Researching Third Party Logistics Providers

In today’s fast paced business world it is increasingly important for companies large and small to examine their supply chain processes. More often than not, outsourcing logistics functions will produce optimal results. Third party logistics providers can be the most important service providers to any business. Contrary to making transportation decisions in the past, a manager has many choices which differ drastically. Competition is alive and well in the 3PL field. With so many emerging service providers and such a large variety of service 3PL’s offer, it can be confusing to choose the right one for your needs. Rising fuel prices, industry regulation, and the customer’s desire to receive orders rapidly are all reasons logistics decisions are vital to the health of a company. Due to the complexity of modern day logistics, a manager must have a clear understanding of the options. One key reason for outsourcing is to save managers time that should be utilized elsewhere. So what can a manger do to understand all their options and still save time? Much of the information a manager needs is located on third party logistics provider’s websites or can be found with light internet research.

All reputable service companies should have an informative website บริการส่งสินค้า. Sometimes a manager can feel like they are drowning in information that doesn’t really pertain to them. It helps to know what particular information you hope to find from their website. Here are a few keys aspects to help guide your research.

Ensure that a company can fit your needs

Services offered would be the first thing a manager should examine. Larger 3PL’s may offer everything you can imagine, but do they offer the flexibility you need? Well established companies tend to have a very strict process which may force you to adjust transportation strategies. Mid-sized to smaller 3PL’s will often offer flexibility and problem solving solutions you appreciate, but only have limited service offerings. A service provider’s websites should give you a good overview of all they have to offer.

Once a manager finds a company that offers the services their company needs, the next step is looking at the industries the 3PL already serves. Although many companies will venture into new industry in the name of growth, it is best to find a company that already works with your industry. Most 3PL’s make this section of their site very easy to spot if it’s not the first thing you notice.

When a manager finds a 3PL that services their industry with the services their company needs, they should look at the locations of that 3PL. Service providers with a large global network tend to make this very easy to find on their website. Smaller companies who target specific areas will focus on these areas throughout their website.

Look for Examples Provided by Company

Third party logistics providers often provide potential customers with examples of great work their companies have completed. Their websites tend to label this differently. Some examples of these labels might be white papers, case studies, or success stories. Other websites may just incorporate these examples into their opening or “about us” sections. This information is paramount to understanding a company’s flexibility and contingencies plans. What they’ve done in the past is a good indicator of how they will handle issues in the future.

Check Companies Reputation

A company’s reputation can be a good indicator as to what level of service you can expect to obtain from them. Managers will need to research slightly outside the company website to examine how well they have performed in your industry. Managers can be flooded with information when they begin to search for this information. Limiting your search to only the most reputable trade magazines and associations is essential.

Trade magazines and associations provide a good starting point for examining the reputation of a logistics company. Many magazines rank companies based on one metric or another. This list can be a useful tool to compare companies. This may be a good start but as one reads through this list the reader should notice the metric in which they are being ranked. Keep in mind that the company with the largest revenue may not always fit your needs best.

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