Trusting a business to handle your supply chain can be extremely stressful, but if you choose the right provider, it can lead to extraordinary long term success. An effective and efficient supply chain allows the other aspects of your operation to run smoothly, so you’re able to focus on your core competencies and do better business.
So the question remains, how on earth do you choose the most reliable provider that also aligns with your vision and values?
Luckily, the transportation experts at Radius have compiled a guide with 5 essential considerations. Depending on your company, some of these items may be of more of less importance to you. Keep in mind that this list is a high level overview, and always ensure you’re asking providers specific questions regarding your particular needs.
Albert Einstein said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” When selecting a third party logistics provider, the experience among the staff can make the difference between solving a potential problem with an order, and not even realizing there’s a problem with that same order. When your shipments are in the hands of seasoned professionals, you can trust they’re prepared to handle any challenge that comes their way.
Fun fact: The team at Radius has over 400 years of combined logistics and transportation industry experience!
It’s important to clearly define which services you’re looking for, that way you can evaluate whether or not they’re capable of meeting your specific needs. For example, if you deliver to a lot of trade shows, you’ll want to partner with a company who specializes in trade show freight. If you often ship cross border, find out if they have dedicated trucks or cross-docks in those areas.
Technology is a need-to-have, not a nice-to-have in today’s transportation industry. Do they utilize the latest CRM, TMS and WMS software? Are they operating on a cloud-based platform? These are all great questions to ask. A technologically advanced 3PL will be able to provide you with custom reporting based on real-time data, which keeps you and your clients in the loop.
Fun fact: Radius uses the latest technology to offer a variety of services including road and intermodal, international air and ocean, special commodities and flat deck, domestic and international courier, warehousing, distribution and consolidation, reverse logistics, display services and special projects!
Depending on your business, one of the most important elements to consider is whether they can scale their operations to meet your changing needs. If they can barely handle your current requirements, will they leave you high and dry as your company expands? When seasonal demand skyrockets, what procedures have they set in place to handle growth? Perhaps your needs will change from cross border shipping to global air and ocean. Is this something they’re able to offer as well? Scalability can drastically impact your operations, both positively and negatively.
Fun fact: At Radius, we understand there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to logistics. Our current clients rave about our flexible and personalized approach.
Every successful relationship in your life relies on open communication. When considering a provider, ask if they offer 24 hour customer support or if you can only rely on them during regular business hours? Will your company get a dedicated customer service representative that gets to know your business inside and out? Or will you have to deal with a new person every time you call, and explain your situation all the way from the beginning? Does their customer service team trace shipments daily to proactively identify issues before they become a problem? Streamlined processes are the best way to keep overhead costs low.
Fun fact: Radius is backed by unparalleled Customer Service. Our team takes care of your transportation needs around the clock. Ask us about our dedicated Customer service reps and after-hours support line!
“You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do” – Confucious
How do they incentivise their employees? Do they contribute charitably to their community? What themes and values do they emphasize in their marketing material? Do they have any industry accreditations?
Don’t be afraid to ask about their financial stability and payment history. How a company handles their own partners is an indication of how they’ll treat you as a partner. Check their reviews online. Ask about their long time customers. Any good company that offers a service will live and die by its reputation.
Fun fact: At Radius Logistics, being environmentally responsible and giving back to the local community is an important part of what we do.
Committing to a 3PL relationship is not something to take lightly. At Radius, we’re more than just a logistics company, we become your partner and work hard to ensure the backbone of your business, your supply chain, stays strong and supports you in achieving your business goals.
Contact us to get started with Radius today!