How Does a 3PL Remain Flexible and Scalable?
When companies seek out a 3PL to manage their logistics, they are typically seeking a business partner that will allow them to maximize their efficiency while accommodating their fluctuating needs. All businesses need the capacity to be both flexible and scalable in order to respond to the markets, but as the conduit for many businesses successful execution of services, 3PL companies must meet these challenges especially well.
For 3PL companies to remain flexible and scalable, there are 3 primary things that need to be taken into account.
The culture of a flexible 3PL company is consistent and relies on constant and clear communication to allow for rapid responses. In addition, decisions should be able to be made quickly and implemented smoothly and rapidly. If each new adjustment requires a long and drawn out approvals process, clients will become frustrated with the delays and may take business elsewhere.
Empowering those in direct contact with the clients to make decisions that will meet their needs, and then clearly communicating those adjustments is a huge win for flexibility.
Customization of services is another huge way to remain both flexible and scalable…
Standardized processes can form the backbone of a 3PL’s menu of services available, but for those serving a broad range of clients, it is important to offer options that allow those they are in partnership with to collaborate on services that more specifically meet their needs. While scale efficiencies are important, again, flexibility requires some level of customization- whether that is through packing, promotions, brand-specific content, etc.
From a scalability standpoint, in-place distribution infrastructure is a huge advantage that 3PL’s offer their potential clients. A solid network and presence in a broad range of markets and regions is important to maintain. Data integration services or software systems that can easily integrate with the existing systems clients have is another huge advantage.
When a 3PL offers SaaS or other integration technology it makes them much more desirable to potential business partners.
Most importantly… adaptability
Engineers with the right tools and ideas to help companies that partner with the 3PL to expand and take their business to the next level can be the difference between being simply a logistics provider and a logistics partner.
For any business to successfully grow and thrive in an ever-changing market, the ability to have agile responses to challenges faced is vital. Communication, innovation, creative ideas, and willingness to adapt and empower staff on every level are the key ingredients in this success.
Schedule your free consultation with Redwood today and let our team show you how we put our flexibility and scalability to work for all of our clients.