At BlueGrace, we have heard many times from potential customers that their current Third Party Logistics (3PL) provider is not proactive. They only interact with them when something goes wrong. At BlueGrace, we like to use the term “Continuous Improvement” with our Transportation Management customers. We keep building a better program from the first shipment, and we achieve it through proactive interaction with our customers.
Businesses using a 3PL for their transportation management were asked in a web survey where their 3PL was falling short of expectations. The answers are interesting but we’ve heard them multiple times. At BlueGrace, we have solutions for all of them:
“My 3PL Is Not Proactive Enough Identifying Continuous Improvement Opportunities”
The customer is left at a severe disadvantage when their 3PL does not actively search or report on continuous improvement opportunities. A 3PL needs to be a partner to the customer so they can work together to find these opportunities. Some come through day to day contact between the two parties and others come from data and business intelligence. Either way, KPIs and constant program monitoring combined with the communication between the customer and the 3PL can create some fantastic new scenarios. These opportunities can be as simple as changing to another a carrier for certain lanes, or on a larger scale- opening a new distribution center. Your 3PL should be able to determine these options at any time, using their own tracked data and support.
Your 3PL should be able to determine these options at anytime, using their own tracked data and support.
“Performance Issues Not Addressed In A Timely Manner”
This issue is very similar to a 3PL not being proactive with their customer. As shipments become delayed or product becomes damaged, a 3PL needs to help determine the issue and change the way the freight is handled. This all has to be done quickly and effectively so the program can continuously improve. It’s simple to avoid the performance issues until they become a major problem, but BlueGrace uses a proactive approach. By monitoring the data of customer shipments and comparing it to data from our extensive customer base, we stay ahead of performance issues.
“Slow To Implement Process Changes Or Other Requests”
BlueGrace isn’t the largest 3PL, but we certainly are not the smallest. We’ve built our company around our own technology platforms that have been customized by our IT department. When we need to integrate to save our customers time, we can do it fast. When we need to change support routing to handle increased issues or carrier changes, we can respond immediately. The larger the 3PL, the more difficult it is for them to be agile. We pride ourselves on the ability to move quickly in what can be a industry that normally reacts slowly.
The larger the 3PL the more difficult it is for them to be agile with your account.
“Poor Reporting and Visability Capabilities”
This last issue comes at no surprise to us. We’ve built our BlueShip 3.0 TMS system to integrate directly into any existing ERP or WMS system, including SAP. We can offer the highest level of visibility to our customers, so both sides know what is happening each day. The visibility we provide is a major benefit to our customers and even more so to our staff that can proactively manage your account. Our QBR (Quarterly Business Report) is designed specifically for your team to see your program based on quarterly data, providing an in-depth understanding of how the current logistics industry might be effecting your business.
Your 3PL should constantly be thinking outside of the box for your transportation program. They should be providing you with the tools and metrics that optimizes your freight spend, quarter after quarter. If they are not, contact us today and we’ll be glad to get your freight into a BlueGrace Transportation Management program. Our team is ready to turn your data into success!