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While it can be lucrative to get a contract with a Forbes Fortune 500 company such as Chevron or Schlumberger, rated No. 3 and No. 228 respectively on the 2014 list, landing that contract subjects you to scrutiny and rules that may be a bit too much for you.
Getting In The Door
This is probably the hardest part of landing a contract. Getting to the right person in a large company can be exhausting. Hitting up the receptionist in the corporate office isn’t going to do it. Chances are, she doesn’t have a clue where to direct you. These decisions are likely made at corporate headquarters. In the case of Chevron and Schlumberger, that would be in Texas.
However, local work can be influenced locally but chances are the person you are talking to on a local level has no idea of the contracting process and can only introduce you to someone “upstream.” In huge corporations, that is the jargon: upstream and downstream. Just like a fish, swimming upstream is difficult. Your best bet is to find out who uses transportation services locally and consider these questions: What are the needs? Can you meet the needs? Do you have the right mix of equipment? Usually the local level department is called “supply chain management,” or they may have a “supplier relations” department.
These departments have discretion over companies used for local, short-term orders. That’s not the same as having a contract that provides you with exclusivity. Having a contract gets you in the coveted company supplier directory. Think of it as Yellow Pages for company employees looking to engage a particular type of service. A listing in the directory means you accept their purchase orders and are an “approved vendor,” meaning no red tape in engaging your services.