Business is based on relationships and building and fostering them. Without solid relationships based on trust and service, little in this world would get done. Companies enter into partnerships and contracts because both parties feel they can benefit in some way from the other. This is how business works. However, when relationships begin to sour, things go sideways in a hurry—what was a once beautiful and profitable partnership becomes a headache for everyone. Learn how to improve your relationship with your 3PL provider so you can both benefit and prosper.
When problems arise, make sure that there is one person, on both ends, that will be there to deal with it. Appoint one person as the point of contact who will have the ability to make decisions, and have the 3PL provider do the same. This way, when something comes up, these two people can talk and come up with a solution.
Business is no place for being vague and suggesting what you want. Be direct and set your expectations for the partnership from the start. Set key performance indicators and defined measurables so both sides can gauge performance and adjust. If everything is laid out from the beginning, then there can be no miscommunication about the expectations.
Set the key performance indicators from the start. It can be easy to forget that part, but without them, there will be no traceability. These standards are set so that you can identify weak points in the service and make sure you are getting value from the 3PL. Set reasonable KPIs that are easy to meet, then tighten things up as time moves on.
Both companies must have similar interests if the partnership is to work, and making money isn’t enough. Design and document how each company will come together in solving problems to achieve all your desired goals. If interests are aligned, then both sides can establish a proper risk assessment early on and have a successful partnership.
Improve your relationship with your 3PL provider by aligning your company culture and theirs. Investigate your potential partner and find out what they are about and stand for. If they run a laid-back operation and you are all business all the time, it might not work out. It might seem like a little thing, but it will matter down the road when problems come up. Find a 3PL that shares your company’s goals and mission.
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