A recent article in the Parcel Industry magazine discussed UPS and FedEx’s determination to banish the third party consultant involvement in negotiations; “FedEx and UPS claim they want to deal directly with their customers, reasoning that consultants don’t know much about the shipper’s business”.

Is it the consultant’s continuous success in achieving savings or the potential loss of business that threatens these packaging suppliers? Michael J. Ryan, Vice President-Sales Marketing for GENCO, expresses that each customer should make their own decision as to whether “using a consultant is in their best interest”.

Of course... Why do businesses hire consultants in the first place? The consultant offers its customers purchasing strategies, best practices, databases of price points and processes that are effective in achieving competitive and qualitative contracts with its suppliers. The goal is not to “beat up” the supplier or make them look bad.

Pushing the third party player out of the picture will only encourage the following:

1. Lengthy decision making processes on behalf of the shipper
2. The ongoing need for formal RFQ’s when contracts expire and tariffs change
3. A lack of trust…is this the best price? Will the competitor offer something better?

I agree with Michael that with ongoing rate increases and market shifts, “we must continually challenge this strategic move by FedEx and UPS to minimize the impact of RFQ’s and contract re-negotiations”.

Can’t we all play nice!
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Leigh Merz

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