Picking the right third-party logistics companies is a lot like dating. You have to make sure that you get to know the person, and in much the same way, there are a few considerations before you jump into a relationship, with a new 3PL company.
To make sure that you make the correct decisions when searching for a third-party logistics company, here are the top five considerations for choosing the right people.
Experience is a vital consideration for a 3PL company.
If you are selling on either a B2B or B2C basis, then you need a company that has experience with that. This means you need to work with a company with experience with your sales channels, specifically with the types of clients you’ll be working with. It would help if you never were any business’s first attempt in this arena.
2. The Technology
When considering technology, it’s essential to try and make sure that you have a firm understanding of how the company does things. Is there an IT department in-house, or are they outsourcing? It will make a difference in reaction times.
You should also check to see if their WMS is leased or whether they have proprietary software and how flexible it is. More advanced systems are able to implement different kinds of picking algorithms depending on their clients’ products, volume, and requirements.
3. Growth Space
As a business leader, you need to also focus on the big picture and take into account their ability to offer their services as you grow. This means you need to explore how much they can handle and what’s their available space. Can they handle your growth? If not, this might be a short-term or partial solution.
4. Reversed Logistics
Customer experience doesn’t stop when your clients receive their products; it extends to how you respond when your clients want to return their orders as well. A fast and efficient reverse logistics can be the deciding factor for that client to purchase again from you, or to become your biggest spokesperson against your brand. Make sure your new 3PL has a dedicated team that handles reverse logistics.pexe
5. Value-Added Services
If you’re working with a 3PL company, you need to see if they can help you with special requests. For example, are they prepared to do things to help make the products more attractive to retailers? Will they add hangers, price tags, or help with repackaging?
Many times, these teams are also the ones in charge of special projects such as creating bundles, changing packaging, and even labeling products that arrived damaged.
Ultimately, fulfillment is an essential part of a successful product company. If you have a great product, with a strong sales pipeline, and a good order fulfillment provider, you are set for success, and hopefully, this guide helped you to achieve it.