As your business scales and demand grows, filling orders in-house can become increasingly difficult. This is when you turn to a third-party logistics or 3PL partner. Third-party logistics partners offer expert infrastructure, strategy, and the tools to streamline a business’ fulfillment process. Partnering with a 3PL allows business owners and their employees to focus their time and efforts on other important aspects of the business.
Third-party logistics partners offer a way for you to outsource warehousing, management of inventory, and order fulfillment. While this is a common partnership within the e-commerce industry, 3PLs can offer their services to various industries. Ranger3PL serves industries including food and beverage, transportation, government and nonprofits, energy and infrastructure, and many more.
What a Third-Party Logistics Partner Can Do for You
Third-party logistics partners’ main purpose is to provide businesses with a way to outsource logistics by solving supply chain challenges that your business may face. In addition to warehousing, inventory management, and order fulfillment, a 3PL can provide many more logistics services, including final mile logistics and transportation for shipping and delivery. A proper 3PL provides you with the right shipping options for your business and hefty discounts and connections to grow your business as much as possible and get the most bang for your buck.
When choosing a 3rd party logistics partner, it’s important to know that each business has its own unique needs when it comes to its logistics. That’s why you need to start your search with an objective mindset. You’ll need to be able to sift through the promises, sales pitches, and those who are saying what you want to hear to find a partner that fits your needs. You’ll also need to look past the cost to find the right partner for you. While a 3PL partner offering you the lowest price may seem the most appealing, you need to look at many other factors before settling. The main thing you want to look for is a reliable partner whom you know you can trust.
Tips For Choosing A 3rd Party Logistics Partner
It can seem overwhelming when you begin your search for the perfect 3PL, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s pertinent to look at each company and not just focus on one offer. The following is a checklist of things to consider and questions to ask when choosing a third-party logistics partner:
Determine What You Need
This is the first and most important step in your search. You’ll want to determine exactly what you’re looking for in a logistics partner. From there, you’ll be able to narrow down the list to partners that offer what you need, easily eliminating those who don’t. Understand your business goals and needs before going into the process to get more out of it.
Do Your Research
Whether you’re looking into 3PLs for the first time or you’re looking for an upgrade, you’ll want to do your research. Now that you know and have established what your goals and needs are, you can start looking for a partner with the correct number of resources and the ability to customize its services to fit the needs of each business it partners with. Researching is a critical part of the process because if you don’t do the work to find the right 3PL, then you could end up hurting your business in the long run and ending up right back at square one, having to find a new partner.
During this part of the process, you’ll want to consider a partner that offers the range of capabilities you’re looking for. When you work with a single provider, it allows for a more seamless supply chain operation. You’re looking for a logistics partner to make things easier for you, not to make things more complicated.
Evaluate Technology and Relevant Scalability
Even if you aren’t at the forefront of technological advancements, you’ll want to ensure that the option is there if things change. The world continues to evolve, so industry and businesses must continue to evolve. As opportunities arise and your business must scale to meet demand, you’ll want a partner with the proper technological resources to scale with you. Even if you don’t need those resources now, you never know what may happen in the future.
Look at Customization Capabilities
When looking at third-party logistics partners, you’ll want to avoid providers offering one-size-fits-all services. Your business is unique, so you’ll need services to match. To optimize inventories, a customized program is necessary. You’ll not only cut costs, but it will allow you to remain efficient.
Ensure Sufficient Facility Options
Sudden changes in demand are unavoidable, so you need a 3PL partner that is agile enough to meet these changes. You’ll want to consider a third-party logistics company that operates a network of facilities. Most effective 3PLs operate several facilities for optimal space and distribution efficiency. Facility options must also meet your geographical needs, so it’s important to consider where these facilities are located and where you need them.
Understand The Need for Stability
If the whole point of outsourcing is to bring more efficiency, you’ll want to ensure you’re partnering with a 3PL that can provide that. A long track record of success and stable financials can offer you the peace of mind needed when choosing a 3PL. Take note of each company’s facilities, systems, equipment, and human capital to lock down the stability needed to grow your business.
Get A Feel for Customer Service
A major part of a healthy business-to-logistics-company relationship is good customer service. The relationship could be strained if the team isn’t ready and willing to help and problem-solve. You’ll want to ensure that the working relationship is enjoyable and respectful.
Choosing Ranger3PL as Your Partner
Ranger3PL has worked for years to build a pristine track record and become the stable partner you can trust. Located in southern Indiana, we combine knowledgeable people and industry-leading practices with our wide range of services to provide our partners with the top-notch logistics solutions they need. Contact us today and let Ranger3PL take care of your third-party logistics needs.