In business, sometimes it feels like you have to choose between doing something well, doing it quickly, and doing it inexpensively. But logistics services doesn’t have to be one of those things if you’re working with the right provider. Third party logistics providers have the unique capability of balancing all of these concerns and more. Here’s how:
Pooling of Resources
Sustainability and efficiency are all about sharing to improve the usefulness of any one function, but pooling resources can improve client experience as well. This is particularly true if you are working with a 3PL that specializes in your industry or another niche. By having alike products on the same truck, your clientele that needs products from your business and cooperative businesses can receive fewer shipments and reduce their staffing needs for handling those shipments, which makes a big impact on your own supply chain and your clients’ as well.
Supply Chains v. Supply Circles
Supply chains move one direction, but trucks, trains and planes can’t. They have to go back where they started in order to move more product from your warehouse. In comes supply circles. Why not fill up that truck with more product, raw materials, or returns on the way back to the warehouse? Well, it’s likely that your business is shipping product to different places than where it is coming from, but one of the network of clients serviced by a third party logistics team likely has these needs nearby your product’s final destination. Not only does this reduce wasted time and effort, it can improve environmental factors to supply chain planning like fuel efficiency and help cut costs as well.
Access to Technology
Unless you’re a Fortune 500 company, it’s likely you don’t have the resources to build your own logistics network with the latest supply chain tech to optimize your efficiency and client experience, but a 3PL provider both has access and should be staying on top of these advances in order to compete. Take advantage of a stock status monitoring system to automate ordering new product when safety stock levels are low so you never miss out on client demand. And a supply chain transparency platform will allow you to track down root cause of a customer complaint to alleviate it quickly.
Strategic Warehousing Locations
The location of your supply chain hub is vitally important to provide the best opportunities for your business and service to your clients. Its ease of access to air, sea, and land travel as well as your ability to expand will affect your business’ growth, your client’s delivery times, and your environmental impact. As this is their primary focus, third party logistics businesses are always scoping out the most strategic location to build a worldwide supply chain network. By harnessing the power of all of their clients, they are capable of placing bids on locations that would otherwise be unattainable by yourself.
Raising the Bottom Line
This is a blog post about efficiency. Efficiency saves money, and this doesn’t surprise you. Good client experiences save money in the costs of returns and handling while securing future revenues by building good client relationships. And though many think of sustainability as a cost, sustainable choices like more direct routes and cross-docking programs can save you big. Altogether, choosing to operate an in-house logistics team may be costing you more than you realize.
Third party logistics strategies have a lot to offer businesses. Maximized efficiency, sustainability, and customer experience are just a few. You want to be doing the best business you can, and we’re here to help you achieve it. Talk with a supply chain specialist today to learn more about what else a 3PL team can do to help you meet your business goals while you stay focused on what makes your business great.