3 Tips in Choosing Supply Chain Management Services
When sourcing supply chain management services, think about the provider’s approach to people and processes. Do they embrace a methodology like lean, six sigma, or operational excellence? Are they really committed to continuous improvement, or is it just an advertising tactic? Do they have an internal culture that demonstrates that commitment?
When a provider is well rounded in its supply chain management services, you’re able to benefit by:
• The value and wealth of efficient opportunities in your supply chain
• Gaining a higher level of competitive advantage
• Focus on total logistics cost reduction (transportation, warehousing, and inventory)
• Reaching new heights with supplier accountability and performance
• Solving problems with a leader present at your facility
• Building the lean culture to drive and sustain continuous improvement
Whether you are looking for supply chain management services or have had experience with a third party logistics provider (3PL), you may have realized that finding the right partner isn’t easy. For instance, many 3PLs are eager to dazzle customers with the latest and greatest, but they don’t offer anything substantive to ensure proper long-term customer care. Because businesses have unique logistics needs, an easy solution is not a solution at all. What is needed is a partner, a 3PL company that tailors its approach to meet your individual needs.
1. The Right Type of 3PL Relationship
The first tip is having the right type of relationship with your 3PL. While groups of 3PL’s may have similar characteristics, the supply chain management services will each value different aspects of your solution by different measures. You want your 3PL to connect quickly and then show you how their supply chain management services will fit your specific needs. Continuous improvement is also a vital aspect in choosing the right 3PL. Continuous improvement is important as it leads to improved quality efficiency, innovation or any component that is crucial to any system. It’s about becoming the best in the field you happen to be in.
2. Improved Performance with Increased Data Access
The second tip in choosing supply chain management services is improved performance with increased data access. Working together with a 3PL, you can create targets throughout your supply chain. Choosing the right target means defining your metrics, such as measuring carrier performance. Selecting the applicable targets should involve conversations with all partners, not just 3PLs, around what data can be captured for each shipment.
3. Accountability and Control in Achieving Expected Results
The third tip is accountability and control in achieving expected results. The 3PL should be accountable to ensure ownership is in the right hands and positive results are achieved. It’s important for a 3PL to follow through on expectations. In our research, the number one reason 3PL relationships fail is because the 3PL over-promised and under-delivered. The 3PL needs to accept responsibility and demonstrate a daily commitment to delivering what was promised up front.
Here are some general questions to ask when sourcing supply chain management services:
- Does the 3PL provide the services required?
- Does the 3PL have the technology required to perform the tasks required?
- Does the company have the required warehouse space, dock capacity, warehouse personnel, etc.?
- Is the 3PL financially sound?
- Are the 3PL’s geographical locations suitable to cover the network?
- Does the 3PL have the flexibility to respond to changes?
- Are the 3PL’s environmental policies compatible?
- Are the costs of the services detailed enough for comparison to other bids?
- Are the customer references acceptable?
- Is the 3PL a good cultural fit?
References: www.manufacturing.net, 12/06/2013 Sustainability: A 3PL’s Role in Your Green Supply Chain
Posted by LeanCor Supply Chain Group
LeanCor Supply Chain Group is a trusted supply chain partner that specializes in lean principles to deliver operational improvement. LeanCor’s three integrated divisions – LeanCor Training and Education, LeanCor Consulting, and LeanCor Logistics – help organizations eliminate waste, drive down costs, and build a culture of continuous improvement.Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Google+