Once a manufacturer or retailer has decided to explore the use of a third-party logistics company, they must be able to strategically assess the 3PL that will offer them the most value and effectively meet their needs and provide key supply chain solutions.
Being able to effectively scale your supply chain and meet your needs is the key function of a third-party logistics company. For that reason, any companies considering a 3PL need to investigate if the potential 3PL has the warehouse capacity necessary. Because businesses are ever evolving, warehousing needs might change over time. An effective 3PL needs to be able to expand and contract warehouse space to effectively meet a company’s needs. This is known as bi-directional scalability.
There are so many things to consider when shipping and distributing any product, especially food and beverage products. Retailers and manufacturers must grade a 3PL based on how it can address organizational challenges and meet inventory deadlines.
An effective 3PL can track the lot information and expiration dates of the products that pass through each location. 3PLs should also maintain an inventory management system that abides by regulations and standards to keep track of the condition of all products as they travel through their facility.
Advanced 3PL vendors might provide you with cloud-integrated platforms – this is cutting edge technology that allows them and clients to get real-time information for supply chain and freight operations.
Many options for shipping and warehousing are available for retailers and manufacturers to utilize. The more shipping and warehousing options a potential 3PL has, the better. More options often mean more opportunity for client savings in the long run. Particularly when it comes to food grade warehousing and transportation, the more options a company has, the more likely the 3PL is to effectively meet supply chain needs. Transportation options might include:
- Asset-Based Local Cartage
- Expedited Services
- Less than Truckload (LTL)
References & Years of Experience
Top references from others in a company’s industry are essential for grading a 3PL. If a 3PL is highly recommended, chances are that logistics company is working overtime to meet the supply chain and distribution needs of their clients.
References are great, but retailers and manufacturers should also look for years of excellence. A good rule of thumb for checking on this is asking if they have a number of long-term clients. Long-term clients signal client satisfaction.
A critical element of client satisfaction is quality control. Having a 3PL at a company’s side means that an extra layer of quality control comes into the mix. The 3PL and client can see all steps of fulfillment in real-time to ensure both the product and the customer experience is second to none.
Since every part of the supply chain is now able to be tracked, errors are able to be seen and understood in real-time and allows for both the 3PL and the client to see where the breakdown happened. There are also fewer touch points in a 3PL-managed supply chain. With a 3PL, distribution and storage processes have increased accountability and decrease confusing communications being sent to several different company stakeholders.
Ranger3PL’s Winning Grade
At Ranger3PL, we pride ourselves on our broad product and service offerings, as well as our unmatched customer service and ability to provide a custom-tailored solution to your business. Today, Ranger3PL’s success can be seen in the solutions provided to the various industries we serve. With over 80 years of experience and all of the criteria found above, we’re sure that you’ll give us a winning grade. Call or contact us today!