Third-party logistics providers are without a doubt a company’s brand extension as they ensure accurate quantities of orders, guarantee high quality of products and negotiate for appropriate carrier rates. These functions 3PLs perform and more assist in forming their clients’ outwardly facing reputation.
With that said, let’s break down the efficient ways in which you can become an extension of your client’s brand.
Always ensure to find a way to save your clients money because in this way, they are then able to pass along their savings to their own customers too. Your 3PL will be able to achieve this by negotiating the best possible, affordable carrier rates regardless of whether your business makes use of an effective built-in Transport Management System that automatically sets up auctions for carriers to bid for business; uses load planners instead; or makes use of a combination of both of these options. Carrier brokerage benefits both the 3PL and the client as it adds profit to your 3PL’s bottom line on top of assisting the client in saving on factors such as transportation spend. It will also secure the business as well the client – provided the carrier does a good job.Speaking of carrier performance and accountability, consider a TMS that will be able to track and report carrier performance, including actual delivery and pickup times – this is data which will provide your 3PL and your client with valuable insight. Additionally, deliveries and pick-ups made on time along with a friendly demeanor and professional attitude show that your client’s able to deal with last-minute requests and requests booked in advance.
Put plans in place that are going to accommodate a client’s need for multiple pricing options such as storage costs. Granted this might mean a client’s rate contract becomes a bit more complicated, however, the flexibility will allow the client’s own customers flexibility too when making orders. In this day and age, competitive retail market demands require that companies make certain orders that are fulfilled quickly and accurately. Leeway in a company’s storage options helps it remain relevant, competitive and well-branded amongst its competitors in the e-commerce industry.
Employees are a 3PL’s greatest asset. The perfect example lies in material handlers who will ensure that products are put away safely and accurately using “First-In, First Out” methods. These are the same handlers who will care enough to make use of directed put-away technology, advanced barcode scanning or a combination of all these methods somehow. Providing your employees with a work environment that will make them feel fulfilled and safe will make them want to treat your customers’ products as well as they are also treated. It’s also crucial to teach them too the urgency with which products need to be put away in safe storage spaces. Careful handling means high-quality products get shipped out to the clients’ customers and that solidifies your clients’ reputations as reliable brands.
Sharp and motivated workers will also ensure that the client’s consumers receive their ordered retail products as quickly as possible, in the best condition possible. Make it a point to provide employees with technologies that they will need such as RFGen, hip-mounted shipping label scanners and printers, touch screen tablet inventory systems and whatever else is needed to fulfill orders. The retail industry is evolving in such a way that now it even has some e-commerce companies promising same day shipping and same day delivery. These developments put pressure on 3PLs and their employees as they become expected to fulfill orders in a manner that is organized and appropriately prioritized. Your e-commerce customer will be grateful to you when its consumers write amazing reviews online raving about the company and how it places importance on delivering promptly.
Meeting business needs and saving your client money are possibly the biggest components of the company’s customer service – allowing your client to be steadfast ahead when it comes to branding itself as a competitively priced responder in the industry. With that said, your 3PL’s face time with the client is important, too. Provide your clients with client service representatives and account managers who will be dedicated to providing the best experience. These are the professionals that can assist your client in making changes to aspects in the supply chain that are not working out. These would be aspects like flaws in the order entry system or defects in shipping material the client uses to ship orders. Having open communication and constant evaluation over clients’ inbound and outbound products whether virtually through an Order Management System or in person as a warehouse facility manager shows that you care and adds a bit of personal touch when it comes to your relationship with your client.
Don’t forget to find out the 5 Reasons Why Manufacturers Who Put Customer Experience First Prosper!