Dynamic 3PL Blog


Is This the Right 3PL For You? 5 Essentials

Posted by Danny Rimkus on Aug 16, 2016 9:51:55 AM

logistics chemistry

1.) Observe Culture - It takes a certain chemistry to form a stable 3PL compound. This precise chemistry is really the first place your mind should go in selecting a logistics partner. Strategic outsourcing is a long-term commitment. There needs to be something of a similarity between your value systems. You cannot truly predict how well a relationship like this may work out the line, but you can give a pending 3PL the time of day to really take in their atmosphere and ask your gut how comfortable of a fit this is going to be. It’s great when the figures work out well on paper, but if you just aren’t getting a good vibes, then who knows how those figures may unravel over time. Understanding on a cultural level is indicative of understanding on a business level.

2.) Engage In Strategies - Making proactive gestures towards your 3PL may help reveal just how proactive their measures are in regards to covering your end. If the 3PL in question is seeking to grow alongside your company, you should detect some sense of enthusiasm in discussing strategies. This is a good way to detect the operational performance of your 3PL, as well as their ambition to improve on services and construct a relationship. Two minds are better than one, not only because this implies a shared base of intelligence, but also because it engenders critical thinking.

3.) Evaluate Expertise - Proper facilities and labor and other tangible resources are obviously important elements of a 3PL, but there are certain intangibles that are crucial in selecting a logistics partner. When you really boil it down, a 3PL’s worth is determined by their expertise. They became the experts so you don’t have to. A qualified 3PL is essentially a catapult into the upper echelon of logistics. It reinforces the framework of your business with years of experience and knowledge that you now have claim and access to. By hiring experts, your business becomes enriched with expertise. Additionally, the expertly designed software systems (such as TMS or WMS) offered by many modern 3PLs elevate the infrastructure of your operation. These technologies are often capable of managing inventory, reporting instant data, and monitoring each step of your supply chain. In taking these measures, your 3PL seeks to not only make the process easier on themselves, but also ease your mind and allow you to focus on your core competencies.

4.) Communicate - Availability and approachability are two keys that go hand in hand when it comes to keeping a logistics relationship afloat. There are times when you simply need to get in direct contact with your strategic partners. A competent 3PL knows not only to keep the lines open, but also to let you know that they are there for you when you need them. However, this must be reflected in both policy and performance. Sometimes, an unexpected business conversation at an inconvenient moment may be construed as a yammering complaint no matter the legitimacy or immediacy of the concern at hand. You need a logistics partner that understands this type of directive, and is willing to respond promptly and rationally.

 5.) Confirm “One-Stop Shop” Relationship - To put it simply, your 3PL is your problem-solver. So why not be certain that this solver has the means and intention to tackle all of your problems? Your business may seek warehousing, customs brokerage, clean room services, contract packaging, global freight-forwarding, networking, transportation management… the list goes on. Why not choose one logistics partner to rule them all? For a growing business with so many variables ahead, it’s quite beneficial to be partnered with a provider to such a wide arsenal of services. Committing to one solid bond is simply going to make your operation more streamlined and cost-effective across the board. That is the power of one.

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