Developing a Successful 3PL Partnership

A successful partnership with a 3PL offers more than just cost reduction. In an effective partnership, a 3PL and supplier nurture a relationship that produces sustainable efficiencies and long-term gains.

Best practices include:

Choose the Appropriate Service

It is imperative to select a 3PL warehouse that offers the appropriate shipment and storage management service. An effective third-party logistics company will develop solutions based on the specific needs of the supplier. This might include premium customer service and 24/7 technology that specifically fits the needs and daily shipping functions of the supplier.

Effective Collaboration

One of the main components to developing a successful partnership with a 3PL provider is the trusting collaboration created between the logistics service company and the supplier. This requires open communication where ideas and information flow between each side of the operation.

To ensure a successful 3PL partnership, both partners need to continuously monitor their strengths and weaknesses and be upfront with the other partner. This will help ensure that the entire process is working as efficiently as possible and that all the information communicated between the parties is accurate.

Address Risks

Due to the nature of shipping, there will always be outside mitigating factors that could significantly disrupt the supply chain. Risks can include labor disputes, carrier strikes or natural disasters. An effective way to minimize outside mitigating risks is to develop contingency plans that include using alternate transportation sources.

Measurement Systems

Meeting targets is a key component to ensuring success. An effective measurement system includes monitoring of the entire supply chain to help minimize costs and efficiently deliver products. This requires communicating in the same language, using the same formats (such as EDI format technology). Additionally, consideration should be given to benchmarks to measure how the entire supply chain is stacking up in comparison to competitors.

Enhanced Communications Using EDI

An effective supply chain requires enhanced communications between the 3PL and the supplier. Companies that incorporate EDI transactions technology can ensure that products move to their destination accurately and on time. This requires continuous communication with all logistic components including the shippers and motor carriers. Only through effective collaboration with all the key components can both companies maintain a successful partnership.

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