No doubt, taking things out of house can be scary at first, but a third-party logistics company can greatly affect your customers’ perceptions as well as your company’s growth. A successful partnership will make a huge difference. Choosing the wrong provider, however, will have its consequences.
With decades of experience, we’ve run into all types of different customers—but many of them have the same concerns. So, to help ease everything along and put some of the more frequent worries to rest, here are 8 3PL secrets that companies want you to know.
Yes, there’s a key difference between 3PL versus 4PL
Each offers a different focus, yet they work together harmoniously. 3PL companies are transactional. They handle shipping and receiving, distribution, warehousing, and transportation. In other words, they forward freight across the country and assume shipping responsibility. After building trust, 3PLs can evolve into 4PLs.
On the other hand, 4PL companies are directive. Their services encompass the entire supply chain process, and they act as a single point of contact. Essentially, a 4PL provider manages multiple 3PL providers on your behalf. This type of provider oversees your goods throughout the chain and ensures that everything is moving efficiently.
As you select, remember that low prices aren’t always best
Always consider more than just the price. Decades of knowledge can cost a pretty penny, but it’s vital for your growth and overall reputation. A cohesive customer experience can make a world of difference, no matter if you own a small or large business. Truth be told, customers won’t leave room for errors, making it hard to recover if there are bottlenecks in the shipping process.
In fact, errors from inexperienced companies may end up costing you more; they may not select the right carriers, or they may not have insurance. To avoid these dangers, make sure you work with an experienced provider. Experienced companies will monitor performance and help you stay on budget, which leads us to the next point.
When you don’t take on everything, you end up saving money and time
When you outsource, you don’t have to waste time, resources, and money on warehouse management. Professional 3PL companies have the connections needed to provide outstanding service, and their proficiency—as well as their efficiency—will save you more money in the long run. There is less risk, goods will be shipped using the appropriate transportation method, and delivery will be timely. You’ll also generate more money from good inventory forecasting.
In addition to saving you money, a 3PL provider will also save you time. Taking on the job yourself might result in delays.
We want you to do your research
Not all providers are the same. This sounds like common sense, but you have to know exactly what you are looking for prior to investing in 3PL services. This also means looking into the future of your company.
Your company is certain to experience growth, so opt for a provider who can accommodate and handle your expected shipping volumes. You are also likely to utilize the latest technology to improve business, so hire a company who will do the same.
If a potential company can’t supply what your company needs, this can lead to issues down the road. Entering into an agreement is serious, so choose your 3PL provider carefully.
You don’t have to be a large business
No matter the industry you work in, your needs are going to vary. While larger companies utilize 3PLs for efficiency, smaller companies are certain to become overwhelmed with demand for product as well. Packaging and shipping is time consuming, and you might not have the space needed to store product.
With continued growth comes more obstacles, so partner with a 3PL provider for help. The right company will have no problem quickly adapting to your growing structure. This way, you can devote more time to other areas of your business.
A 3PL company will make international logistics is a breeze
So, you want to expand your customer base. In today’s world, it’s essential to keep up with your competitors by “going global.”
A 3PL provider handles documentation, customs, and other international duties that often pose challenges when companies try to go beyond their country’s borders themselves. This may seem expensive at first, but the benefits of international fulfillment outweigh the costs over time. It also might seem overwhelming to take this leap and go overseas, but have comfort in the fact that worldwide sales are increasing exponentially over the years.
Don’t limit yourself—just be sure to speak with a provider first to see if they’ll take care of global fulfillment for you.
We keep your best interest in mind
Handling logistics on your own can be a time-consuming struggle, especially when business is booming. Thankfully, a 3PL provider will take care of logistics for you, so you can focus on the core of your business. As such, the company you choose should be a natural extension of your shipping department. At DTS, we offer a wide range of shipping services that make order fulfillment and tracking simple.
We love performing data analysis to show clients cost efficiencies. We want to maximize the return of value as much as possible, which is why we keep you informed every step of the way. We also want to keep your customers happy, providing them with great service to ensure trust and long-term satisfaction.
We urge you to ask us questions
It may be easy to just let a provider do all the work for you, but don’t be afraid to ask if you need something. It’s understandable that you’ll want the most from your provider, so before you choose, do your research. What is their growth history like? How many warehouses do they operate? Do they have customer references? Failing to ask questions could cost you.
With a 28-year track record, DTS services the United States and Canada. When it comes to our practices, we are honest and ethical. It is our mission to reduce your costs, offer multiple options, and provide exceptional service. Contact us today for more information and to get started. With just one call, we educate you, so you can make the best investments toward your business.
Whether you're a company looking to improve one facet of your supply chain, your entire supply chain, or simply looking for a transportation and logistics consultation, we can help.