The field of third-party logistics (3PL) covers a wide range of departments.
Yet their main goal is ensuring that enterprises are maximising their potential with the storage and transportation of goods, a regular process that dictates the success or failure of an organisation.
There will be commercial practitioners who ultimately decide that they are better off outsourcing a number of these responsibilities to 3PL warehouse members, specialists who step into the breach and hit tangible targets for the sake of the company.
While this might be a leap of faith for some, there are tried and tested approaches that help to make this project a thriving success.
Time to look at the methods that work best when hiring these professionals.
Pay Attention to Their Industry Credentials
It is vitally important that managers, owners and those in positions of power with an enterprise study the credentials of 3PL warehouse members before they decide to use them for their own strategic benefit. How do they operate in terms of inventory management? Who do they partner with for distribution and courier shipments? What are the types of rates they instigate and do clients experience an improvement with order fulfilment demands? By having discussions with industry insiders and assessing information online, participants will begin to gauge who has the proficiency to deliver results where it counts.
Opt for Flexible Agreement Terms
What always helps the cause for organisations who partner with 3PL practitioners is being able to work on their terms, opting for flexible agreements that give brands the scope to increase, decrease or change their input across departments. 3PL warehouse members won’t box in enterprises that want flexibility on this front because they realise that there will be changing circumstances along the journey. So long as those terms are stipulated in black and white, they will have confidence that their service is right for them.
Bring Them in on Ground Level
There is an attitude amongst some companies that they will only use 3PL warehouse members at staggered intervals and approach them like any outsourced member. If they are kept at a distance, it is hard to achieve genuine progress, particularly at ground level where staff need to be brought up to speed on certain protocols and behaviours. Bring them in at ground level to have assurances that the knowledge and expertise will be passed on to those that need it most with warehousing, inventory and shipping practices.
Encourage Extensive Reporting & Analytics
Making progress with supply chain brands is not easy. In some cases it can expose mistakes, shortcomings and faults that might not be flattering to the business and certain professionals and departments. The best strategy that clients can use when they integrate with 3PL warehouse members is encouraging them to run through extensive reporting and analytics on the enterprise. Owners and managers need to see where they have been going wrong, what risks are in play, what opportunities can be leveraged and what the data says independent of long standing opinions and biases at an operational level.
Tap Into Their Technology & Resources
Business as usual is a killer for organisations who are attempting to keep pace with the competition. While they are introducing better software dynamics, more efficient storage utilities, tracking tools and transport systems, others are staying still and wondering why they are falling behind the times. For commercial practitioners to really leverage the power of 3PL warehouse members, they need to tap into their resources and modern formats of technology. The transition might be a struggle initially, but it will pay sustainable dividends in the long-term.
The use of 3PL warehouse members will open up doors and possibilities that the brand would not normally experience without their input. Take note of these strategies to realise that commercial success that ownership craves.