The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the global supply chain. Significant disruptions caused by unplanned challenges have strained resources while disrupted shipping patterns have highlighted the need for forming strong relationships between manufacturers, shippers and suppliers. During supply chain disruption, these types of relationships can bring valuable knowledge to both sides and, if utilized appropriately, a 3PL provider will maximize agility, responsiveness, and business processes in even the most uncertain business environments.
Here are three ways a long-lasting partnership with a third-party logistics company can benefit any business:
1. 3PLs can provide flexible resources to predict and prevent strain during unexpected circumstances
A successful supply chain fulfillment strategy needs flexible solutions in the face of disruptive circumstances to keep customers happy. Solutions provided by 3PL partners with their access to technology, industry reach, and logistics experience can help drive efficiency and reduce risk during any processing delays. A 3PL can help warehouses match order volumes from seasonal or unexpected peaks without providing undue strain, like overtime, on current employees. Happier employees bring less employee turnover which can significantly reduce training costs at a facility. A reliable 3PL will also provide supply chain visibility with their access to transactions, events, and necessary data across the entire supply chain. Whether moving a product to a supplier, distribution center, or customers, supply chain visibility enables real-time access to the information necessary for success.
2. 3PLS can provide guidance during fluctuating customer expectations
Due to the ease of online ordering, consumers today demand quicker fulfillment, more variety, and the lowest possible cost for items. Partnering with a 3PL provider helps minimize the threat of supply chain impatience and reduces the chance of customer loss since product can ship quicker. For example, a greater demand for variety leads to SKU proliferation which 3PLs can help organize in a limited warehouse space for faster fulfillment. A 3PL provider will have industry knowledge, contacts, and a deep portfolio to help pave a better path for customer satisfaction and a more rewarding business experience. These untapped advantages may include volume discounts, lower overhead costs, and timelier services that might not ordinarily be available without the partnership. These extra resources can give warehouses an extra edge from their competitors.
3. 3PLs can create reliable strategies to combat disruptive circumstances
According to a recent Gartner survey, the three key focal points for mitigating disruption in the supply chain are visibility, resilience, and agility which can be managed by 3PLs. 3PL providers can leverage their experience, equipment, and industry knowledge to help manufacturers and shippers overcome business challenges with new strategies. They can help with increased delivery speed, order accuracy, real-time information, or any other critical operational elements that will provide long-term benefits while significantly improving service levels across the operation. Since 3PLs have many customer experiences they have background knowledge on successful strategies that can be utilized during disruption.
Ultimately, partnering with a consistent 3PL provider will drive operational excellence and minimize business risk. Third-Party Logistics companies ease the risks associated with industry fluctuation, unexpected challenges, and seasonal impacts by filling any needed gaps. They are also able to provide reliable strategies to improve processes during any type of disruption. As a reminder, all vendor-client relationships should be mutually beneficial. Boasting a long-lasting relationship with a 3PL is just as reliable as a long-time friend, actively identifying ways to improve your processes while keeping you informed of any supply chain issues that could affect business.