Sponsored Content – Recently I had the chance to sit down with Pieter Kinds, CEO of the Freightender, a cloud-based freight tendering start-up. We spoke about how he intends to change and improve the way companies manage tendering freight. Please find the interview below:
Why was Freightender founded?
In the logistics industry it is a given that freight is being tendered on a regular basis. The shipper staff however is rarely in a position to perform this task in an optimal way. They often lack time, need to gather data and need to manage a process that comes on top of their daily routines. In many companies the freight flows contain complex structures and capturing that in tender documentation and quotation sheets can be difficult and cumbersome. It makes tendering in general a process nobody likes and which takes a lot of time. Tendering can be quite frustrating.
So we saw an opportunity to address these challenges.
How do you take on those challenges?
We had a vision that the tool we create should automate all the difficult tasks, be easy for the user and makes the tender experience very smooth while letting the customer focus on quality time with the carriers. Shippers often spent too much time on excel crunching and the tender process itself while forgetting to get in touch with the carriers in a proper way. We want to change that.
So we brought together deep logistics knowledge with the latest technologies and created Freighender.com
What is the market you are focusing on?
We offer great value for any company that wants to run tenders small or large. Freightender is accessible to all companies that tender. Historically mostly large companies use tender software but there is no reason why small and midsize companies cannot make use of SaaS technology to tender freight.
How do you view the competition?
I think we can divide the market in 3 segments, first there are companies that offer general procurement tools like Bravo Solutions and Ariba. Next to that there are companies which are dedicated tools for freight like Sciquest or Ticontract. Then there are several organizations that rely on tools combined with consultancy like Trade Extensions.
What all of these companies have in common is that they are already for quite a while on the market and that they are often inflexible due to their dated technology. It makes tendering expensive and naturally only large tenders make the business case for such tools. I believe that the market has changed and that shippers do not only want to run large tenders but also smaller regional or local tenders. Be more flexible. Freightender in that sense is uniquely positioned to serve these customers as we can handle any tender in a flexible and efficient way.
You state that you are uniquely positioned so what are some of the unique points that Freightender offers to its’ customers?
First of all, it is the ease of use. Customers are really pleased with the user friendliness. Secondly we create rate cards automatically based on the shipment profiles, that is really unique, nobody does that. What is also a really cool feature is the fact that that carriers just copy and past their quotes in the browser. No need for upload of files. That saves a lot of potential trouble and time. We also show online every status of the steps carriers need to do so you have maximum visibility. We do the same for the financial implications of the tender, budget owners see the exact impact for their business unit of the carrier nomination. All online and instant available. Last but not least we are very strong in easy configuration of specific business rules such as conversion, consolidation and rounding. Small items with a big impact.
What is your ambition with Freightender?
We want to become the largest platform of choice for freight tendering by empowering tender managers with a smart but simple tool that saves them time and money. As a true SaaS company we are not bound by any borders and can serve customers in any place.
You indicated that tendering is time consuming and cumbersome, how is that for carriers?
Carriers have to deal with many tenders in all kinds of formats and structures. They struggle to handle them in the right way and not always feel valued as tenders are mostly focused at price only. I believe there should be value in each tender so that they appeal to carriers and it will increase the level of participation and the quality of the quotes carriers provide. With Freightender we can facilitate this process and make it more efficient.
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