Importance of Partnering with an Experienced 3PL
Putting your business practices in the hands of a third party can naturally come with feelings of apprehension and uncertainty, but you may have gotten to a level of growth that it would make more sense to partner with one than not. That is why it’s extremely important to do a fair amount of digging into a few selected 3PLs before deciding on one. What kind of digging?We’re glad you asked.What does an experienced3pl look like?
Typically,you would like to look for some sort of reputation, preferably in your industry or wheelhouse. If not in your industry is does not necessarily count them out depending on your product. Usually,their website or an online resources will reveal who their customers are. One thing that may be a bit tricky to find is exactly how long they have worked with those companies.
Sometimes these can be found in Google Reviews or on their websitefrom their partners and other customers. Forums and new sites may also reveal some productive information on the 3PL as well. This may give you insight into their practices and how they have dealt with past issues. The more that you find and the farther they go back in time will signify how much experience they have.
It may sound a little unorthodox but if your company is serious about a particular 3PL, it would be worth looking into how current employees are liking it there and how their culture may be able to fit (or not) with yours if culture was something you would like to consider. Most companies work well when the cultures can mesh and understand one another easier.
A tell-take sign of an experienced 3PL is competitive rates that they are willing to negotiate at some level. Sometimes new-to-the-game 3PLs might have “hard” rates that seem too inflated or some that are wanting to build up business quick may offer discounted rates to draw in new clients.
An experienced 3PL will typically have open communication and multiple ways to contact themon your terms. With communication comes transparency. Letting their customers know of any issues that may arise as it happens whether it is an inventory issue or logistical. A good 3PL will make the effort to instill communication through out all processes.
Of course,this all comes down to your specific needs as a business on how experienced a 3PL has to be in order to meet your needs. Regardless of what level of growth your company is at it is still important to research who you may be par