Taking a deep dive into your 3PL services
Utilizing a 3PL service provider can create numerous advantages for your company that may not have been possible with in-house operations. Having resources dedicated to finding supply chain efficiencies can enable your company to focus on the dedicated product or services provided while the optimization of the logistics process is handled by industry experts.
Are you taking advantage of the opportunities that would allow you to gain these out of reach advantages? Would you believe that your actions, or the way your company views the partnership, could be hindering the scope of the benefits you could be receiving?
Here’s what you should consider when determining if you are getting the most out of your 3PL services:
Needs and Offerings Align
3PL service providers may seem like they all offer the same services, but in actuality, there are no two companies that are alike. Before searching for a provider it would be best to determine what your company’s shipping requirements will be in order to compare needs to capabilities. If you are focused on operating with a user-friendly TMS, it would be best to ask questions and view the system portals before committing to the strategic partnership. If you are looking for a 3PL provider to handle specific requirements such as JIT shipments, will they be able to supply carriers that are capable of meeting strict deadlines? Focusing on capability alignment before committing to a company could help you get more out of your future 3PL services.
Perspective on the Relationship
The perspective your company has on the service partnership could play a key role in the value you are receiving. To obtain the most value from your 3PL service provider, it may be best to view the company as an extension of your own. You are entrusting core operations to a provider who you can either encourage to find supply chain solutions or be hindered from finding cost saving initiatives. If your company views the partnership as a small means of moving your materials, you may not be looking at other capabilities offered by your provider that can save you time and money. Working with your 3PL service provider as if they are an extension of your company means both partners are investing time and energy to determine the best solutions that will benefit the partnership.
Utilizing a 3PL service provider can be a way to invest in supply chain innovations without having to invest completely in the technology, time, and resources it takes to maintain constant improvements. Having the ability to run data reports and supply chain analysis in real time can create added value for your company as a way to constantly look for updates and better solutions to ship your materials. If you aren’t taking the opportunity to open your system up to improvements your company could be missing out on big opportunities. You want to enable your 3PL service provider to do what they are trained to do, providing them the correct tools is crucial to creating a well-rounded and strategic logistics plan.