Businesses sometimes give into the temptation to treat their supply chain as an afterthought rather than a priority. If their goods get where they are supposed to go, they consider that box checked and do not worry too much about the details. They only focus on the supply chain when major problems emerge. However, the supply chain for your business should not just be about fulfilling its basic tasks. It should be a key ingredient to driving your business growth.
An experienced third-party logistics provider can collaborate with your business to step back and examine your supply chain to search for areas for improvement and new opportunities. Through your combined efforts, you can find ways to strengthen your service to your customers and provide your business with new efficiencies. Whether your supply chain is struggling, operating below its potential, or simply in need of a fresh look, the right 3PL can help you rethink your supply chain strategy to ensure it is operating at its optimum level.
Here are some key questions to consider:
Have you changed while your supply chain has remained the same?
The pace of change in business can be intense, as customers’ preferences and behaviors shift, and businesses shift with them to meet and anticipate those changing interests. Your supply chain should be a crucial piece of those adjustments. You may have brilliantly adjusted the design and marketing of your products to better serve your customers, but if you are still supplying those products the same old way you may be undermining all your diligent work and creating the impression of a business stuck in the past. Work with a 3PL to assess whether your supply chain and the rest of your business remain on the same track.
Is your supply chain keeping up with your growth?
You may have put the components in place for your supply chain for a smaller business than the one that you have become. The strains and demands on your supply chain will change considerably as your business grows, and your supply chain needs to change to match that growth. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to distribution strategy. As you expand your geographic reach and build your customer base, you need a supply chain that not only keeps up with that growth but helps to drive it. Do not risk hampering your growth with a supply chain strategy built for smaller stuff.
Are you preparing for new frontiers?
If your company is preparing for a change, then your supply chain should be, too. If you are introducing new products, taking on new partners or taking a new strategic direction, such as launching into ecommerce, you will require a supply chain that is worthy of your ambitions. Otherwise, all the good work will be for nothing. Before pursuing new goals, work with a 3PL to assess how your supply chain can help support and drive them.
Is your supply chain isolated from the rest of your business?
Your supply chain should be strategically integrated into your company. That means it both aligns with and supports your goals every step of the way. Your supply chain strategy should put a premium on integrating your supply chain with your company’s systems and processes, and it should emphasize providing visibility and reporting that can inform your business practices.
Is your 3PL a strategic partner?
Your 3PL should be more than a vendor. They should be a true strategic partner. If your 3PL is only executing orders for you, you should consider working with a 3PL who can add more value to your operation. An experienced 3PL can analyze a business’ supply chain and identify ways to improve it in powerful ways. When a 3PL is a genuine partner, they understand your business inside and out and ask crucial questions that can unlock hidden value in your supply chains. An experienced 3PL should put you on a path of continuous improvement, so that you are always looking for new ways to evolve and grow as a supply chain.
Distribution Technology can work with you to rethink your supply chain strategy, helping you to identify opportunities for growth and operational improvement. 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.