If you’re in the process of selecting a third party logistics, or 3PL partner you probably already know how complex and challenging the process can be. After all, outsourcing all of your logistics is a critical task and one which must be done with careful consideration to avoid any potential problems down the road. That being said, it can be helpful to know what not to do when choosing a 3PL company to work with. Here are a few of the common mistakes others have made so you’ll know ahead of time what to avoid.
Not verifying experience. One only needs to conduct a simple Google search to see how many 3PL logistics providers are in the market today. The problem is, not all of them are actually qualified and reputable. The key is to do your research and choose a 3PL company that has extensive experience to back up their services.
Not taking future growth into consideration. Chances are one of your key business initiatives is growth. So, doesn’t it make sense to ensure that the third party logistics provider you work with is flexible and agile enough to keep pace as you progress toward that goal? If you don’t you’ll likely find yourself right back at square one in just a few short years.
Not communicating enough. Beyond the importance of choosing a qualified 3PL, you’ll also want to take the appropriate steps to ensure that the entire process goes as smoothly as possible. You can achieve this by clearly communicating exactly how your business operates, what key selection criteria you are considering and even going as far as including a contract template. The more info you provide upfront, the better expectations will be set and the lower likelihood of any issues down the road.
Not thinking outside the box. You probably already have in mind what you expect your chosen 3PL company to do for your business, but what you may not be considering are all the other areas the right provider can deliver benefit to your organization. It may serve you well to inquire on whether each candidate is capable of offering additional value-added services.
Not drilling down to the nitty-gritty. Certainly most of the 3PL logistics firms you’re considering can offer a good number of services, but where many companies fail is in drilling down beyond the basics to what matters most. What are the metrics that are most important to your company specifically? What are your most pressing needs? Identifying these things can help you select a third party logistics company that is most closely aligned with your business.
Choosing a 3PL company for your warehouse logistics needs doesn’t have to be a chore, provided you know what to look for and also what common mistakes to avoid. The above tips should help point you in the right direction and set you on the path to finding the ideal partner.