Now, more than ever before, businesses are being tested. Between the political climate of a tense presidential election year, the global pandemic, and natural disasters, many organizations have been finding it difficult to keep their doors open, let alone grow. However, there are a few paths forward that can lead to a company’s growth and financial well-being. One of those paths that is being chosen more frequently by companies in various industries is to partner with a third-party logistics provider. 3PLs offer a vast wealth of knowledge and experience in improving and streamlining operations and bringing new technology to the table. Combined, 3PLs have the potential to help companies overcome the logistics obstacles that block the way to overall growth.
Supply chain operations are often ignored so long as they’re operating within industry standards and customers remain relatively happy with the service these operations provide.
Business growth is often hindered by the limitations of supply chains and the silo of logistics operations. Supply chain operations are often ignored so long as they’re operating within industry standards and customers remain relatively happy with the service these operations provide. The issue with this is that there is little room amongst the status quo for improvement and growth, or to unlock potential savings. Logistics operations, even logistics operations done well, sometimes lack a view of the ‘big picture’, partially because of the way that these operations are often pushed into their own box to maintain operations.
Oftentimes, supply chains are viewed as a separate entity from the rest of the organization. However, the supply chain and the logistics and transportation operations that make it function directly relate to the overall success of the business. When the C-Suite looks to the supply chain as a partner in growth, collaborates to find solutions that both cut costs and creates opportunities for expansion, they may find that partnerships with third-party logistics providers are a viable option to achieve the desired growth.
To help shippers better understand how 3PLs can help their organization grow, we’ve put together a comprehensive white paper that breaks down the various assets a 3PL can bring to the table.
3PLs and Technology
New technology is always something of a double-edged sword for companies. On the one hand, new technology is costly and the setup can be disruptive to business flow and production. On the other hand, however, new technology is often the key to growth and higher levels of efficiency and customer service.
As 3PLs often develop their own proprietary software systems, there is none more qualified to help get it integrated into your current systems to augment and strengthen what you’re currently using.
Third-party logistics providers offer a huge advantage in terms of technology. Not only is the logistics solution tried and tested, but it often comes at a lower cost than buying a new ERP outright. As 3PLs often develop their own proprietary software systems, there is none more qualified to help get it integrated into your current systems to augment and strengthen what you’re currently using.
For example, we’ve discussed how integrating a TMS into your ERP system can be highly beneficial to your operations and help to streamline shipments while increasing overall visibility. This is just one of the many benefits that come from the technological aspect of working with a 3PL.
Is your organization looking for new technological solutions to manage your supply chain but you’re not sure which direction to take or is balking at the sticker price of a new, off the rack, software system?
3PLs can Improve Your Processes
Having an efficient process to the way you do business affects many different aspects of your overall success. Not only does your process determine and control costs, but it also affects the overall satisfaction of your customers.
3PLs are experts in logistics, that is their sole purpose. Their business model revolves around the concept of streamlining and simplifying their customer’s operations so that they, the customers, can be more efficient.
3PLs are experts in logistics, that is their sole purpose. Their business model revolves around the concept of streamlining and simplifying their customer’s operations so that they, the customers, can be more efficient. A third-party logistics provider can help improve processes in two ways: first, by reviewing current processes and making suggestions for changes that will lead to smoother-run operations, and second, by actually taking on those processes through outsourcing.
- Process Improvements: 3PLs have seen the inner workings of countless organizations, identified potential improvements, and helped those organizations effect changes to improve efficiency and cut costs.
- Outsourcing to 3PLs: 3PLs employ a host of veritable experts in these specific processes, which makes processes more efficient, more effective, more flexible depending on changing needs and less expensive overall.
Is your organization operating at peak efficiency? If not, does it have the capabilities in-house to identify and correct inefficiencies?
3PLs can Help Audit Your Operation
3PLs often offer supply chain audits, and with their deep industry knowledge, they frequently have great insights into improving operations and strategizing for and executing meaningful growth. The 3PL’s knowledge of industry best practices combined with their tendency to stay at the cutting edge of the industry make them extremely qualified to hand down advice. When these audits are performed on a regular basis, say bi-annually, logistics practices can be assessed by a qualified, unbiased third party. These assessments can help root out second nature practices at the company and are therefore not questioned but aren’t truly serving their purpose in the most efficient way possible.
Does your organization have an in-house auditing process that is geared to making necessary operational changes?
Want to Learn More?
Of course, this merely scratches the surface of what a third-party logistics provider can bring to the table. If you’re looking to make your organization grow, regardless of what events the rest of the world has in store, a 3PL can help you reach your goal. Want to know more about what a 3PL can do for you or answer the above questions? Download our whitepaper today to learn more.