The better your 3PL knows your business, the better it can help you grow. That’s why a 3PL’s client services team is so critical to the effectiveness of your partnership. A highly engaged client services team that emphasizes collaboration and communication will help fuel your growth in ways you never expected.
Here are some of the reasons that your 3PL is only as good as its client services team – and some of the ways to recognize that you’re working with a great one.
They provide the foundation.
The client services team establishes your partnership with a 3PL and sets the stage for an effective, long-term working relationship. They introduce you to the services that their company can provide to you, and they work closely with you to see how those services will best fit your needs and goals. The beginning of a 3PL relationship amounts to an education for both sides of the partnership. Your business is learning the many ways your new 3PL can help you, while the 3PL is learning everything it needs to know about your business. The client services team makes sure that both sides are learning the lessons they most need to know to ensure success, while aligning your values to ensure you are forging a partnership that will endure.
They ask the right questions.
If a 3PL takes a cookie-cutter approach with its clients, it will fail to serve their distinctive needs. An experienced client services team will never let that happen. Instead, they will ask the questions that help probe into the unique challenges that your business faces. They have the expertise and background to ask questions you have never even considered, delving deeply into your resources and processes and exploring what makes your business tick. They not only know their business inside and out – they will know your business just as intimately. You might not have ever considered how a specific component of your business affects your supply chain, but an effective client services team will recognize those connections. And the insightful questions will come on an ongoing basis, keeping the relationship strong and ensuring your 3PL is aware of the new demands, trends, goals and initiatives that are driving your business.
They identify opportunities.
Perhaps no characteristic is as important to a client services team member as being a good listener. They pay close attention to you when you communicate with them and build a rapport with you so that it becomes second nature for you to keep them informed and seek them out as new issues emerge. Client services team members will take what they learn from you to collaborate with you and other members of their 3PL team to identify new opportunities for growing your business through your supply chain. That could mean finding new efficiencies, expanding your geographic reach into new markets, sharpening your processes, or incorporating new systems, among other efforts. Throughout, they are dedicated to creating value and cost savings. Every industry has its own standards and best practices, and a savvy client services team – one experienced in your field – will help you navigate and take advantage of those successfully while anticipating challenges along the way.
They help you stay focused on what you do best.
A strong client services team will allow you to take your mind off your supply chain and focus on what makes your business special. They will keep you informed, while providing you with the freedom and peace of mind to prioritize building your core competencies and pursuing new opportunities. If something changes quickly for your company, such as a surge in volume, your 3PL’s client services team will be there to ensure the proper adjustments are made to your supply chain logistics to accommodate those changes on demand with the resources you need. The goal of the client services team is to establish and maintain a seamless connection between your business and your 3PL, forming an extension of your business that can always be relied upon. The client services team at Distribution Technology boasts dozens of years of experience helping a variety of businesses grow through their supply chains. We can enhance your operation and accelerate your company’s growth with our integrated logistics and transportation solutions. For more information, contact us today.