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Top 5 Tips: Increase efficiency, ensure accuracy and improve supply chain performance

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Working with a 3rd party logistics provider (3PL) is about the long-term relationship: At Fullers our aim is to become a partner with our customers, rather than a service provider. Making sure the relationship is compatible from the very start means that your expectations will always be met with expertise and a shared understanding. Here are our 5 top tips to focus on to make sure your partnership increases efficiency, ensures accuracy and improves supply chain performance.

Tip 1: Don’t discount the importance of company culture

Make sure your company cultures are similar and you have some shared values. If you’re really into the environment, a relationship with a 3PL that doesn’t value that will probably be frustrating and ultimately, can damage your brand image. If your 3PL has a similar company culture, or at least can understand yours, the relationship will last longer.

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Tip 2: Build relationships with multiple contacts within the 3PL company

The more you know about your 3PL the better. You can get to know your 3PL by developing relationships with multiple people within the company. This will also improve transparency between you both - an important factor when doing business long term with another company.

At Fullers we have the technology in place to assist with the multichannel fulfilment process, but it’s really the people behind the process that have enabled us to ensure accuracy and productivity within our customers supply chains.

Tip 3: Consider your partnership with a 3PL to be collaborative

Rather than seeing the 3PL as just a service provider, start to think of it as a collaborative relationship - even the logistics branch of your own company. For a start, make sure that you communicate all related intelligence and information clearly and regularly. Consider investing in training or team exercises which will increase collaborative effort and improve overall performance from both sides.

Tip 4: Choose a Pick and Pack Service that saves you time

Delays and shipment errors can happen at any step in the process between the time an item leaves the factory and reaches the customer. The earlier errors are caught, the smaller their downstream impact will be. The picking process is often the key to ensuring that the right product reaches the customer. Order picking errors also entail a loss of efficiency in the warehouse, since the picker will have to spend time returning the wrong product and picking the correct one instead. In order to accurately measure order picking accuracy and catch errors, it’s important to have some way of verifying that the picked item corresponds to the order before it leaves the warehouse. If this verification is recorded electronically, the data can be inputted into a Warehouse Management system to provide a real-time view of picking accuracy in the warehouse.

How to Choose a Pick and Pack Fulfilment Service That Saves You Time – Find out more

Tip 5: Set shared KPIs and incentivise good performance

One of the most common reasons 3PL partnerships fail is poorly defined expectations. It’s important to communicate objectives and concerns, and constantly benchmark key performance indicators (KPIs) that are most important to you.

Develop KPIs that are shared and can be incentivised. This makes it easier to evaluate performance and make sure that it’s a shared goal between both. Not sure what some of those shared KPIs might be? They can revolve around customer service, shipping times, delivery condition, and order accuracy.

A 3PL may be providing world-class service, but unless a customer measures that data and compares it with contractual or industry standards, it will never know.

Fullers Logistics is awarded a fifth consecutive Gold Award from premium automotive brand BMW Group UK. Gold awards are bestowed for achieving a minimum of 99.82% accuracy across quality, stock management, pick accuracy and on-time delivery. - Find out more

Make sure you have a relationship with a 3PL built on trust, good performance and transparency. Once you’ve made the decision to send your beloved products into the big market on their own, and to put your brand image in the hands of a 3PL, make sure it’s one that will carry your company’s values, work ethic and ways of doing business along with your products.

When it comes to supply chain management, it's not about re-inventing the wheel. It's about collaboratively creating better or more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas from shop floor to the door step of your customers.

If you’re looking for an ultra-efficient warehousing solution get in touch.