If you are an eCommerce business owner and your business keeps expanding, and you can no longer fulfill orders in-house, it is time to partner with a reliable and trustworthy third-party logistics provider, also known as 3PL. A reliable 3PL service provider can help you control costs, increase efficiency, and improve customer service- all of these aspects are crucial for the success of any business.
However, remember that not all 3PLs are created equal; some are better than others. This is why you need to do your research to make sure that you partner with the right 3PL provider.
In this article, we discuss some of the top factors you need to consider when choosing a 3PL partner. Let’s delve into them.
1. Pay attention to the services that the company is offering
One of the top things essential things you need to focus on when choosing a 3PL eCommerce is the range of services they are offering. The basic services include picking, packing, and transportation management. But you shouldn’t stop at that; you need to take a deep look at what their inventory receiving and inventory management processes are like.
Once you have understood the range of services that the 3PL provider offers, the next thing to look at is its reputation. You need to investigate whether the company has a bad, ugly, or good reputation with its customers, suppliers, and employees. There is no doubt that your relationship with the 3PL provider will be tested at some point, and this can reveal the true colors of the company. So, before it is too late, you need to find out if the provider will respond with integrity and honor.
To gauge the reputation of the company, you need to read online reviews about the company on their website, or you can ask the company to provide you with their references so that you can call them and ask them how their experience was/is working with that particular third-party logistics company.
Scalability is also another essential factor you need to consider when choosing a 3PL provider to partner with is scalability. Can the company scale service up or down depending on your business needs? Can it handle your expected growth? These are some of the things you need to discuss with the 3PL provider before you go ahead and sign a contract with them. Remember that the 3PL provider you choose should be able to push your business forward and keep up with constant growth, not struggling to keep up.
Depending on the nature of business you are in, you may need a varying level of customization. So you need to partner with a 3PL provider that knows what you expect from them when it comes to customization.
In this technological era, you need to make sure that you partner with a 3PL provider that implements technology into their services to keep up with your business’s needs, demands, and changes. In addition to that, the provider must have a knowledgeable IT team that can troubleshoot any issues.