Third-party logistics are an integral part of your business. They handle the logistical operations of your supply chain like warehousing, packaging, and distribution. Here is the ultimate guide to being a great 3PL customer.
How Defining Your Needs Can Make You A Great 3PL Customer
The first step in any successful venture is to define your needs. It would be best to think about these things before going into business with a 3PL company.
You know what makes you tick when you’re a great 3PL customer. So, you understand your supply chain and its functions and can communicate those needs to your 3PL partner.
But how do you get there? It all starts with defining your needs—and knowing that they may change over time. Here are some tips for determining your needs:
- Analyze Your Supply Chain. First, figure out exactly what parts of your supply chain need attention. Is there an area where things could be streamlined? Do you have too much inventory or not enough? Are there areas where efficiency can be improved? Take some time to understand what’s working well in your supply chain and what could use some work.
- Ask Questions Of Your Team And Consultants. Once you’ve figured out what needs improvement, it’s time to ask questions! Talk with your team members about how things are working to see if any improvements could be made.
- Think about what you need to accomplish with your transportation services. Is it delivery? Or do you also want storage? Do you need an entire supply chain management solution or some transport management? Before deciding which provider(s) to speak with about your needs, think about these things.
How Choosing a 3PL That Matches Your Needs Will Make You a Great 3PL Customer
Choosing a 3PL that matches your needs will make you a great 3PL customer. If you’re like most businesses, you have your eye on a few different 3PL providers. But you may be unsure which is best for you. You want to make sure that the company can offer all the services and solutions your business needs.
The incredible thing is that some straightforward options tell if a 3PL provider is right for your business. When selecting a 3PL partner, consider the following three factors:
- Does the company have previous experience working with businesses similar to yours?
- Are they able to provide references from other customers
- What kind of pricing makes their service offer, and how does it compare with different options on the market?
- Do they have enough staff members who are trained? Can those staff members communicate with customers?
These four questions will guide your decision and give an idea of what kind of service each company offers.
Choosing A Logistics Provider That Can Grow With You
Most companies aren’t born overnight, and neither are their supply chains. Finding a logistics provider is critical if you’re beginning to grow your business. When choosing a third-party logistics (3PL) company, look for one with experience taking on new clients. To determine if the 3PL has this capability, consider asking about:
- The number of people they have on staff;
- The size of their warehouse space;
- The number of accounts they service at any given time;
- How long they’ve been in business;
- What kind of growth they’ve achieved over the past year or two.
Be Involved in the Onboarding Process
Being involved in the onboarding process is your chance to set expectations with your 3PL. It would help if you were sure that your 3PL listens to your needs and makes changes during this time. Your 3PL should ask questions and clearly understand what you need from the relationship.
For example, suppose you know that one of your key objectives is to reduce costs by increasing efficiency in shipping processes. In that case, this should be discussed during onboarding (and even before). Your 3PL will likely know how to achieve these goals—but only if you tell them what you want!
Providing Clear, Up-To-Date Information Can Make You a Great 3PL Customer
Being a great customer means providing clear, up-to-date information to your 3PL provider. This includes:
- Accurate information
- Accurate information promptly
- Factual information that is easy to access
Providing clear, up-to-date information can make you a great 3PL customer. When you’re shipping products, you must have access to shipment information. That’s where 3PLs come in. They provide a service that allows you to track your shipments and receive alerts when they are delayed or arrive late.
As a 3PL customer, providing clear information will help your provider offer better service. Besides, it will ensure that your shipments arrive on time. If there are delays with your shipment, it’s easier for them to identify them if they know what’s happening.
Negotiate a Fair Contract Can Make you A Great 3PL Customer
3PLs are the most critical part of your supply chain. The best 3PLs will make your business run smoothly. Besides, it will keep your customers happy and ensure timely product delivery. You want to ensure you hire an excellent 3PL for your company, but how do you know if they’re the right fit?
One way is to negotiate a fair contract with them. This can help them understand what kind of expectations you have for them.
Negotiating with a 3PL can also help improve communication between the two parties. If you and your provider aren’t communicating well, it will not be an excellent fit for either party.
Negotiating a fair contract can also help prevent disputes from arising later. If both sides know their responsibilities towards each other, then it’s less likely that anything will go wrong later on.
Use these tips to ensure you’re giving your logistics provider what they need to provide you with the best service.
Being an excellent 3PL customer is about giving your logistics provider what they need to provide you with the best service. Here are some pointers to ensure that everyone gets what they require:
- Define your needs, then find a 3PL that matches them. If you have specific requirements, ensure that the logistics partner can meet those expectations before signing on.
- Choose a logistics partner who’ll grow with you over time. As your business grows, you’ll want someone who can accommodate its expansion. They should adjust the company’s processes and offerings accordingly, ensuring smooth operations.
Being a beneficial 3PL customer will help you get the most out of your relationship with the company. Even if you aren’t in a position to take advantage of all that 3PLs offer, there are still plenty of ways to stand out as a great customer. For more details, contact sales support.