One of the primary reasons that businesses outsource any of their services is to reduce costs. Cost reduction is possible in many ways, but usually labor yields the biggest difference. A company’s supply chain can be, arguably, one of its largest expenses. When choosing whom to outsource your services to, you have many choices. Why not lower your costs while also raising the standards and sophistication of your supply chain operations at the same time?
1. Increase Your Savings Multiple Ways, Not Just by having a Pricing Contract
Even after a pricing strategy has been implemented by your company, which may have
provided a percentage of savings...there are still many ways to continue to slash pricing, find hidden money and fight fees that you SHOULD NOT OWE!! Your 3PL should be an extension of your company’s operations. This team works not only FOR you, but AS you. With this mentality, can come quick, cost-saving decision making and long-term data collecting and strategy building.
For instance, even when you have certain rates secured long term in pricing contracts, the necessity of partial shipments moving on the spot market, or a fresh client opportunity opening a new lane may happen. Does your 3PL contact know how to think like you in a pricing situation where they need to make a quick decision? If so, they can most likely save you big money!
Do you receive outrageous chargebacks from your customers for not performing to their perfect set of standards surrounding a delivery? Your 3PL should be taking those chargebacks so seriously that they vow to help you fix the root of the issue by the following month. You can always stop money from going out the window due to chargebacks and fees. There are always solutions. All outsourced providers should be willing to take consistently finding hidden savings seriously for their clients, but small, specialized outfits should have the resources and specialty to put in the time like you would to find that hidden cash.
2. Gain More Strategic Insights with your Data
Speaking of long-term data collecting, most 3PL providers will keep a running history of shipments, pricing, and documents for many months and years for their clients. Many even have fancy dashboards and some might even show specific goal driven KPI’s as chosen by the client. However, the data pushed to those dashboards driving those KPI’s is only as good as the operational team inputting the information. Also, often, when trying to drive down to the exact statistics needed to obtain significant value and knowledge from a company’s metrics pool, special values and algorithms are needed to assure the data is rolled out in accordance with a client’s intended results and reasons for following this set of information.
You, like many companies, may already know what you would like to see from your data. Maybe your provider asks you to put in a ticket to have the changes made. You hope to see the results sometime in the next month. With a small, boutique-style operation, these types of values and sets of rules can be implemented same day in many cases, making your data immediately smarter and more valuable to you. Don’t get held up by red tape and make sure there are real people who know what YOU want looking at your data.
3. Have Centralized Support from More Experienced Professionals
When engaging a boutique service provider, you gain centralized support for your business. No longer do you have to spend your time trying to stay abreast of everything that is going on from multiple partnerships. A boutique 4PL provider can serve as a one-stop shop for all communications. This is a major time-saver for many departments in your entire company. Each person in your organization that has a hand in the supply chain or logistics function, should have one, and only one, point of contact for any and everything they need addressed, questioned, or answered.
Additionally, since boutique providers are smaller than others, each individual employee tends to be more knowledgeable and well-rounded since they have had to wear many hats, relying on themselves to get things done – and do them the right way. This means, the team of people BEHIND your one point of contact is so efficient that you do not wait for anything and have experienced logistics members handling all aspects of your outsourcing.
4. Gain Greater Attention and Involvement from Independent Business Owners
If you outsource your supply chain to a larger provider, chances are you were assigned a manager who serves as a middleman for their company and who may manage your account and expectations. In terms of what they have invested in your success, that could vary from an exceedingly high level of intrinsically driven helpfulness, to avoiding a poor company evaluation.
Due to their size, boutique service providers often operate like smaller businesses, with owners more commonly involved in daily operations and more attention on each client. If a client care manager is assigned, you will most likely always have access to speak directly with the owner of your provider, who will have direct knowledge of your company and services you outsource to them. Their best interest is to align with your business, so you have a true collaborator that is working to help your organization grow and succeed.
Choosing the Right Provider for Your Company
Think about the problems that are always on your mind… and your agenda.
Here’s an example of what that list may look like:
On-time delivery percentages?
Scalability of current processes?
Consistent damage being caused?
Does your 3PL have that same list of issues and are they pushing insight to you that will help you reach your desired outcomes? When you understand that much of your business’ reputation rests on the dependability of your providers, your choice in a partner becomes much more important. Make sure to work with a quality outsourced provider that has a track record of providing superior service. Don’t be shy and get operational references! Lastly, choose a provider that is closely aligned with the values of your employees and business-culture.
The Ops Center is a specialized 3PL within the MODE network consisting of highly experienced and well-seasoned professionals all with extensive industry experience in logistics and supply chain. We are ready to operate your end-to-end solutions with unparalleled service and provide you with technology that equips you with the logic you need to grow. To learn more about how The Ops Center can improve your current operations and concurrently achieve hassle-free cost savings, contact us 866-278-4710 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today!