Customer satisfaction, future business, and the reputation of your company all hinge upon how efficient and reliable your logistics partner is and how well they can respond to the inevitable unexpected problems that arise.
The nature of day-to-day business today is extremely fast paced. Thanks to modern technology, orders are placed and received within moments. Partnering with the right logistics company is critical; no matter how incredible the product, no one will want to do business with a company that has a reputation of missed / late deliveries, or other issues that may arise. The 3PL you choose operates as an extension of your business and can either bolster or tarnish your reputation by the quality of service. Since choosing the right logistics partner can be difficult, here are five things to consider when choosing your next logistics partner.
1. Customer Service and Reliability
Customer service and reliability are important to consider as customer satisfaction and future business depend on the efficiency of your logistics partner. Considering most shipments are time-sensitive, high levels of customer service and responsiveness should be at the core of any partner considerations. Any sort of unreliability should be quickly noted and taken into serious account as it can wreck the relationship between your business and your customer base.
Reputations tend to closely follow not only people but also the businesses they are associated with. It is important to do your research and review the types of materials the company portrays via ads, customer testimonials, and social media accounts.1 Inevitably at some point the partnership will be tested—this is where reputation will follow suit. If they have been known to lack attention to detail, lack responsiveness, and have shown a lack of problem-solving ability, why should you have the confidence the job will be done right?
3. Area of Expertise
A key to success is partnering with a business that knows your industry. Depending on the partner, the business may offer more modes of transportation, like ground, air, and ocean freight, allowing you more than one way to deliver your goods. When shipping internationally, keep in mind that laws and regulations vary from country to country. The right logistics team will know the proper steps to ensure timely deliveries even when clearing customs. Typically, 3PLs tend to specialize in one area: industry, means of transportation, or location/region. Some are able to cater to a combination of the three, so it is imperative to have an understanding of what matters most to you, prior to partnership.2
Price should be taken into careful consideration when considering logistics partners. It is best to remember the lowest price will not always be the best option for your business: the lowest prices are often a sign of poor levels of service and reliability. At the end of the day, you want all parties to walk away from the business transaction satisfied, committed to help drive future sales and return customers.
In a world of ever-evolving technology, confirm your logistics partner will ensure safe delivery of all ordered product from the moment it leaves your facility to the moment it arrives at its final destination. A key aspect of this is the type of technology they use to communicate and the security of all personal information (for the sake of your business and your customers) in the event anything changes, or unexpected circumstances arise.
If you take time to do your research and review these five areas before entering a potential logistics partnership, you will be steps ahead of your competition. Your customer satisfaction, future business growth, and company reputation will only improve from a strong logistics partnership decision.
Authored by: Victoria Cain, Logistics Coordinator at Dempsey International Packaging