Whether you’ve just started your business or you want to scale your current operations, choosing the right third-party logistics provider plays a big role in the success of your business. Today’s increasingly complex business environment–which includes rapidly advancing technologies, extended supply chains and newly emerged markets–makes it necessary to consider more than just cost when selecting a third-party logistics company. A high quality 3PL is marked by its ability to help streamline a company’s supply chain operations. Here are some factors to consider.
Your ideal 3PL company has fulfillment centers that allow fast ground shipment to the areas you serve. If you largely serve the eastern and southern United States, a 3PL on the East Coast is ideal.
Company Infrastructure and Technology
With new technologies emerging all the time, an ideal 3PL will always stay ahead of the curve. Companies that utilize technologies that streamline and speed up their logistics will always have a competitive edge. A 3PL that doesn’t make an effort to keep its infrastructure up-to-date could set you and your company back.
Proper supply chain visibility is crucial, but not achievable between two companies working at different capabilities and with incompatible systems. Both companies must have the same access to shipping data and physical capabilities to work together efficiently.
Commitment to Service Goals
A great 3PL company will hold your service goals in as high regard as you do. After all, on-time delivery is a critical factor in your operation, and the convenience of online ordering has raised customers’ expectations in recent years. Commitment and flexibility is therefore an important factor to consider, especially with last-minute orders.
Direct-to-Retail and Direct-to-Consumer Delivery
The growth of e-commerce has also brought on the need for 3PLs to offer both direct-to-retail and direct-to-consumer delivery. A third-party warehouse with an integrated inventory system is more effective for managing inventory and ensuring timely order fulfillment.
If you plan to work with a 3PL for the long run (and we assume you do), look for one that will grow with your business. Your company’s expansion shouldn’t be limited by your 3PL’s capabilities.
Want more information on the benefits of 3PL? Call us at 336-275-8458 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to talk third-party logistics!