Case Study: Restoration Hardware Rethinks the Bidding Process


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Frank Quint has prepared a few transportation deals over the course of his career. A seasoned transportation professional, Quint found the process time-consuming and unwieldy.

“I found that when the job ended, I never really felt like I was much further along than when I started,” Restoration Hardware’s inland transportation manager said Monday. during a session at Gartner Supply Chain. Symposium/XPO 2022 at Walt Disney World’s Dolphin Resort in Lake Buena Vista.

Quint said he left RH for a while to run his own business.

“For me, it’s about finding the right carrier whose needs match my needs,” Quint said. “I never realized until I ran my own operator how difficult it was to find an operator.”

That’s why Quint brings Trimble Transportation Engage lane to catering equipment.

“The typical bidding process at Restoration Hardware would be once a year around January and February,” he explained. “We spent months building a Rolodex of transporters. If we had 100 or 120 carriers, we felt really good.

Then the actual bidding process would begin. After two to three months, however, Restoration Hardware sometimes found that the carriers that originally bid for the lane could no longer meet the requirement, or that the cost structure would be different.

“By the time you get to that point, especially in a tight market, the carrier has evolved,” Quint said.

Engage Lane allows carriers and shippers to enter their master data, including the lanes they serve or need to serve. Then it helps match the parties, explained Peter Coumounduros, general manager of Trimble Transportation.

“This product enables connection,” he said.

Quint said his thinking over the years about the application process has changed.

“The annual bidding event doesn’t really meet our needs at Restoration Hardware,” he said. “We have to maintain the tracks.”

As costs change, carriers adjust lanes and capacity needs change, companies like Restoration Hardware are looking for the flexibility to adapt quickly. A tool like Engage Lane, Quint noted, also opens the doors to cargo capacity for smaller carriers.

“The idea of ​​finding other ways to [get carriers] with shippers starts with opportunity,” said Coumounduros.

Click for more articles from Brian Straight.

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