How to Maintain a Strong Relationship with Your 3PL

3pl-relationship.jpgThird party logistics (3PL) are hard enough without the added stress of maintaining relationships. You have to ensure that your 3PL is accurately handling your business the way you prefer, not just offering out-of-a-can vending services.

To help you ensure that you’re getting the best possible service, we’d like to give you tips to help you forge the bonds you need to get the job done with your 3PL:

Consider a Long-Term 3PL Contract

Relationships are often built on commitment. In the case of your 3PL, the more specialized the service you need, the more capital they’ll need to invest to satisfy your company needs.

A long-term contract will allow you more pull to organize your 3PL team exactly the way you want. The 3PL will know you’re going to be in their life for a while. And just like a marriage, it allows everyone to focus on putting their best foot forward.

Incentivize for KPI Results

Key performance indicators (KPIs) make it easy for you to keep track of how your 3PL is performing. Consider incentivizing further by building incentives into the contract.

Keep in mind that incentives do not have to be monetary. Many companies, especially in the aftermath of the 2008 economy, developed creative strategies to make work environments more enjoyable that had nothing to do with money (i.e. casual dress codes, free lunch, etc.)

Make Sure Communication Goes Both Ways

While a board room meeting at the executive level annually is a good start, it might not capture the day to day job concerns of your employees. Put a system in place to ensure all feedback is heard from the bottom up.

What you think might be an employee issue could actually be a software or procedural limitation. Investing in a solution can both build a better relationship with your 3PL and give your customers an improved experience.

Treat your 3PL Team Like Employees

Contract companies can be a difficult path to maneuver. On the one hand, you do not want to overstep the boundaries of your client-contractor relationship. On the other, you need the contractor to perform a certain way.

Eliminate the politics by treating your 3PL team like you would any other employees. Host joint training sessions and invest in team building exercises. Try to ensure that teams see each other as having different job functions – not as an us versus them between company employees and contractors.

The success of building a strong relationship with your 3PL relies on your ability to bridge the gap between their services and your needs. A long-term commitment paired with proper employee management goes a long way toward keeping all your relationships firmly intact.

Posted: 9/24/2013 11:49:24 AM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

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