When it comes to business partnerships, everyone knows that it is important for those relationships to be amicable. Any frustrations or difficulties can stunt the growth and overall health of both parties, which defeats the purpose of creating a relationship in the first place.
Your relationship with a 3PL provider is no different. A business owner needs to be able to rely on a 3PL provider to effectively move and manage their inventory, while a 3PL provider seeks trust from a business owner to implement practices that it believes will benefit the company.
Supply chain logistics is a complicated part of any business, and a 3PL provider can be a valuable asset. This is especially the case when there is a good relationship between the business and the 3PL.
How to Initiate a 3PL Relationship
If you have just started working with a 3PL, or if you’re considering hiring one, there are a few things you can do from the beginning to start your relationship off on a good foot.
First, be sure to establish an effective method of communication. The most effective 3PL relationships usually center around one point of contact with the 3PL. This one point of contact should be familiar with the challenges facing your company’s supply chain and can effectively express those concerns.
After selecting your point of contact, brainstorm how you want your 3PL provider to assist you. Evaluate exactly what you want to get out of the relationship and try to define what you will consider acceptable performance. The better you are able to articulate your expectations to a 3PL, the greater chance they have of achieving – or even exceeding – those expectations.
How to Maximize the Success of a 3PL Relationship
A partnership with a 3PL can bring a great sigh of relief to a company overwhelmed by growing inventory and increasing sales. However, there are a few things that you can do to maximize the benefit that a 3PL brings your company.
Most importantly, maintaining regular contact with the 3PL is key to a good relationship. Over time, concerns may evolve or change, and it is essential to keep your 3PL provider in the loop. The more information you share with a 3PL provider, the more they will be able to adapt to address those worries. A 3PL may even be able to evaluate your concern from a different perspective and offer solutions that you might not have previously considered.