Delivering success; how the right logistics partner will grow your business
A good logistics partner is someone you have full confidence in when it comes to handling your product, this is a massive stress reliever, but also vital for healthy business growth.
The ‘right’ logistics partner, however, is much more than this.
When it comes to your third-party logistics (3PL) provider you need to have full confidence and trust in them.
A quick word of caution though, when it comes to your 3PL provider, full transparency of your business metrics is an absolute must. Bad or missing data during the request for proposal phase can result in shaky partnerships that are unlikely to work well, for either party.
So, what is the difference between a good 3PL provider, and the ‘right’ one?
Well, for one, they are a partner not just an outsourced resource. By this we mean they have a vested interest in the success and growth of your business. As such they’ll assist you across the logistics sphere with their experience and expertise.
Here are six elements that set the right partner apart:
1: Help expanding your network
For most companies, growth is about entering new markets and expanding geographically.
Manufacturing, co-packing facilities, warehousing; these all impact your logistics costs and services.
The right logistics partners should allow you access to these new locations and marketplaces.
It’s important then to find a partner who can scale as you do, both in terms of resources and capacity, as well as geographically.
2: Handling Large Customers
As the size of your customers change, so too will their expectations in terms of your performance.
Larger organisations have a lot of power and leverage to pressure suppliers with delivery requirements, and they tend to use these powers with great effect. They can be quick to penalise.
A specialised 3PL will know the nuances of dealing with these valuable but often stressful customers.
Knowing things like preferred carriers, schedules and load preferences will help avoid expensive chargebacks and other accessorial charges.
3: Launching New Products
New product development and launches are vital for business growth. However, they also introduce a variety of complexities to production, shipping and handling.
Experienced logistics partners will have flexibility with robust systems in place to handle all your potential SKU requirements.
4: New technology
As innovation and technology are developed and adopted by supply chain practitioners, it eventually becomes the expected norm in the industry. A benefit that is sometimes underrated.
For example, most food companies today can trace every case shipped from end to end – farm to consumer.
Not so long ago this wasn’t the norm, but now it is required.
To do this requires sophisticated warehouse management systems (WMS).
A stand-alone WMS can cost seven-figures! Entering into a 3PL arrangement with the right partner gives ready access to all the necessary technological advances out there.
5: Shipping Volume Scalability
Higher volumes mean more leverage for lower freight rates and potentially find lower cost modes of transport.
The right logistics partner will be looking out for your best interest and help you uncover these savings whenever possible.
6: Greater Supply Chain Visibility
This is part of gaining access to the best technologies available. Increasingly complex logistics operations need robust processes and systems in place.
The right logistics partners will offer performance reports and software solutions to help manage transportation data.
The best partners will also leverage this data and help you understand it providing meaningful insights and showing potential opportunities for costs saving.
All to help you further streamline your business.
First, you have to understand your own current requirements as well as the requirements you may have down the line.
Do you aim to be global? In which case your logistics partner needs to be able to facilitate that growth.
Are you going to be dealing with Amazon? In which case, a logistics partner with previous experience of this is likely to be beneficial.
A knowledgeable 3PL can help companies see what impacts new customers, locations, or products will have on transportation costs, and provide counsel for both immediate and future outcomes.
Planning logistics resources for the present and future enables companies to use logistics as a competitive advantage. Without them, the supply chain can become a major barrier to a company’s growth.
To find out more get in touch with us today.