As you start adding more storage facilities in exciting new locations to support your growing business, you may find yourself weighed down by the sheer amount of logistics required. When faced with a situation like this, you may decide to outsource your operational logistics to a 3rd party logistics (3PL) provider so that you can focus your attentions on your business.
With a 3PL provider, you’ll be able to concentrate on growing your business instead of managing day to day operational logistics.
You’ll also enjoy instant expertise and knowledge of supply chain logistics at your disposal, especially if you’re selling internationally. A 3PL provider can help out with import/export issues to ensure that your shipments pass through customs smoothly, saving you the trouble of figuring out trade rules for individual countries.
Today, we’ve got some advice for you when it comes to getting your 3PL relationship to work for you:
Find the Right 3PL Partner
Enlisting a 3PL provider to help you manage your company’s operational logistics can be expensive, so you want to make sure you’re signing on with the right partner.
While price is definitely an important factor, it’s only the tip of the iceberg, as you’ll need to think about things like:
Location: The 3PL company needs to be able to offer timely and cost-effective shipping for your customers. Ideally, they should also have multiple fulfillment centers that’ll help to improve your business’s reach in the region.
Scalability: Your business will continue growing, so you need a 3PL company that is capable of scaling up with your business when you start to require more resources.
Technology: Many business owners run their business across a range of software integrations, ranging from shopping cart solutions, to accounting, to inventory management software. So it’s important that your 3PL provider can work well with your existing system.
Share Your Vision
When signing up with a 3PL company, you want one that shares the same vision and goals as you.
If you’re looking to take your business international, you need a 3PL company with offices all over the world and is capable of dealing with international logistics.
Your 3PL partner needs to offer you sufficient support to make your vision come true. After all, when you’re growing your business, having an account manager from the 3PL company can be priceless. On top of answering your questions, they’ll also be able to give you tips on new business opportunities in the region.
Always treat your 3PL partner like an extension of your company, complete with sharing and incentivizing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This also makes for a better relationship by ensuring that you’re both working towards to the same goals.
Using 3PL providers allows you to grow your business and to take it worldwide, as you’ll have access to an experienced team that knows exactly how to manage international logistics. We’ll be back next week to look at how managing a global supply chain is becoming a necessity for any business.