It’s that time of the year where Requests for Proposals in the field are submitted. This is the season when shippers request bids and plan for optimal logistics strategy for the upcoming year. Shippers are starting to frequently involve 3PL partners in their RFP processes in order to gain access to numerous pre-qualified carriers, industry expertise and advanced logistics technology that’s able to offer supply chain visibility and provide operational efficiency.
Working hand in hand with third-party logistics providers brings immense difference and value to a shipper’s supply chain, making it important to ensure that the process to finding one is handled properly. Bob Farrell, CEO of GlobalTranz has devised 6 strategies that can assist in finding the right partner during the next round of your RFPs.
Establish Strategic Partnerships
Pricing is obviously one factor that influences how shippers choose to award logistics service contracts. However, most shippers prefer looking at the quality of service offered over pricing. Look for ways 3PLs can be a consultant to your business and how they can provide value-added operations. The right partner is always seeking for strategic ways and opportunities to save your company overall costs. One way to tell if your 3PL is effective is when you are able to integrate your business’ ERP and supply chain systems with their TMS or other technology platforms and having supply chain visibility as a result.
Communicate Objectives & Important KPIs
As mentioned above, the quality of service offered is very crucial so make certain to let all potential service providers know what your goals are along with key performance indicators important to your company. An excellent third-party logistics provider will make it their responsibility to reach that benchmark and strive to continuously improve in order to ensure that they are making a valuable difference on your firm. Typical KPIs include EDI compliance, on-time delivery, tender acceptance or rejection percentages and on-time pickup.
Leverage Locations and Condense Length Of Haul
Using distribution centers and condensing length of haul based on the location of your customers helps save shippers money and time. Additionally, a nationwide network of warehouses can aid in shortening your line hauls which will decrease the cost of transporting products to final locations.
Plan and Budget For High-Demand Periods Of The Year
Plan ahead, keeping in mind that there will be times in the approaching year where higher-demand for trucks could have an impact on your costs. Produce, harvest and holiday seasons tend to place and demand a need for the nation’s trucks which without a doubt then increases rates. Having a budget ready for such seasons saves you the shortcomings and costs.
Consolidate Shipments To Increase Volume
When looking for a 3PL partner, seek for one that will help you attain opportunities which will allow you to consolidate your shipments. Through merging, volume and efficiency increases – therefore decreasing overall costs. It also assists in avoiding loading dock congestions and results in few accessorial charges.
Understand Paper Rates vs. Truck Rates
At times, what looks straightforward on paper, such as line-haul distance, may fail to disclose additional details that could affect a bid, like pickup or delivery appointments and hours the loading dock is open. Make certain to always give enough information so you can receive accurate quotes.
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