If you choose to use third party logistics for your business, there are some steps you can take to maximize the benefits you get from this relationship. 3PL is an amazing opportunity that comes with countless rewards, but it does take some getting used to. Here are some tips to help you get the most from third party logistics so you can make this a great experience from the start.
Pay Close Attention to Your Contract
When you go to work with a 3PL provider, you will need to work out a contract that outlines how your relationship works and what you can expect from their services. In this case, attention to detail will make a world of difference. Do not be afraid to ask questions about order volumes, processes, and service requirements that may arise during your time working together. Make sure that everything you need to know is in writing so you can reference it if an issue arises in the future.
Address Issues Early on
If you have a problem with the way data is presented to you or the way your products are being handled, say something about it. Your logistics provider will not know to fix the issue if they are unaware of your concerns. They may be able to explain how their process works so you are more content with the services you are receiving. No matter what the situation may be, communication is crucial in ensuring your satisfaction with this process.
Establish a Relationship with a Person, Not Just the Company
It’s nice to have one person that you know you can go to for all of your questions. Many third party logistics companies will have representatives that you can look to when you need assistance. It is nice to have a strong relationship with the warehouse as a whole, but you should try to develop direct relationships with specific people you can trust. These relationships will save you the hassle of re-explaining your questions or concerns every time you get the phone.
Be Knowledgeable about the Process
Understand what you are getting from your 3PL provider and what services they may be able to extend to you in the future. Ask as many questions as you need to know what you’re getting from your investment because that will help you feel more comfortable as a whole. If you have recently switched providers, make sure you know how your new one operates. Every warehouse has slightly different procedures that may impact how you interact with the provider.
Explore All of Your Options
Your relationship with the warehouse doesn’t have to stop at inventory management. You may be able to outsource a number of other services for your business directly through your 3PL company. Ask about shipping, distribution, and fulfillment services in addition to whatever core services you need to operate. You can create a bundle package that is perfect for you.
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