When you enter into a business partnership with a third party logistics provider, you’ll both be looking for open lines of communication in order to get the best from each other. You’ll want an experienced logistics partner who can manage the complexities involved in the global supply chain; your 3PL will want a client who is flexible and open to new ideas.
So what should you be discussing with your 3PL to improve your supply chain?
One of the first things a business owner and a third party logistics provider should do is sit down and share realistic goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). Without this basic information and a willingness to collaborate on important matters, the relationship is doomed from the start.
But effective communication doesn’t always have to be a verbal discussion between two sets of people; it can also represent the sharing of data, or understanding key issues in the industry and knowing how and when to act on them on behalf of the other party.
Many business owners tend to stick with tried and tested methods of doing business, afraid to take risks in case they backfire. Although it’s good to be cautious in business, it can sometimes leave you struggling to keep up with your competitors.
How can your logistics company help?
A few years ago, third party logistics providers were only just introducing more advanced real-time inventory and point of sale management systems, integrating them with businesses and demonstrating how much simpler they made collecting and sorting data. They even proved to be exceptionally useful tools for receiving customer orders via the internet.
At first clients were suspicious of this new way of doing things, but quickly realised the advantages as it not only sped up the entire process but reduced costs and led to increased customer satisfaction. Goods were delivered faster and inventory levels could be managed more effectively.
Nowadays this kind of system integration is expected and any 3PL without the latest in system integration technology is likely to fall flat of client and consumer expectations.
Don’t be put off by the advice and proposed changes offered by your logistics provider. The warehousing and distribution industry is constantly adapting to new and innovative methods and with an experienced 3PL by your side, there’s no limit to the kind of impact you and your brand could have.