With the growing complexity of today’s supply chains, more and more businesses are outsourcing to third-party logistics providers (3PLs) for the support they need. 3PLs offer a range of services that can help optimize your business’s supply chain operations, from greater visibility into product tracking and inventory management to customized fulfillment solutions designed to meet specific needs.
In fact, according to the 2023 Third-Party Logistics Study, 55% of shippers are increasing their use of outsourced logistics services. If you are outsourcing, naturally you want to make the most of the relationship, and we’ve got top tips for doing just that.
Communication with your 3PL is key
Retailers and brands are beginning to understand the advantages of forming strategic partnerships with their 3PLs, leading to better collaboration. With a strong knowledge base of their client’s business goals and challenges, along with an appreciation of how the customer’s business is changing over time, a 3PL can offer much-needed solutions. In successful relationships, the 3PL often has direct access to the brand’s strategic table, giving them an invaluable insight into how best to help their customers.
To make sure both parties benefit from this partnership, it is essential that they communicate openly and honestly with each other. Having clear expectations and measurable goals in place will ensure that the relationship is beneficial for all involved when outsourcing your logistics. With 3PLs able to provide vital support and expertise, brands will access new opportunities for growth.
Ultimately, the partnership between a 3PL and their client is one of mutual benefit – with each party understanding what the other can bring to the table. With open communication and clear goals in place, this valuable relationship has the power to transform a business for the better.
How technology plays a role in your 3PL relationship
It’s no secret that 3PLs offer a variety of benefits for businesses. It doesn’t matter if you’re a small business or large enterprise, 3PLs can provide resources, insights and cost savings that make managing supply chain operations easier and more efficient.
The rise of advanced technologies such as AI, visibility and data analytics have made 3PLs even more valuable, allowing them to offer a level of accuracy and predictive forecasting that wasn’t possible before. By providing clear insights into real-time performance metrics, 3PLs can now give companies the data they need to make informed decisions about their logistics operations.
And by leveraging the power of technology and data, outsourcing to 3PLs can offer businesses unprecedented levels of accuracy in forecasting demand and managing inventory levels. Relying on real-time performance metrics allows 3PLs to help companies stay ahead of the competition and keep their bottom line healthy.
Added value of 3PL relationships
3PLs not only relieve the burden of managing warehousing, fulfillment and transportation services, but they also provide access to specialized technology and a wide range of expertise that many companies may not have internally.
Of course, you must exceed expectations for the day-in-day-out service – providing an outstanding customer experience. That’s table stakes. 3Pls with a shared-space environment can deliver significant value because they can flex to support clients’ growth and business fluctuations, allowing businesses to quickly add additional capacity to accommodate seasonal peaks or new product launches. Having an established distribution network in strategic locations is also helpful in this regard, allowing companies to tap into existing resources and optimize their supply chain operations.
But that’s not all. Working with a 3PL can also improve customer satisfaction, reduce inventory risk and enable companies to remain flexible and agile in the ever-changing business landscape. They also provide cost savings in terms of labor and overhead costs as well as improved efficiency within the supply chain. Finally, they bring an added layer of security to a company’s logistical processes and can help ensure compliance with complex regulations.
With all these benefits, it’s no surprise that more businesses are turning to 3PLs for their supply chain needs.
Strategic partners in success
3PLs have the experience necessary to navigate an ever-changing landscape and stay on top of current trends within the industry. By leveraging their expertise, businesses can ensure that they are always ahead of the curve and gaining a competitive advantage. As such, 3PLs are becoming an increasingly attractive option for companies looking to grow their business and stay one step ahead of the competition.
Overall, partnering with a 3PL provider can help businesses unlock substantial value that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to achieve internally.