Today’s third-party logistics means more than transportation and warehousing. We can see a new phenomenon that continues to grow considering 3PLs encompass outsourcing for everything from the supply chain spectrum. It expanded their business functions adding a variety of services like global logistics operations, information technology connecting a wide range of applications, customized services from omnichannel fulfillment to consulting models, and more.
The scope is extending from a logistics tactical provider to a collaborative partner that helps companies to take direction, respond quickly to demands, create ideas for improvement to efficiently accelerate the business. Choosing a 3PL partner is not an easy task and it demands time to gain the company’s trust to build a strong relationship. Towards to achieve this goal, 3PLs should be mindful about some useful tips:
- Knowledge is power: discover what is valuable for products/services for the company to provide effective and positive experience for its customers. Keep in mind: it is a dynamic environment and what is valuable today can change tomorrow.
- Transparent communication: clear lines of communication to ensure information is clearly and quickly available for both parties delivering high-quality products/services with consistent customer service. If companies don’t give honest feedback, it can damage the relationship forever.
- Performance management: metrics that support performance and effectiveness of 3PLs results from service level agreements, key performance indicators and other collaboratively strategic outcomes that are relevant for the business.
- Understanding the perspective: from time to time, it is important to be conscious of which challenges companies are facing during logistic and supply chain operations. Technology, processes, and people change and, understandably, issues may occur causing negative impacts.
- Tailored relationship: each company require an operational alignment that involves adjusting systems and people to get the operations running efficiently. Strategic partnerships work better when there are more interfaces from the account manager with the company’s operations professionals. The results are more effective if it includes more people from top-to-top interaction enabling streamlined communication.
Being engaged to establish a sustainable relationship involves understanding and willingness to collaborate in a meaningful way. A partnership with a dedicated 3PL can be a source of a unique competitive value for companies. On the 3PL side, there is no excuse to not foster a customer-centric culture; on the company’s side, having a strategic 3PL partner can be a game-changer to keep competitive in the market. Read more about how to recognize that your business could benefit from a third-party logistics partnership.