Choosing a logistics provider can be extremely stressful as it is probably the most important decision you can make in terms of what you need to run your business. So how do you differentiate between your options when they all say the same thing? This post will inform and provide you with valuable tips and information to help you find the right software solutions provider for your business.
With that in mind here are 10 things you need to consider when choosing 3PL providers:
- Make a detailed list of your customer’s demands, your business objectives and your business needs. It is important to be very detailed in this process as there is no fixed quality level or base price when it comes to logistics solutions. All the best 3PL providers tailor their software to your company; therefore it is absolutely imperative that you are able to communicate exactly what your requirements are.
- Look at the existing customers and what they are saying about their providers. Key things to look out for in customer case stories are longevity and efficiency. A 3PL provider with multiple long term clients is proof of continued project management after the implementation process. Many 3PL providers may bombard you with sales information they think you want to hear; customer stories are a sure way to separate those who care about your business and those who care about your cash.
- Look at the size and logistics needs of their clients. For example, OBS Logistics provide WMS solutions to DHL Supply Chain, the largest shared-logistics centre in the UK with 33, 000 square meters of warehousing facilities across three sites. NHS Blood and Transplant also rely on CALIDUS Total Logistics as seamless operations are crucial to their transportation needs. Both of these companies chose OBSL because their entire supply chains need to operate perfectly, from arrival to delivery, and people’s lives literally depend on it.
- Remember that there is a significant difference between price and value. Cheap does not necessarily mean cheerful. Because this industry is constantly changing and growing, you will want to invest in a system that can evolve and adapt with your business. CALIDUS Total Logistics is tailored to your needs and will adapt and integrate with other applications to future-proof your business. An adaptable solution will save you substantial costs going forward as it will be more costly to replace your solutions with every change in trend in the industry.
- Remember to consider systems that are beneficial to customers and employees. Your solutions should not only improve the lives of your customers but should facilitate your operations and improve the communications and workload management of your employees.
- Integrating the present with future. Look for a provider who is both experienced and can provide you with the latest software. Yes, they do exist; businesses with decades of experience in the industry have mastered the art of providing outstanding customer relationships and some, like OBS Logistics, have also continued to provide innovative software to their customers. The use of modern SCM software will help you stay ahead in a competitive industry.
- Do lots of research. This seems fairly obvious but it needs to be said that such an important decision should be absolutely well informed; there is no limit to the amount of knowledge you should accumulate before choosing your logistics provider.
- Are they global? If so, this is an indicator of the sheer capability and versatility of the business that can provide you with solutions. You want a provider with software that can adapt to vastly different business environments and situations in order to practice high quality processes.
- Talk to prospective providers. Call the company, question them, get talking, get emailing, get to know their brand, their message and what, specifically, they can do for you. There is no harm in calling up or downloading a brochure. In fact, talking to several 3PL providers and getting know each potential business is important and it’s free. All of them will be more than happy to discuss opportunities and logistics and it will be up to you to make an informed decision based on all the details you have acquired.
- Integrated systems. For companies with more advanced logistics requirements, integrated systems are proven to increase performance and productivity by automating and integrating core logistics activities. Companies with multiple sites, high volume stock movements, pack processing and deliveries require this type of solution as it delivers streamlined operations. Integrating your WMS and TMS can also reduce stock losses and improve labour management as well as improve your transport visibility and vehicle fuel savings.
So do you suffer from slow turnaround of container loading, need more visibility or have extra packaging and storage needs? Maybe you simply want to cut costs and improve billing times? Whatever your reasons, getting value from the best solutions depends entirely on your choice of 3PL provider.
CALIDUS Total Logistics is designed to help 3PLs overcome the most complex supply chain challenges. The solution modules can be implemented individually and integrated with existing systems.