Once you have decided to outsource your logistics function, the next step is to find and select an external logistics service provider (3PL). What is 3PL?
A 3PL is a company like Cin 7 that provides logistics or other services to other companies. 3PL is responsible for maintaining some, if not all, of your supply chain and ensuring your product completes its journey.
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Choosing a 3PL can be tricky, especially in today's competitive economy. While cost is an integral part of the selection process, there are other important considerations to consider.
It is important to look for similar business values and morals. The 3PL you choose becomes a continuation of your company and can often be a customer or previous customer as a representative of your company.
Providing all your 3PL details is very important. By documenting your requirements through a Request for Information (RFI), 3PL can determine exactly whether they can process your item or, more importantly, provide an accurate quote.
It is important to outline a clear process from the start. Setting expectations and working together on a clear process reduces the potential for tension in the relationship. Both your company and your 3PL should work towards the same goal.
Imagine 6 months down the road, everything is going well and your business is growing, partly because of your relationship with your 3PL. You must proceed with caution and take the time to familiarize yourself with your 3PL, its history, and its future goals.