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What Makes One 3PL Provider Better than Another?

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If this is your first time searching for a 3PL provider, you might feel a little overwhelmed.

Actually, whenever you look to do business with a new company, it’s scary.

They can tell you how wonderful they are until they’re blue in the face, but you really only get to know the company once you work with them. By that time, you’re committed to a contract that may not be easy, or even possible to get out of.

However, by sizing up 3PL providers based on a few key factors, you can get at least some gauge of how they’re going to be to work with before you make a commitment:

1. Quality control processes – Especially in apparel logistics, it’s all about quality. If your company delivers the best product at a great price, and follows that up with stellar customer service, your reputation grows and you earn more business. It’s that easy. If you are having a difficult time in either of these regards, a 3PL company can do the job for you.

2. IT support – In the event the primary broadband connection from your 3PL provider to your company fails, does your 3PL provider have a redundant connection or connections in place? Do they offer custom programming to meet any non-standard needs you might have? Does their equipment allow them to easily adhere to standards set forth by retailers? The answers to these questions will reveal much about the quality of apparel IT support services your 3PL provider offers.

3. Service selection – Not all 3PL providers offer the same services. In fact, they can differ markedly. What you have to decide is this: is it more important to have a highly specialized 3PL, or do you need someone offering comprehensive services? A comprehensive service offering means that as your company grows, you can stick with the same 3PL provider if you have a great working relationship.

4. Value added service offering – What one 3PL means by “value added” services differs from what another means. In general though, value added services refer to a selection of services specific to your market that fall outside the standard services offered by most 3PL providers. In the fashion industry, this refers to garment inspection, price ticket changes, bar code application, and re-ticketing, among others.

Make Your Choice…After Evaluating Carefully

It takes months to make a good decision, but if you take these factors into consideration, you’ll end up making a better choice. Keep them in mind when choosing your next 3PL provider.

Posted: 8/22/2013 2:05:22 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments


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