How selecting the right 3PL partner for your business can help keep you one step ahead of your competition!

How can a 3PL help you stand out over your competitors

Choosing a 3PLThe third party logistics (3PL) companies that are available today throughout the sector, have, over the years, developed and introduced more mature processes with the help of advanced technological warehouse software packages, to assist businesses with their warehousing & logistics requirements. This helps to enable that you stay on top of your competition within your chosen industry sector. Most organisations view the delivery of their product(s) to their client base with good value and excellence as the most important factor when considering their 3PL partner. Whereas others might see the cost aspect as the most important. However, when deciding to employ a 3PL partner who might offer cheap rates, consider what impression and customer service level they will provide you with. Remember that they will effectively be a representation of your company. You should also ask yourself why are the prices of one 3PL considerably lower than those on offer from the next?

3PL providers offering storage, warehousing and distribution services

What about if there was a 3PL provider who could offer both, great rates and a great service level? Whichwarehouse has a network of companies who offer storage, warehousing & distribution services providing both good value for money and high satisfactory service levels.

Start-up companies tend to find the process of finding a 3PL to be one of the more difficult processes they face as some 3PL companies view the project as complicated and time consuming and therefore tend to shy away from start-ups. Having said this, there are a large number of 3PL providers within the market place today who specialise in assisting start-ups. Alternatively, others might not have too much experience with start-ups but based on their experience of assisting large blue chip companies, they are happy to work with and build up a mutually beneficial cooperation with such smaller organisations. It is always worth having discussions with at least two or three different 3PL providers to ascertain a good comparison on what is on offer to you and which solutions best suit your business.

Once you have made your choice as to which provider to proceed with, stage 2 then begins. The set-up phase; account set-up, warehouse management software integration, stock data and live reporting procedures and so on. Throughout the entire process you will want to receive complete logistics support from the 3PL provider, so make sure you receive it by keeping in regular contact throughout the set-up phase. Most providers will offer you an account manager so that you have just one contact at the warehouse to ensure there are no communication issues arising and you are able to easily access all information that you require at any time.

At Whichwarehouse, over the last 13 years, we have built up a network of 3PL providers who understand and appreciate each clients’ needs. They take the time to get to know their customers and the product range belonging to each client. All goods that are stored and handled within their warehouse are treated as if they are their own. Which is exactly how you want it to be. During your cooperation, the 3PL will continuously work to offer improvement and advancements within their processes to ensure that not only does their company maintain advantage over competitors but also that their client’s manage to obtain the same stance over their competition. We have found that this stands businesses in good stead for the longevity of happy and successful relationships between clients and 3PLs.

Your 3PL provider should always arrange for a detailed and comprehensive evaluation of your existing supply chain procedures (if you already have in place) so that they can understand the key aspects of your business and the logistical requirements. This will then enable them to establish the most effective supply chain solution for your company. At the end of the day, everybody wants the most cost-effective, simple A to B solution for their products. Initially there may be the need for tweaks, especially where start-ups are concerned, as lack of experience might cause a few problems but without carrying out the process, the tweaks will not become apparent.

A 3PL should be able to provide you with an insight into the supply chain process of your business as well as other aspects that might benefit your company. There are some areas of the supply chain that are not easily accessible by companies within their own organisation and it is here that an outside influence can benefit you not only by dealing with the storage, order fulfilment & distribution of your goods. There are 3PL providers who can assist with bespoke packaging for your products, kit assembling and even the sourcing of your goods as well as offering recommendations for the best e-commerce platform that would suit your enterprise, especially if you are planning on selling on sites such as Ebay and Amazon.

Discussions with 3PL providers are often non-obligatory and you will find it helps to give you a clearer and broader perspective on the aspects of your business that you need assistance with (even if you don’t currently know that you need assistance!). Consider the expectations you feel you should receive from a 3PL and then look into the options.

Whichwarehouse appreciates that this can be a lengthy process and due to the number of providers available in the UK, where do you start? If you lack the time or the patience to go over the same details with two or three different providers, then contact us and we will carry out a search for you. We have more than 70 warehouse providers included within our network offering more than 200 locations throughout the UK and Ireland. You speak to just one person here at our office and then we will establish the facilities currently available that can satisfy your requirements and provide you with a variety of different options for your review and consideration. All quotes provided are non-obligatory so you have nothing to lose!

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