Logistics outsourcing is here to stay and has proven to be very successful for a wide range of businesses across many industries.
As some companies have found out, there are some things that you need to be aware of before you look to partner with a 3PL. They are not all created equal so you will need to make sure that you choose the correct provider and that you cover all of your bases.
If you follow our tips laid out below, you will be able to enjoy the many advantages of working with a third party logistics company.
1. Understand what a 3PL can do for you
You need to be aware that a third party logistics company will only be able to deliver what they promise if you have good communication from the very start. They will need to be open to understanding your business and all of your concerns. Only then will you be able to get an accurate picture of what the third party logistics company can do for your company and more importantly the realistic savings that you can enjoy.
2. Don’t make any assumptions
You have been running your business for a long time so you have probably developed a shorthand for keeping track of your logistic needs. You need to bear in mind that although the third party logistics company will be able to respond dynamically and responsively to anything that you need, they will need to be informed of any considerations that are required to ensure that your product is cared for correctly.
Don’t assume that the third party logistics company will know the exact temperature that your product needs to be stored at, or how much protection specific piece of equipment needs during shipping. These are the important details that you will need to supply to your third-party logistics company in order for there to be no mistakes or loss.
3. Don’t rush the onboarding process
If you want to outsource all of your logistic needs overnight then you should be warned that this is not advised. You should allow the third party logistics company to provide you with the best possible timeline for onboarding your procedures.
There will be a small honeymoon period to allow for everything to happen smoothly. Trying to rush this process can cause problems. If a third party logistics company promises you an overnight switch it might be too good to be true.
4. Assuming no responsibility
Even though the third party logistics company will take on all of your logistics needs, the process is still your process. While you are not directly involved, you should make sure that you are familiar with how your goods are being handles and shipped. This allows you some oversight and the third party logistics company will be able to benefit from your experience. After all, no one knows your product better than you.
5. Do your research
Before you enter into a relationship with any business partner you will need to conduct your due diligence on who you are dealing with. There will be many opportunities to ensure that your third-party logistics company are able to deliver on their promises as you look into what others have said about them online.
If they are a well-established company with a long list of clients, then you can be sure that they are reliable. This is one of the most important parts of the whole process. A mistake here can be very costly so make sure that you have done all of the research on the third party logistics company you are considering.