As promised, here are some more tips to help in choosing the right third party logistics (3PL) company for your business:
- Visit the Facility & Get to Know the Team: Working with a logistics partner is a little more involved than purchasing a product. You are also buying into a working relationship, and the people you work with can make or break you. Also be prepared to put in your due diligence, especially in the early stages, to ensure both parties understand what needs to be done. Interdependency. It’s a must.
- Evaluate the Technology: Sure a company will say they can do the work. But is there a certain level of automation in the key areas to ensure a high level of efficiency and minimum number of errors? What equipment does the company use? Is the Warehouse Management System (WMS) top-notch, maintained in-house, or hosted offsite? The industry is growing fast, and a company that is behind in technology is sure to be left behind in the long-run.
- Understand the Company’s Purpose: We feel the best company’s serve a purpose beyond just making money or having great service- those are mandatory. Companies that have a reason for being and a vision for their people have a proven track record of success and is usually a good sign for its customers.
- Determine the potential value-added services and setup services you may need: Do you plan on selling to Big Box Retailers such as Target and Michael’s? Will you plan on special kitting or repackaging to take place? Check out our Value-Added Services page to see any other possible requirements that may come up. All-in-all, you’ll need to know what services are outside the standard scope of work and pricing quoted, so we suggest talking with your potential vendor to ensure they can meet these needs and at a reasonable price.
- Look out for extraneous fees and setup charges: You might find a company that proves to have the lowest rates, but watch out for costs that might not appear upon first glance. Be sure to ask for a complete list of all the charges and services of the vendor.
Have more questions? Contact us if you would like to know more about getting started with a third party logistics provider.