Outsourcing logistics management to a 3PL has been hugely beneficial for modern business leaders. Although the supply chain is critical to success, it may not be first on your list of passions or priorities. Small, mid-size, and large corporations can all benefit from a transportation management system (TMS). The key is deciding how to choose the right partner.
It is easy to be drawn to the cheapest number you see, because we live in a culture of expecting things to be fast, cheap, and easy. That’s okay if you are willing to sacrifice quality, but in logistics, a lack of quality can translate to late shipments, unnecessary accessorial charges, and other mistakes that can cost money and headaches.
Some practical steps you can take when choosing a third-party logistics provider include:
- Ask for a list of client referrals so you know if this provider has a proven track record of customer satisfaction.
- Plan an on-site visit to the provider’s location to meet the people that will be managing your business and working with your vendors.
- Ask to see the implementation process before signing any contracts. You need to know how much effort the provider will put into a seamless integration of their services, and how much ongoing support they will provide.
The key factor in a mutually beneficial logistics solution is the partnership. Logistics management is all about the long-term value. If you want a quick fix, you can find the cheapest freight quote, but a partnership means having a dedicated team that you can rely on when you hit bumps in the road. Those bumps are sometimes unavoidable in logistics. The proper team will help you sidestep the ones that you can control, but might not always have the foresight to recognize.
Will a 3PL actually save you money? If they have a large network of high-quality and flexible carriers, then definitely. They will do the legwork of finding the optimal routes for your commodities that will ensure a safer and more punctual delivery. They are also experts at classifying freight so there will be a much smaller chance of re-classifying and receiving accessorial charges.
Aside from the other benefits, outsourcing your logistics will provide a huge boost in moral when your team no longer has to manage the stressful interactions across different points in your supply chain. You’ll feel motivated to focus on what you are passionate about. Making the switch to a 3PL is not an overnight decision, but the right partnership will be a fruitful investment. Learn more about logistics management at www.onestopshipping.com.