How do you choose a perfect 3PL partner for your business?
You have made up your mind to go for a third-party logistics (3PL) partner to streamline your supply chain and improve your customer experience. There are hundreds of 3PL providers in India and choosing the right one that matches your requirements and pricing can make you go frenzy. Every 3PL has distinguished fulfillment service and software.
So, how do you choose a perfect 3PL partner for your business?
Well, before choosing a 3PL partner you need to ask certain questions to yourself
1. What are my company’s current shipping requirements?
2. What services I do require from a 3PL partner? (Because you just do not need warehousing service)
3. Does my company require only 3PL or 4PL services too?
4. Am I looking for a short-term (3-5 years) or a long-term partnership (more than 10 years) with a 3PL partner?
Moving to the next part...
How to Choose a 3PL Partner?
There are various factors to consider before choosing a 3PL partner and some of them are the following:
· The 2Cs
Capacity: Every industry/company requires different warehouse capacities as it needs to fulfill the warehousing requirements. For instance, an FMCG company requires controlled temperature spaces and most importantly FDA-approved warehouses to fulfill regulatory policies. On the other hand, a company that imports raw materials needs stocking units to bear heavy loads.
Capability: 3PL companies provide various services such as knitting, box packaging, labeling, and even reverse logistics. If you’re an apparel brand that runs an online business, you need to partner with a 3PL company that takes care of the returned goods and tracks the delivery. Moreover, they provide you with a platform that helps you track your orders among other sales partners and monitor the deliveries accordingly.
· Request testimonials
Businesses are built over references and testimonials. When you’re choosing a 3PL partner ask them to provide their prominent client list and personally enquire about their relationships with the 3PL partner. Good communication and relationships ensure that your 3PL partner will not keep you on an automated phone call.
· Do not look for the Best
What? When you search for the best 3PL in India, many links that are usually sponsored will pop up. No doubt, they might be good with their services. However, look for the most trusted 3PL provider. A 3PL partner is difficult to find as many fulfillment centers might be near you but a 3PL provider with a good reputation can help you to achieve your goal seamlessly.
One more thing before you move to the next bullet point. Whenever you’re searching for 3PL services, do apply for the filters. For instance, “E-commerce fulfillment centers in XYZ state or area.” This will make your job easier. Look for the services that you require rather than a 3PL partner that offers you a bunch of services you do not know about.
· A Decent Distribution Network
A 3PL partner provides picking, packaging, and delivery of your goods. After going through the first two-stage process, the delivery of goods at the right location and at a stipulated time makes a prominent difference. A 3PL provider that has partnered with multiple courier partners at various locations makes it easy for the company to achieve the two-day delivery timeline.
· Customer Service
Good customer service makes all the difference. Before choosing a 3 PL partner make sure that you ask some of these questions:
1. What happens when there is a sudden change in my order levels and how do you manage it?
2. What happens when your warehouse management platform is down and in how much time does it gets recovered?
3. Do you cater XYZ industry?
A good responsive team will help you to focus on your core business rather than assigning your resources on follow-ups
· Customization Services
Except for picking, packaging, and delivering, your 3PL partner does provide services that can benefit you. For instance, you have an e-commerce company and want to add marketing promos and have customized packaging to optimize customer experience, ensuring that they can provide you with the required services. If you’re in a distribution business, ask if they integrate the required customization in the supply chain.
Before sealing the bond with your preferred 3PL partner you need to ensure that it provides you with the 3PL metrics. This means that it bestows you with information about warehouse costs, cost per delivery, and logistics performance. To provide this, 3PL companies are equipped with sound IT infrastructure or managed IT services that cater to them with 3PL management systems. Ensure that your 3PL partner practices the latest trends, adopts state-of-the art technology, and deploy innovation to offer prominent customer service.
Finally, you choose a 3PL partner with an omnichannel presence and tech-savvy nature. However, what if everything goes wrong? This means that what if there’s a labor shortage or disruption in IT infrastructure? The mishandling of your goods can disrupt your relationship with your customer. Thus, ask them how will they manage in case of such earthquakes.
Make sure that when you enter into an agreement with a 3PL company, ensure that there are quarterly meetings with them. Meetings with them are crucial as your 3PL partner becomes a vital part of the supply chain management. Moreover, it reflects the commitment level and responsibility of the company towards yours.
Choosing a 3PL partner is an investment that can help you to throttle your business to the next level. Get a quarterly update on how 3PL partner is impacting your sales and profits. Moreover, get feedback from your retail clients (if you are from the manufacturing industry) about the service.
Before moving to the next page, contact us if you have enquiry related 3PL services. WareDepot provides world-class 3PL services to prominent names of various industries. We ensure that your money and deliveries falls in right places.