A 3PL company is like a partnership; transparency and open communication is vital for a healthy working relationship. A 3PL partner is responsible for the supply chain, and as you can understand, any issues in your relationship can hamper the process, eventually affecting the clients. E-commerce retailers of all sizes can benefit from using a 3rd party logistics provider. Therefore, maintaining healthy relationship is the key to success and growing your business. Look at the following tips to improve and maintain a healthy relationship with your 3PL partner.
Not an Employee
It’s true 3PL are services for hire, but if you treat them as employees, the results will not be in your favor. The best way to develop a healthy relationship is to trust their judgments and how they do their business. They will welcome some advice, but interfering with their operations will not be accepted.
Most business owners fail to specify expectations; as a result, 3PL partners fail to deliver quality performance. Expectations can change with an increase in demand which is acceptable. But, if the key expectations like warehousing, packaging and other similar ones keep changing frequently, it will disrupt the relationship. Define expectations and key performance indicators at the start of the partnership to maintain a healthy relationship between the parties.
Point of Contact
Companies will allow more than one person as their point of contact, resulting in conflicting demands and responses. A company should appoint a single point of contact, preferably someone in higher management. This will improve communication and revise and manage expectations efficiently in times of crisis without any confusion or delays.
Giving an employee a reward when they achieve a target will make them more efficient. The same goes for 3PL companies; although they are separate entities, offering them rewards after completing a target is an excellent way to boost your relationship. You can set quarterly or annual targets and, based on the performance, can reward the company.
Since 3PL partners are taking care of the most vital part of your business, they should be updated immediately about different changes. Any changes in your business model or operations, customer order issues, or other such scenarios should be openly discussed and communicated to your 3PL partner. This allows them to revise their expectations and act accordingly without disrupting the supply chain.
Long Term Plans
Like in a traditional partnership, your 3PL partners should be a part of your company’s long-term plans. Include them in such meetings as the future success of your business is linked with them. Also, doing so makes them a part of your company which is an excellent way to enhance their motivation to perform.
It won’t be a surprise if 3PL companies overtake the world’s supply chain. However, only a healthy relationship with them will offer the success you are looking for. Take inspiration from the above points and improve your relations with a 3PL provider to ensure continuous growth and success.