Finding the logistics better half is not an easy task. However, if you manage to get it right, your relationship with your logistics provider may last longer than many marriages. So that you can hit the target, we are going to review some key aspects to verify that your operator’s logistics solutions are the ones your supply chain needs.
What logistics solutions do you need?
A logistics operator offers a huge range of possibilities, services and tasks. Storage, order preparation, distribution… And each one with multiple variants. That is why the first thing you need to analyze is what your needs are and, even more so, your priorities.
Imagine that you go to see a possible transport provider and you are fascinated by a fully automated warehouse… Only you do not need storage or order preparation. Or that it overwhelms you with an infinite number of delivery options, each one faster, but that does not offer you the depalletizing service at destination that your customers demand or the all-risk insurance that your merchandise needs.
The specialty of the house
Like restaurants, it is common for logistics operators to specialize in some service. It can be full international cargo, local courier services, temperature-controlled warehouses, shipments of especially valuable, delicate or special-size products, etc.
This does not mean that a logistics operator will not be able to cover various needs that you may have and with a quality service. But you will do well to choose one that is specialized in the type of most shipments you make.
A good commercial manager will explain how his transport company can help you. If it’s really good, it can even help you fall into things you hadn’t considered to improve your supply chain. However, it is desirable to have opinions from outside the organization in order to have more objective information.
Among the sources you can turn to are other customers of your provider or their reputation and track record within the sector. It is relatively easy to know if a company with several decades behind it is positioned as a quality brand or if, perhaps, it is aimed at price, even if it is at the cost of the former.
Set your sights on the long term
There is no point in trying to find the best provider to change back every five minutes. If the service you are receiving is of quality, maintaining that relationship should be one of your priorities. Maintaining collaboration with the same logistics operator for several years provides a series of benefits. The operations personnel know each other, improving communication and understanding, both companies know the particularities of the other, the logistics operator knows the critical aspects of the customer’s logistics, etc.
Logically, this does not mean that you should not look for alternatives when you are not receiving the service you need or when you see that a new provider offers you a differential advantage compared to what you currently have.
Changing the transport company is a transcendental decision that must be taken with the greatest amount of data possible to make the right decision. But the search for the appropriate logistics solutions that your company needs is so important that you should not be intimidated by these challenges.