Looking for Logistics Help? 5 Things to Consider:
After being in the logistics industry for 20+ years, I have fielded many questions in regards to supply chain management, how to improve logistical processes, and ways to save time and money in getting product from Point A to Point Z. Below are the top 5 consideration points when selecting a 3PL partner:
1. Service Offering Matches Your Need
The term “logistics” is thrown around a lot. Many companies simply search for logistics partners without knowing what their specific need is. A good 3PL (third party logistics) company offers a full service offering from point of origin to point of consumption. As you know, there are many destination points along a supply chain – knowing where you have the biggest problem can help you identify several 3PL companies that fit your need while providing them specifics as to what your business objective is.
2. Customer Service
A logistics company is a service company. From warehousing & storage, to inventory management and tracking, to pick and packing, to kitting and assembly, and actual delivery – each of these steps is a service. More important, they are services that will directly impact YOUR end customer and their experience with your product. Selecting a 3PL partner that has reliable and responsive customer service will directly impact not only your bottom line, but they way your customer feels about you (and how likely they are to repurchase).
Ensure that the logistics companies you are selecting from are advanced enough to track inventory and fulfill online / ecommerce orders. eCommerce order fulfillment is a must for most companies and the ability to track inventory and shipments is critical to manage your supply chain and inventory levels. Ask the right questions on inventory tracking – like “what warehouse management system do you use?” OR “can you provide reporting on my inventory levels?”. Ensuring that your 3PL partner is on the right side of the 21st century will pay dividends in the future as you grow.
Pending your location – it is best practice to have a 3PL partner that has a location on the West Coast or Mid-West, as well as on the East Coast. This provides you with multiple points of distribution and you can benefit from cheaper shipping rates, less transportation time, and the ability to zone skip. Ensure that your 3PL partner has two locations on each side of the US and can provide international shipping & customs clearance.
We are in business to grow and have success. Where you will be in 5 years will be very different than now. Make sure that your 3PL partner can grow with you in several ways:
a) Warehouse storage & capacity
b) Order fulfillment
c) Inventory tracking & storage (the warehouse management system)
d) International delivery & customs clearance
e) Distribution & freight network
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer the best practices in warehousing and order fulfillment. We are strategically located in the heart of the west and offer industry leading facilities and customer service for any logistics need.