Ideally, a relationship between a shipper and their 3PL should be a long-term stable alliance striving on mutual respect, support and understanding. The whole idea of partnering up with a 3PL is about working with someone you can truly rely on.
So, what are the characteristics of successful 3PLs?
Performance Monitoring & Improvement
Yes, quality can and should be measured. All successful companies constantly monitor their performance using a variety of metrics and KPI’s. Monitoring KPI’s such as on-time delivery, cost, billing accuracy, etc. are a must for a good 3PL. This data should be regularly analyzed and applied to ensure continuous improvement in each aspect.
Established Processes & Agility
Creativity is always a great bonus, but a good 3PL cannot let its operations run freestyle. 3PL efficiency heavily relies on a set of established and proven processes – and so does its success. These processes are clearly defined; communicated to the employees and clients, and followed. At the same time, logistics industry is constantly changing and evolving. A good 3PL is agile, adapts to the changes and constantly improves its processes.
Let’s state the obvious – it’s all about the right people. We all want to work with knowledgeable people who are happy to do what they are doing. Look for companies which value their employees and take their talent acquisition, development & retention strategy seriously. Think about the most successful companies – they invest in in-depth training programs, coaching and growing people, thus creating knowledgeable, valuable and loyal employees who are willing to help the company succeed.
Matching values is a cornerstone of any successful relationship. Successful 3PLs know their core values and stick to them. Know what you are looking for and don’t compromise your own values. What is essential for a successful partnership? Integrity, accountability, flexibility… Company culture is determined by values – not only on paper, but clearly seen in everything they do.
A stable long-term partnership with the right 3PL can be highly beneficial for any business – it’s very important to choose the right one!