Logistics is the heart of business for several companies. Supplying goods or receiving them is what keeps many businesses up and running. You may think it’s just plain logistics, simply shipping goods from one country to the other. But there’s more, it involves many components like understanding the country regulations, packing, shipping, warehousing, etc. In order for these aspects to work efficiently, businesses look for a third party logistics company (3PL) to partner with.
Why Choose A Logistics Partner At All?
A Logistics company or a 3PL, undertakes planning and implementing of transportation, storage and delivery of goods or cargo from origin to destination or end point consumption. Logistics as a service has come a long way now, given the increasing consumer demands, open international markets and therefore complex supply chains.
Shipping, transportation, custom clearance, warehousing, inventory management, packing, fulfillment, distribution are all part of the logistics function. All of these require expertise for smooth functioning and optimizing cost and resources. This is the very reason why many businesses outsource their logistics functions to a 3PL like ProConnect Integrated Logistics, experienced and dedicated team offering integrated, end to end supply chain solutions.
How To Evaluate A Logistics Company?
Now that we’ve outlined the reasons for outsourcing to a logistics company / 3PL, it is important you choose the right one; especially given the market volatility, changing consumer behavior and the ever rising competition. Your business outlook, reputation and customer satisfaction rely heavily on logistics. With so many companies already present, vetting them critically and evaluating them is of prime importance. Consider the following tips when evaluating your logistics partner –
Industry Knowledge and Experience – Every industry has its distinct need for logistics, finding a logistics partner with your industry experience would be beneficial. They will already have an understanding of your market, your consumer group and thus be able to offer top class service to your customers.
Integrated Logistics Operations – Logistics does not refer to one single function, it encompasses shipping, clearance, storage, etc. Appointing a 3Pl that integrates all of these services and more will help you operate smoothly and efficiently. Having multiple partners handling different aspects of logistics operations will only cause chaos and absorb your resource. A 3PL offering integrated operations tends to make your operations smooth and efficient.
Global Reach – Businesses have distinct needs as to the capacity of cargo they need to ship and store and the markets they need their goods to be in. It is important you steer clear and comply to all laws and regulations that could cause damage or loss to business. A 3PL that can handle your desired volume and operations in your countries of interest should be considered. Furthermore, appointing a partner with a wide coverage and global reach will enable you to have a single POC, help you with market insights in your current market and future countries of interest.
Technology Enablement – Choosing a partner that has strong IT capabilities is vital in this age. Ability to monitor your goods from the starting point to the end gives you status visibility and assurance that your goods are secure and on time (or late, in some cases). A 3PL which has integrated IT systems like TMS, WMS, etc. give you visibility during various milestones, giving you a true view of your goods and their real time status; as well as help you make business decisions as per the stock movement in particular markets.
Ability to Scale – Keeping future in mind while selecting a 3PL is important. Businesses aim to scale and your 3PL partner should be able to support this. Appointing a 3PL that can support the growth of your business in the long run would be a great choice. You may want to scale your business in the current markets or diversify into others, your 3PL should be able to support you by themselves or through their network.
Reliability and Customer Service – Customer service, management and reliability are perhaps the major criteria for you to select a 3PL. We look for excellent customer service even from the smallest of the services we take for personal use – this is a business we are talking about! Customer service and reliability play a major role. However good your logistics partner could be in terms of operations, but if they don’t respond promptly or address your problems on time, it could cost you a great deal. Judging a 3PL on their response and follow-up during evaluation can give you cues about their communication and service. A little bit of homework by doing background and credibility check, taking feedback from their existing / old customers would also help you arrive at a decision.
ProConnect Integrated Logistics – Trusted Logistics Partner in UAE and Saudi Arabia
We, ProConnect Integrated Logistics, are trusted by several top brands and SMEs in the region. We offer integrated logistics solutions right from shipping, freight forwarding, custom clearance, warehousing, fulfillment and distribution through 21 of our warehouses in UAE and Saudi Arabia, global network of agents, relations with shipping lines and an experienced team. If you are looking for a logistics company, evaluate us today!