Importance of Quality Spot Quotes in Healthcare and Life Sciences

The demand for spot quotes has been astronomical since the COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupted the world's trade network. The trucking market saw spot rates increase a whopping 132.5% year over year in August 2020. One of the main drivers of spot quotes the past year was the healthcare and life sciences industry—companies scrambled to roll out COVID-19 vaccines and manufacturers went into overtime producing and shipping COVID-related equipment, such as masks and ventilators.

It left many healthcare and life sciences supply chains scrambling to deliver shipments, forcing a revolution to rely more heavily on spot quotes than in the past. Delivering timely and quality shipments of life-saving supplies aren’t an option for this industry, they’re a vital necessity. Healthcare and life sciences supply chains must become more resilient and agile if they haven’t already, something that 55% of leaders aim to do in the next two to three years.

This is where spot quotes step in and offer a lifeline during the chaos that contractual shipping often can’t handle—but only if spot quotes bring quality to the table.

Partner with the Right Carriers

A common, incorrect assumption is the only important aspect of a spot quote is the rate. While the financial aspect does play a huge part, as spot rates fluctuate and can be particularly expensive during holiday seasons or when oil prices surge, there’s more to selecting a spot quote than just the price. Healthcare and life sciences products require specific shipping conditions. You need a carrier that can meet your shipping requirements at a reasonable rate.

The easiest way to identify carriers that can meet your shipping requirements is to centralize bids and automate the process with tools like Trax’s Rate Manager or Performance Manager that allow you to automate and optimize RFP and carrier management processes, so you always get the right carrier and the right carrier performance for the right price. Our Carrier Management Services also play a key role in optimizing your spot quote process, as you gain greater insight into carrier KPIs like carrier capacity issues, performance, and cold chain shipping capabilities. These tools reflect our decades of experience working with more than 4,000 carriers worldwide—we understand their strengths and weaknesses and how to evaluate their performance based on your needs.

Such tools not only eliminate the resources and time needed for bid rate management, but they also mitigate the risks of human error and bias. You get the right carrier and the best spot rate every time.

Increase Visibility 

Healthcare and life sciences is a particularly susceptible industry, with shipments needing special transportation requirements and deliveries must be intact and on time when they reach customers.

Our roadmap of optimized operations is found in Trax’s Transportation Spend Management Maturity Model, a framework that provides a roadmap for large, global enterprises to shift from a lack of visibility and control to a fully optimized and accurate data-based transportation supply chain—for all modes and geographies.

This data-driven, analytical approach, along with unblemished visibility, takes your supply chain to the next level. Optimizing your Transportation Spend Management delivers the ability to make informed decisions instantly and creates a more agile and dynamic supply chain. You attain the necessary tools to weather any storm and deliver your products to any locality worldwide to become a leader in the market.

Establish Budget Accountability 

The main issue with spot quotes is the fluctuating prices, often leaving spot rates higher than contractual rates. Remaining within budget can become quite challenging when outside factors, such as the pandemic, dictates that you rely more heavily on spot quotes than planned. The obstacles involved with shipping the COVID-19 vaccine are an excellent example—the hectic manufacturing schedules, unprecedented demand levels, fluctuating government approvals, and strict temperature-controlled shipping requirements.

The supply chain industry chaos has forced many healthcare and life sciences companies to adopt spot quotes for what has become an ad hoc landscape. Supply chains face the dire challenges of meeting demand while staying within budget to maintain a sustainable profit margin, much less grow the business. Spot rates thrown into the mix can be enough to tip a business over the edge.

Our Rate Manager and Budget Manager solutions ensure your profit margin remains healthy. By having the information laid out, you can make informed decisions regarding spot quotes that align with your budget, ensuring financial compliance or flexibility when the need arises. You gain the ability to keep an eye on the bottom line while still remaining agile if new opportunities or unexpected changes arise.

Optimize Data Management

Like we said before, data is the key to enhanced visibility. Raw data carries little meaning and clarity unless it’s high quality, applicable to your business objectives, and translated into user-friendly analytics.

At Trax, we normalize and centralize your data for optimized, comprehensive decision-making and planning. Our solutions pair with your warehouse management systems (WMS) and other systems in graceful harmony to feed each other information that delivers analytics, making it easy to track performance in-house and in your logistics network.

Our Transportation Spend Management Maturity Model ensures that compilation and harmonization happen seamlessly and without complication. You'll not only have optimized your supply chain, but you'll have a robust, world-class data management system in place.

Use a Top-tier Platform

To create a truly resilient supply chain based on data-driven, analytical, and objective decision-making, you need to easily access and efficiently analyze your data. This requires a top-tier software platform that filters, organizes, and presents the data in a clean, simple manner.

A top-tier software platform should integrate and centralize carrier data, freight audit, compliance, budget accountability, data management, contract rate management, spot rate management, and more. Only then can you make business intelligent decisions and select the most profitable spot quotes day in, day out.

This complete harmony and centralization are what we at Trax had in mind when we created our world-class, top-tier Transportation Spend Management suite of tools and services. Our stature at Trax as the leader in Transportation Spend Management, as well as our truly global presence, makes us the perfect partner to help you take your supply chain to the next level.

Spot Quotes Are Here to Stay

The supply chain industry is undergoing a revolution, including the healthcare and life sciences sector. Spot quotes are part of this new landscape for the foreseeable future. By optimizing your Transportation Spend Management, you take your supply chain to the next level and transform spot quotes from a headache to a secret weapon. In turn, you open opportunities to reach and help more customers with your life-saving products and become a leader in the global market.

To learn more about how you can get quality spot quotes every time and how Trax’s Transportation Spend Management Maturity Model can help you continue growing to make the world a healthier place, contact Trax today.

Trax Technologies

Trax Technologies

Trax is the global leader in Transportation Spend Management solutions. We partner with the most global and complex brands to drive meaningful optimizations and savings through industry-leading technology solutions and world-class advisory services. With the largest global footprint spanning North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe, we enable our clients to have greater control over their transportation performance and spend. Our focus is on your success.