Improving and Optimizing Your 3PL Relationships

Finding the right third-party logistics (3PL) provider is an important part of making sure your organization can operate efficiently. However, the work doesn't end when you find a 3PL that matches your needs. Instead, you need to take a long-term approach to improving and optimizing your 3PL relationship. This will help ensure you always have the services you need to stay competitive.

Detail Your Expectations

For a 3PL to meet your expectations, it needs to know what those expectations are. From the beginning of your relationship, you should make your goals clear and develop key performance indicators (KPI) to help determine whether those goals are being met.

It's often helpful to develop KPI in coordination with your 3PL. After all, you know what goals you want to reach, but your 3PL has the experience required to keep expectations realistic.

Schedule Regular Evaluations

Regular contact with your 3PL is an important part of maintaining the relationship. You also need formal evaluations that take place according to a predetermined schedule. This gives you and your 3PL regular opportunities to compare perspectives and realign goals. Depending on your company's specific needs, you may want to evaluate performance twice a year or once a quarter.

At the end of each evaluation, you should have the information needed to write a progress report to keep other managers, partners, and investors informed.

Establish Escalation Procedures

Supply chain disruptions can quickly get out of hand. What starts as a small problem could become a major impediment by the end of the day. That means you and your 3PL probably will not have time to develop new escalation procedures. Any delay in action could make it impossible for your supply chain to recover before the disruption creates significant delays.

Establishing escalation procedures now will make it easier for you and your 3PL to tackle disruptions as soon as they arise. You won't need to stress about how you will handle a situation. You will already know.

Create an Issue-Resolution Process

All relationships, be they personal or business in nature, have issues from time to time. Avoiding issues doesn't necessarily mean the relationship works well. It could simply mean that one party's needs aren't getting met.

By creating a resolution process, you can monitor issues as they arise. For instance, if a 3PL doesn't meet your quarterly goals, you need a process that lets you express your concerns. Since it is important to form a strong partnership with your 3PL, the issue resolution process should offer a way for the service provider to offer feedback, too. After all, you're building a relationship that can benefit both parties for decades to come. It's in everyone's interest to make sure the resolution process is as fair as possible.

The Apparel Logistics Group provides a full suite of 3PL services to make sure your supply chain operates as efficiently as possible. Request a consultation to learn more about how the professionals at TALG can help your business reach new heights of success.

Posted: 2/18/2016 5:39:41 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

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