When searching for a third-party logistics provider, it can be a challenge to decide which 3PL is the best fit for your business. There are so many potential problem areas that can keep a business owner up at night – compliance issues, damaged products, late deliveries and much more – and the right 3PL should help you sleep, not leave you stricken with insomnia.
One key factor to consider is the particular benefits that a diversified 3PL can offer you. These 3PLs work with a variety of industries and companies and provide an array of services, rather than specializing in one industry or one component of the supply chain. This approach allows them to help companies maximize the efficiency of their supply chain by offering scale, expertise and resources that only they can provide. Because of these characteristics, they are particularly well-equipped to seamlessly manage your supply chain and snuff out potential problems before they ever emerge.
A total logistics company, one that offers an assortment of services rather than just serving as a warehouse, fulfillment or transportation specialist, can manage all aspects of the supply chain for its clients instead of providing just a piecemeal approach. For clients, that means a one-stop shop that is more affordable because it offers economy of scale. It also makes for a more integrated and efficient set of processes.
A 3PL that works with a multifaced mix of clients will have the specialized training and equipment to handle a variety of products. For instance, Distribution Technology has the capacity to manage everything from chemicals and flammables to food and auto parts. Companies often don’t know what their needs will be – facility sizes, equipment types, racking sizes, attachment types for forklifts – but a 3PL with an assortment of services and a mixture of client types will know exactly what they need.
Companies that use a diversified 3PL also will have the advantage of the logistics specialist’s expertise and qualifications in regulatory compliance, touching on requirements as diverse as food grade certifications and customs. Instead of starting from scratch and spending time and money building up their expertise and qualifications, a company can work with a 3PL that has spent years acquiring them on their own so that their clients can take advantage of them.
In addition, a diversified 3PL will have existing relationships with qualified networks to help you secure more capacity, allowing you a variety of options for your company’s unique distribution needs. The shipping lines already are established – the 3PL just needs to add your product to the existing mix. Robust tracking capabilities – sometimes critical for federal compliance – are ready for your inventory from the outset.
A 3PL that is a total logistics provider has a multi-client facility or facilities that allows each client to pay only for the space that they need. Companies that work with this category of 3PL, therefore, don’t need to lease or purchase their own building for warehousing and shipping, so they don’t need to risk securing a space that is too small or too big and having to pay for the entire facility.
Every company is unique, but a diversified 3PL offers distinctive benefits that can serve a wide variety of companies, using scale to provide efficiency and resources and expertise to support the distinctive goals and needs of each specific client – and to make sure their nights are restful ones.
Distribution Technology has been offering integrated logistics and transportation solutions for more than 50 years. We can enhance your operation and accelerate your company’s growth with inventory storage capacity, processes that improve efficiency, and technology that enables innovation. For more information, contact us today.