Outsourcing your operations to a third-party logistics (3PL) provider can mean the difference between success and downfall. Why? Because not all 3PL providers are the same. If you want to truly benefit from this partnership and improve customer service, reduce costs, and increase efficiency, you need to choose one carefully.
Don’t know where to start? Here are some tips to help you choose your 3PL provider:
Start with Research
Thanks to the Internet, you can find out a lot about your 3PL provider candidates from the comfort of your home. Type in their company name in your favorite search engine and go through their digital footprint. Take a closer look at their processes, inspect their resources and assets.
Look for their customer reviews and opinions. You can learn a lot from this. Don’t forget to perform local searches. A simple third-party logistics provider Chicagoland will do the trick.
What Systems Do You Have in Place?
The systems your 3PL provider has in place are very important. Why? Because they will, in a great manner, dictate your 3PL provider choices. In order to run a successful operation, both your systems and their systems have to be compatible. You don't want to adjust your systems so that they can be integrated with theirs.
Look for a flexible 3PL provider. It's much easier to kickstart efficient partnerships with flexible partners.
Aim for Partners
Your supply chain is an essential part of your operation. Over the years, you have adjusted your priorities and you don’t want a 3PL that does things their way. Look for those that display an effort to understand your priorities and the nature of the supply chain. In order to reach success, your partnership has to be based on effective communication and shared data with a 3PL provider.
Inspect their Services
In order to see how capable a 3PL provider is, you will have to closely inspect the services it offers. You want to strike the deal with the most capable ones in the industry. The more options they offer, the better. Why? Because it makes it easier for you to get a custom-tailored service that meets your specific business needs and requirements.
Scalability is Important as Well
While you are inspecting their services, make sure to check the availability of their assets and resources. Why is this important? At one point, your business will evolve and your 3PL provider will have to meet the new requirements set by the advancements and a new scale of your logistics chain. A good 3PL provider will be able to scale operations at any point to accommodate your new needs.
Technology is an Important Factor
We live in a digital era. You don't want to partner up with a 3PL provider that uses obsolete management and communication methods. Look for those that have implemented the latest technology and software solutions. This does not only make them efficient but also streamlines the communication and management process.
Hopefully, these 6 tips will help you choose the right 3PL provider and form a partnership that will enable your business to reach prosperity and success. For more information on efficient Third-Party logistics providers in the Chicago area, contact JRC Dedicated Services.