Is Your Third-Party Logistics Provider Aligned with Your Team? 4 Questions to Find Out

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Whether you’re looking for a third-party logistics provider for the first time, out to bid for a new provider, or want to ramp up communication with your current supply chain management partner, it’s important to make sure both you and your 3PL provider are on the same page. Suddath® created a three-part blog series to help you get there. Ask a provider these four important questions to make sure they’re aligned with your team.

1. What does my account manager handle?

You account manager should be an advocate for your business. Acting as a liaison between your team and local resources, account managers often handle communication among all parties and clients, provide you with up-to-date data on warehousing and transit, and ensure all scheduled activities and tasks are completed as seamlessly as possible. Your account manager should act in the best interest of your company to maintain project progress, solve problems and resolve potential conflicts, if necessary.

2. Will there be a dedicated team assigned to my account?

What’s great about working with a qualified third-party logistics company is that you don’t need to staff up for a project. Historically, you may have ramped up staffing in preparation for a roll out, but when you’re in the right hands your provider dedicates an embedded team to act as part of your business, holding the same values and cares as it if it were their own business.

3. Is it standard to meet in-person or via video chat prior to projects? If so, what’s covered?

Just as you took the time to meet your 3PL company while in the discovery stage, it is important to also do so prior to projects. During this pre-project review, you can finalize important facts, like accounting driver details, contact information and a general project pulse-check. Ask your provider if video chat is available if you can’t meet in person. This is a great way for you to continue to have a high-touch, hands-on experience throughout the pre-planning process.

4. Is it appropriate for a manufacturer to attend this meeting?

A reputable 3PL provider will encourage manufacturers to attend pre-project review meetings. Your logistics company should request or suggest a meeting with the manufacturer prior to a project to help the delivery run smoothly. This helps build partnership and trust throughout a relationship, ultimately leading to more efficient communication and a dual understanding of the roles and processes expected from both parties. Ultimately giving you a stronger, more aligned team.

At Suddath, it’s our goal to give you the tools and resources to choose the best third-party logistics provider for your business. We pride ourselves on being a one-stop-shop for services and solutions customized to our clients’ needs. By serving as an extension of our clients’ teams, we help meet their business strategies, processes and customer service requirements around the globe. If you’re interested in more information about how to align your supply chain logistic company with your team or if you would like to talk to our dedicated global logistics professionals about your upcoming projects, contact our team today.

Read the next in our blog series: 4 questions to ask your third-party logistics provider about post-delivery policies


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