal Dynamics for Decision-Making and Network Optimization

Plan by Optimal Dynamics and its Network View and Bid Manager modules empower enterprise carriers and asset-based 3PLs with better decisions for overcoming the challenges of a changing market.

The Plan product offers:

  • Streamlining for the decision-making process: By integrating these modules into your workflow, data-driven decisions can be made more efficiently. Pricing analysts can quickly access crucial information, reducing the time spent on manual analysis and enabling them to focus on strategic planning.
  • Visual representation of network performance: Plan offers clear, easy-to-understand visualizations of your network's performance, so you can identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions about resource allocation and route optimization.
  • Customization of reports: Users can edit reports for shippers & lanes, drivers & domiciles, and more, ensuring they have access to the most relevant and useful information for their specific needs. This allows for a more targeted approach to bid management and network optimization.

A user-friendly interface for creating and managing simulations: Plan makes it easy for users to create new simulations, allowing them to test various scenarios and explore the potential impact of accepting new bids on their network.

With Network View, you can leverage a digital twin of your network to experiment with changes to your business in a predictable environment. Analyze the potential impact before making any real-world changes, evaluate important metrics, adjust lane volumes, introduce new drivers to locations, modify shipment volumes with key shippers, and assess customer bids. Bid Manager enables you to import your customer bid files, rate lanes, determine which lanes create the strongest advantages, and simultaneously evaluate bids to multiple customers to see the effects of different combinations.

Because both platforms use, the high-dimensional AI brain behind all Optimal Dynamics solutions, Plan by Optimal Dynamics gives you the most accurate and thorough information for strategic decision-making. Execute by Optimal Dynamics allows you to easily operationalize the final daily decisions in a process designed for minimal friction.

With Optimal Dynamics' advanced technology, enterprise to mid-market carriers and asset-based 3PLs get an intelligent solution for gaining clarity into their options and overcoming the challenges of volatility and the unknowns in the freight industry, so they can thrive in a competitive landscape.

Find the tools for better decisions and optimization with Optimal Dynamics. Learn more about Plan.

From importing customer bid files in Bid Manager to the scenario simulations and KPI measurements of Network View, this article looks at the key features and benefits of the Plan product within the Optimal Dynamics platform. We’re exploring how both modules address stakeholders' challenges, including pricing analysts making trucking bid decisions. Users can reduce business risks and make better-informed decisions by providing actionable insights and strategies for optimal network performance.

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