Good morning! I was speaking with my buddy, Carl, and we were talking about how difficult and confusing it can be to choose the right logistics management and order fulfilment service. Yet, logistics is critical to supply chain management. The company you outsource your processes to can make all the difference in how your business is run. When done right, it should free up your time to focus on growing your business.
Poorly managed logistics services, on the other hand, can lead to hold-ups, delays, and a series of problems. Not only can it bring you back to square one, you may find yourself even further back than when you first started out. Choosing the right logistics provider is a crucial decision that will affect the reliability and efficiency of your entire business. In making this all-important decision, here are 5 tips that will help you choose the best third-party logistics service for your business needs.
Tip 1: Assess What You Need from a Logistics Provider
The first step is to figure out what your requirements are and make sure that the companies you consider for logistics services are capable of meeting these needs. The logistics service of your choice should have a track record of high-quality service that is also safe and efficient.
Whether your needs are short-term or long-term and no matter the specific services you wish to outsource, your logistics provider should match your expectations in all aspects. Never be afraid to get in touch and ask questions if there’s anything you are unsure about – a good provider will be happy to answer them without piling pressure on you to engage their services immediately.
Tip 2: Evaluate the Customer Service Aspect
Communication is essential in every supply chain system. Did you know that 93% of customers are more likely to make a repeat purchase from a company that provides good customer service? To preserve these chances for your business, any logistics provider you choose should prioritize customer care, respond to consumer issues, and deliver accurate and honest information in real time.
Even if a logistics service is excellent, urgent difficulties that require a rapid and effective reaction may arise. The logistics service you choose should recognize this need and be prepared to satisfy it as and when necessary.
Tip 3: Prioritize Health and Safety
Safety is always of utmost importance in every workplace. This is especially true in the case of storage and logistics. A competent management system should be able to foresee any health and safety risks that may arise, especially as it relates to working conditions for employees. You may not be surprised to learn that more than 80% of employees would rather switch to a lower-paying job if it means they can work for a company with ethical business practices. Ensuring a safe and conducive workplace is key to employee retention, which is just as important as customer satisfaction.
Prioritize working with a logistics provider that recognizes the importance of safety for drivers, cars, products, and all staff. Additionally, make sure all employees are properly trained to handle packages, especially if you work with products that may pose a health and safety risk. This is not an area where where you can afford to cut corners – and you can bet that a rising group of customers care, too. Over 70% of young consumers have stated that criticizing a company on social media or refusing to buy from them can influence their actions. To this end, you want to be careful to give your employees and customers no cause for concern or complaints.
Tip 4: Consider the Technology Your Logistics Provider Uses
To stay competitive, your chosen logistics provider should have the latest equipment and systems to satisfy your needs. This includes inventory tracking and management, integration capabilities and more, depending on the specific services you have chosen to engage. You can stay ahead of the competition by choosing a logistics provider like Alpacka that utilizes cutting-edge technologies to pick, pack and ship your products timely and accurately.
One key stat to take note of in this aspect is that in 2021, order fulfilment companies, warehouses and logistics centers employed 53.7% more workers than they did in 2016. With an increasing number of businesses looking to utilize these services and benefit from the latest technology, there’s plenty of choices out there when you are looking to outsource your operations – make sure to choose the correct one!
Tip 5: Get an Idea of Their Reputation
To obtain a sense of what your logistics service will be like as a partner, look into their reputation. Online reviews as well as a list of past projects and testimonials will all help you get a feel of the quality of service you can expect from a logistics business. Some questions to ask include: do they have a track record of safety and dependability? Do they go above and beyond for their clients, and how do they respond when mistakes occur, as they inevitably will from time to time?
Customer evaluations should provide a fairly realistic idea of what to anticipate. If this is not available online, ask the logistics service to put you in touch with past clientele so you can speak with them directly about their experiences working with the company. If they seem reluctant to connect you with past and existing clients, this can be a sign that all is not as it seems, and you may want to look elsewhere.