It’s peak season! Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner, and with that dawns the busiest time of the year for the logistics industry. What will build up starting with Thanksgiving will only increase as we get closer to year-end. Whether you are a shipper or carrier, there are certain measures you must take to fully optimize your opportunities this peak season. Follow along as we offer both shippers and carriers valuable insights we’ve compiled from our team of logistics experts. Learn what you can do this year to make the most of your peak seasons and streamline operations in the process with collaboration.
Rising costs are one of the significant supply chain challenges that companies face especially during holidays. According to a Third-Party Logistics Study, 70% of shippers cite successful collaboration with their 3PL providers as the primary factor in logistics cost reductions, with 75% stating that 3PLs assist firms in innovating and identifying effective means of enhancing existing logistics.
Modern 3PL providers offer more than just cost reductions. Companies now invest in technologies, integrated business processes, share information, and share responsibilities and accountability with their 3PL partners. Collaboration of companies with 3PLs are rapidly becoming mutually beneficial long-term investments. It is vital that both organizations have the same goals and that their planning, management, and execution are coordinated to represent these interests.
Here are the top factors that tell why collaboration with 3PL partners is key during peak and off-peak times.
3PL relations should be looked at as long-term relationships between both parties. Many companies mistakenly select their 3PL provider without first evaluating their organizational objectives. This often leads to a 3PL partner lacking the capacity or reach to ship to your desired destinations on time and in-full, or they may have different contract pricing expectations.
Companies must ensure that their 3PL partners offer a stable, unified platform with consistent enterprise-wide processes. Before making a decision, you should evaluate the 3PL’s service levels, technological capabilities, management’s vision, reputation, strategic direction, anticipated results, and company culture. Short-term thinking and misaligned goals will only lead to push-backs and frustrations at both ends.
Building a measurable collaboration with your 3PL supplier is essential without limiting innovation or decision-making for either party. By establishing a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with agreed-upon KPIs, you will be able to track the effectiveness of your collaboration based on actual data. It is essential that standard processes and targets, such as customer success, information technology, cost reduction, logistical improvement, and high standards, be detailed in the agreement to offer a framework for shared functions.
This agreement must be routinely reviewed and refreshed with changing business dynamics and customer needs. The contract and SLAs should reflect the nature of the relationship and expectations between the two parties.
Great partnerships are forged through consistent and effective collaboration and the sharing of critical information. This comprises internal and external sharing across partners and measuring and communicating results. Good communication will help resolve disputes before they arise, and when they do, it will assist you in determining the issues at hand and deciding how to modify systems to prevent a recurrence.
Sharing Rewards and Risks
Sharing facilities with your third-party logistics provider may be essential to provide improved communication and shared planning. The third-party logistics provider should work as an extension of the shipping company. Gain-sharing agreements are another approach to demonstrate a company’s dedication to partnerships by sharing risks and profits equally.
Leveraging Data as a Team
The collaboration with the 3PLs will generate an incredible amount of data, but what should the companies do with it? Here, intelligent technology comes into play. For instance, innovative transportation management platforms (TMS) encompass comprehensive data analysis, such as scanning a shipment, uploading the data to a database, and drawing conclusions based on a constant data stream.
The right TMS will assemble, analyze, and generate reports for both partners to review. Companies can add additional data analysis tools and WMS to draw conclusions and drive action out of it.
Happy holidays from Team Turvo!