Making the Best of Your Apparel 3PL Relationship

Third-party logistics (3PL) services give companies a valuable opportunity to outsource activities they're not equipped to handle in-house. Though some companies are initially hesitant to embrace outsourcing, most find the benefits of this strategy are substantial, particularly for startups and small businesses. When you allow a 3PL provider to take over some of your most laborious and space-consuming tasks, you free up your own time and money for other endeavors, which may ultimately benefit your business more.

Working with a 3PL provider is a great choice. But you can't simply hand over your workflow to an outside source and walk away. Relationship management is crucial to maintaining a productive 3PL partnership.

Clarify Your Services

apparel 3pl

When you're first establishing a relationship with a new 3PL provider, you need to clarify what you're looking for. Many companies offer a robust suite of services that includes everything from warehousing and inventory management to customer service, accounting, and merchandising. You may look to your 3PL provider for only a small range of tasks, such as picking, packing, and distribution, or you might ask them to take over the full range of supply chain management jobs.

Make your requirements clear. If you'd prefer more personalized service in a particular area, specify this. Though you may find some standard service packages on the table, this doesn't mean you can't customize your contract to meet your exact needs. Be open and honest so you can get the services you need.

Communicate Frequently

Don't set up a contract with your 3PL provider and simply forget about them in the future. Communicate frequently so you can problem-solve together. Though your 3PL company may handle apparel warehousing , you should still know how much stock is on hand and how fast it's going out so that you're equipped to make smart decisions about your 3PL relationship going forward.

Track Performance Metrics

The best 3PL providers offer a robust set of tracking tools. Track your inventory from point to point along the supply chain so that you can envision and analyze every step of the journey. Ask for detailed data and extreme visibility. The more numbers you have from your 3PL company, the more powerful your decision-making. Real-time information, regular reporting, and online portal access can all enhance your relationship with your 3PL provider.

Collaborate for the Future

Your company's short- and long-term goals aren't something that should stay secret. Though you may not want to enlighten your competitors, you should share your goals with your 3PL provider. If your service provider knows you're hoping to increase your seasonal sales this winter, they can work with you to negotiate the most affordable warehousing and shipping strategies to that end. Always keep an eye on the future, and ask your 3PL provider to let you know how they can grow alongside you as you achieve your apparel company's business goals together.

A good 3PL relationship is a solid collaboration at every level. Fill out our free consultation form to learn more about how the right 3PL provider can improve supply chain management for you.

Posted: 10/18/2017 4:08:52 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

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