The competitive nature of business environment requires competitive advantages and one of it is the 3PL or the third party logistics provider. Many retailers, manufacturers and merchants are today taking services from these third party logistics providers. This is so because a third party logistics provider gives you an efficient supply chain management and logistics operations that you can boast about. The services offered by such third party logistics providers are like outbound and inbound freight, warehousing, freight consolidation and so on. The best third party logistics provider or 3PL for you is the one that gives you a customized service solution at prices that looks quite affordable to you.
By outsourcing your logistics to the third party logistics provider you can avail a plentiful of benefits such as better cash flow, increased efficiency in operations, a shared risk benefit, greater flexibility, better customer support, etc. The 3PL or third party logistics provider companies can be categorized into three major types, which are as the following:
• Management-based logistic company
• Asset based logistic company
• Integrated providers
Following this classification there can be a huge number of third party logistics providers in the market but then you have to choose for the best when which can be done by following the steps mentioned below:
1. Assign the duty of selecting the 3PL company to selected people in your company. When you do the selection of the members then you must ensure that you have people from each business department into the panel. Let them all define the 3PL’s need from their individual perspectives. Here you will get a 3PL master list.
2. Now you must create a list of actual 3PL needs of the company. After this you start looking for the possible third party logistics providers.
3. The kind of customer service requirements your company defines the criteria for the selection of the 3PL for your company. For this you have to analyze your customer service process in a detailed manner. You can’t afford to have a mismatch between your needs and what you avail form your 3PL.
4. You can now get the information about all the potential third party logistics providers located within your geographical reach. Start analyzing that which one of those meets your criteria in the best possible manner.
5. When you select a particular third party logistics provider then you must demand for the technological sophistication from them. This will include the considerations of the technology that is essential for your logistics needs.
6. You must also get to know about the kind of businesses the 3PL company has worked in past and with whom it is presently working.
7. The 3L company must be financially sound otherwise it can anytime fall short of your demands.
8. Changes are characteristic of the modern business world therefore you must assure that the 3Pl company that you sign in contract with must be able to accept changes without hiccups.
9. Now when it comes to the cost then the 3PL company should be able to give you best possible logistics solutions within an affordable budget.
10. Last but not the least the 3PL company must have good reputation in the market which can be speculated from the fact that how truly it adheres to the core values of the logistics business.