Logistics Industry November 9, 2009
Picking the right 3PL
The easiest question to ask when trying to find a third party logistics company (3PL) is "What are your rates?" but there are better ways to start a business relationship. A company that can answer that question without finding out the details about your product is, in most cases, the wrong company to choose. The correct 3PL is the one that asks you all the right questions to understand your business before throwing out numbers. Where is the product going? What does it look like when it comes in? Are there any special handling instructions? A logistics company that bases its rates specifically on the actions it will be taking with your product understands its own business and can help you with yours. They go beyond offering services to become your logistics consultant, helping you map out the best short and long-term plans for your business.
Wants and Needs in Your Logistics Provider
Whether you are picking a logistics provider to cut the current costs of your warehouse or you are starting a new business line and just need more room, the 3PL provider you choose is going to be the eyes and ears of your product for years to come. You need to know they have the people who will understand your inventory, how it should be handled and who will watch for things that are out of the ordinary. Try and think of 3 things that you absolutely need for your business and that are musts for your provider. 24 hour visibility of your product? Same day orders? IT systems integration? Cross country shipping lines? Cycle counts? Then, when you are negotiating your rates make sure these are included in the cost; this will keep surprises off your bottom line
Apples and Oranges - Finding a Logistics Consultant that Understands Your Product
A logistics consultant really needs to understand what they do well before they can help you with your product. Your first goal is to pick a logistics company that has done something similar to what your needs are. If your product goes to the Best Buy's, Costco's and Loblaw's of the world then you really don't want to be their first kick at the can. Relationships with the big box stores are hard to develop, expensive and time consuming: you do not want your logistics company learning how to deal with them at your expense. Similarly, if your product has special handling instructions, is temperature-sensitive or requires food grade storage, won't you sleep better if your 3PL has dealt with comparable needs before? Find a logistics provider that can assure you and show you how they deal with the equivalent.
Finding The Chosen One
The best rates are always easy to find. A logistics consultant that provides rates based on your specific needs, understands all the services that you require and has experience doing it, is the one to strive for. You are picking a company that is going to be an extension of your business and have exposure to your customers. Make sure to choose wisely when it comes to logistics consulting.
Choose McKenna As Your Third Party Logistics Provider
As a quality third party logistics provider that is strategically located near major shipping lines and facilities in Toronto, Missisauga, and Brampton, McKenna Logistics is able to provide logistics solutions that are timely, convenient, and suit your specific needs.