The unexpected upheaval to domestic commerce has thrown a wrench into many businesses’ 2020 plans. Vendors have had to overcome a multitude of issues since the COVID-19 outbreak began early this year.
With the turmoil, like office closures and supply chain disruptions, many have looked for consistency. While that thought is understandable, it should not necessarily extend to your logistics partnerships.
Sticking with ineffective transportation arrangements is not the best way to help your business through a difficult time. A newly onboard, quality logistics partner can help improve your supply chain function and seamlessly integrate into your already existing operations.
If you have found yourself saying this is not a good time to begin new vendor relationships, here are some reasons why it is the optimum time to trade up to a true logistics partner.
A Good Logistics Provider Should Make Onboarding Easy
A sign of an effective logistics partnership should be immediately evident in your onboarding process.
It should be a seamless action that is complete in a few business hours. Most logistics providers offer same-day credit lines and easy onboarding that do not require much time or effort.
If you have difficulty onboarding or beginning work with a new provider, it could be a sign that customer service is not an organizational priority.
And it may serve as an indicator that you may encounter other issues further along in the relationship.
True Logistics Partnerships Save You Time
With widespread disruption that has plagued the first and second quarters of 2020, you may be thinking that you do not have time to create new logistics partnerships.
Though a seemingly difficult initial hurdle, onboarding a true logistics partner can save you time by taking on your daily transportation tasks. If you currently find yourself busier than ever, a quality partner can relieve you of many of your time-consuming transportation duties. A customer-focused provider can:
- Set pickup and delivery appointments
- Select best-fit carriers
- Build and manage logistics relationships
- Track orders
- Provide proactive communication to you, your customers, and your carriers
- Manage performance exceptions
- Complete billing and other paperwork
- Provide data analysis and performance reports
- Facilitate scalable growth
If any of these tasks are occupying much of your workday, it may be beneficial to look for a more customer-centric transportation relationship.
How much time do you spend tracking down your current provider for updates?
Imagine a workday where you do not have to think of all that goes into delivery.
A true partner should handle order execution and other daily tasks without any of them falling back on your plate.
Logistics Partnerships Increase Efficiency
As specialists in the industry, logistics providers should offer more than transactional arrangements for your organization.
By working with a specialized third-party provider on a strategic level, you can unlock added benefits and find efficiencies that can separate your brand from the competition.
According to a report from Gartner about 3PL relationships, “Customer attitudes toward their third-party logistics outsource providers are changing for the better, however, that pace of change needs to accelerate.”
It continues, “Some companies must address their inherent mistrust of 3PLs. Otherwise they will never unlock all of the added value that a more strategic, rather than transactional, 3PL relationship can bring to their logistics operation.”
Because of their specialization, technology stems, and understanding of complex logistics functions, 3PL partners can fill any void left in your organization’s supply chain.
They can help you increase visibility into previously tough to track areas and make improvement suggestions based on data.
A specialized logistics partner’s value also comes from its knowledge of your customers. Niche providers have insight into complex delivery realities that are not apparent to those without extensive experience in retail shipping.
Things like appointment setting and distribution center coordination require extensive working knowledge to avoid added costs or compliance penalties. You can vastly improve your organization’s delivery performance and reduce the time spent by working with a capable partner.
Logistics Partnerships Can Cut Costs
With extensive industry knowledge and expertise, a logistics provider can make network recommendations that can also cut costs.
A logistics provider, equipped with the latest shipping technology, can make distribution network suggestions that can reduce overall spend and improve on-time percentages.
Improvement opportunities, like consolidation programs or warehouse reconfigurations, can go a long way to substantially reducing transportation costs, which is a must with current economic conditions.
Work with a CPG Specialized Logistics Provider to Unlock Improvements
An active logistics partner should provide each of the above competencies and bring overall improvement to your transportation operation.
Zipline Logistics is focused exclusively on the CPG industry, which allows us to offer our customers time-saving benefits, cost reduction, and efficiency improvements.
Our team of retail delivery specialists knows how to consistently get your products to your current customers and your customers of the future to exceed on-time expectations.
It is essential to know which carriers are best suited for each facility, to have rework relationships established near all receiving locations, and to have quick access to back-up capacity that is reliable and food safe.
Because over 90 percent of our orders end up on a retail shelf, we can help you find previously untapped efficiencies while saving you time and money. We understand your operation, your customers, and will quickly adapt to your procedures.
There has never been a better time to look to a true logistics partnership. Reach out to Zipline today to see the difference it can make.