When we research the various projects that we quote in our desire to grow our businesses and expand our profit margins, intense scrutiny of the Scope of Work or Statement of Work is of utmost importance.
We obviously want to know how many product turns there will be, or what the seasonality of the freight volume looks like. We do know there is a certain fudge-factor of the +/- 20% on these numbers, but they give us a ballpark idea of what the prospective piece of business looks like.
One thing we often overlook in our excitement to solve the customers' problem is their need for custom reporting. Defining your reporting requirements to your 3PL during the scope of work will allow them to accurately estimate the upfront costs and reasonable amount of time to create them. Additionally, defining reports that are Want vs. Need will save you money in IT charges for reporting that doesn't provide value to your operations.