Choosing the right 3PL by Michael Clover

Choosing the right 3PL for your business is one of the most important decisions any retailer or manufacturer can make, but how do you know who is the right 3PL partner for you? 

Running a logistics tender is a daunting task with multiple stages which can take months to complete. The best practice process for selecting a new 3PL partner is widely considered to have 10 key stages and to require a dedicated team of procurement professionals with skills relevant to each part of the process. It can be expensive to run a tender well, but it is more expensive to execute one badly.

Ti has built Supply Chain Leaders in order to assist shippers with stages 3 and 4 of the cycle, the market research to draw up a long list of 3PLs to invite to tender and to identify and specify their requirements to 3PLs.

Stages 3 and 4 of the outsourcing cycle usually take shippers weeks to complete. The process involves identifying potential partners, through the existing industry knowledge of logistics managers and time consuming web searches to fill in any gaps. Then companies have to send out requests for information (RFIs) to each company they have identified to guarantee that they can offer the services they require, taking weeks more. Even then, shippers have no way of knowing that they have included all the 3PLs who could provide the services they need and whether they are missing their perfect 3PL partner.

Supply Chain Leaders enables logistics managers at shippers to change the timeframe on this part of the outsourcing process from weeks to just minutes using its 3PL search capabilities.

The next problem that shippers encounter at stage 4 of the outsourcing cycle is in communicating their service requirements to 3PLs in the tender document. Supply Chain Leaders provides a clear and simple search wizard which enables users to quickly identify and capture their logistics requirements, and then find all the 3PLs that match those requirements. Then, once users complete their search, they can then review their service requirements and contact the companies with those requirements.

By helping shippers move through stage three and four more quickly, shippers can save time and resources as they progress into the later stages of the process. But perhaps even more importantly, shippers using SCL can be certain that they have included all possible LSPs in their tender process to ensure that they partner they choose is the best one for their business.

Test out the Supply Chain Leaders search tool today, for a limited time we are offering a free months trial: