It doesn’t matter what industry your business is in, outsourcing your supply chain is a great way of minimising overhead costs, reducing the responsibilities placed on members of staff, and making your business more profitable. Many steps are involved in the supply chain network, so a vast amount of resources, expertise and experience is needed in order to make it efficient and successful.
However, if you’re looking to keep customers happy (which we all are), you shouldn’t just settle for the first 3PL you find. It’s crucial that they have the capability to meet your individual requirements so that a cost-effective solution can be implemented. Businesses should regularly evaluate the pros and cons of their current carrier, and determine whether they could be receiving a better service elsewhere. Although changing your carriers can seem daunting, it is sometimes for the better.
If you’re unsure as to whether you need to swap your supply chain provider, take a look at some of the tell-tale signs below.
Better Service Elsewhere
Just like your clients and customers expect a quality service from your business, you should expect a quality service from your 3PL. Establishing a long-term relationship with your provider should result in a continually improving service and maybe even discounted rates. If you feel as though your current provider isn’t going above and beyond your expectations, contemplate searching for a third-party supply chain who is eager to deliver an outstanding service.
More Competitive Rates
Every so often you should re-evaluate the financial agreement you have with your current provider and compare it to other companies offering the same service. Some logistics service providers offer financial benefits to clients they’ve worked with for a given duration of time, and others don’t, so it’s worth putting some time aside to weigh up the advantages of the different companies out there.
However, you shouldn’t just choose the organisation with the cheapest rates, you need to remember the reason you’re paying for it in the first place; to receive a good and reliable service. You want to be paying a reasonable price for the service you’re experiencing.
It’s important to bear in mind though that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Sometimes there won’t be a need to change your current supplier as you’ll be satisfied with the service you are paying for. You’ll also be familiar with the company, how they function and so on, so changing 3PL can sometimes be a risky move.
High-Quality WMS & IT Systems
The third-party supply chains that offer the best quality service are likely to be those using the latest and most advanced technology. The days of using spreadsheets or pen and paper to monitor stock are long gone, and have been replaced with innovative WMS (Warehouse Management Systems) and other IT systems. Your carrier should be able to embrace the use of technology and keep up to date with the latest developments to ensure their speed and quality of operations is never compromised.
Our favourite WMS and the one we use in our 30,000 sq ft storage facility just outside of Bristol is Mintsoft. It allows for seamless management of all stock in the warehouse and its cloud based software enables information to be accessed from anywhere, at any time, and from a wide range of devices.
Reliable Logistics Provider
You need to be able to trust that your 3PL will consistently deliver a reliable service. By allowing them to take care of your logistics, a lot of responsibility is placed in their hands and you’ll want to be able to count on them at all times. If your current carrier is continuing to make the same error, you should seriously consider looking elsewhere – it can be costly to repeatedly deal with recurring issues, so get it resolved as soon as possible.
Vast Resources & Capabilities
It’s essential that your carrier is able to continually meet your specific requirements. As your company grows, it’s more than likely that your needs are going to change, so you need to make sure your third-party logistics provider is capable of meeting your requirements. Communicate with your 3PL to assess whether they are capable of delivering what you want.
If you feel you’ve outgrown their service capabilities, start to identify other providers who have the resources to deliver exactly what it is you need.
Getting Started with Allegro Logistics
Here at Allegro Logistics, we specialise in providing a fully managed solution for supply chain projects. We’ve been in the industry for over 60 years and provide cost-effective logistics solutions to businesses across the UK and internationally.
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