Technology we love it! Right? Well, when it comes to the dating world, not quite. The days of courtship, chivalry and face to face interaction are not long gone, but they are rare. Dating today can be done by a click of a button or a swipe to the right. Online profiles are set up to share only the things people want others to see, photos of only their best looks and the most adventurous times. Based on surface level information, the dating games begin. As individuals start to date multiple people at once, it becomes a lot of work to keep up with different people; checking your online account, text messages, phone calls and calendar. At what point do you stop and narrow the dating to one individual and attempted a committed relationship to move forward together?
The new world of Shipping and 3PL selection has many similarities to dating thanks to technology.
Companies can go online submit requests for rate quotes and look for an instant response based on an online basic profile that was put together. These are quotes are typically “Standard Rates” based on conservative handling and storage requirements, a list of accessorial charges and a safe margin. If the need is simple like – pallet in pallet out – then receiving various standard instant rates can work. Now, what about those companies that cannot fit their needs into 120 characters? They will need a custom solution in order to find the right partner. Don’t settle for someone who likes the business at the surface level, but rather deep down for what it is.
For those dating around for a Shipping & Supply Chain Partner, here are some tips to select a partner worthy of commitment:
- Complete an accurate detailed profile. Sure it’s easy to skip a bunch of areas on the profile because you don’t know the numbers at the top of your head, but it’s critical information! It’s like you forgot to mention to your doctor you have allergies to medication. Having monthly data available such as, Inbound & Outbound – receipts, units, lines, ship method, Storage – inventory levels, stack height, storage requirements and Item Data – product dimensions, average inventory, will allow the 3PL to get to know the real you and find a solution to properly price and service you.
- Check out their place. Many times when dating, people do not like to share where they live up front. One of the best ways to learn more about someone is by understanding the physical environment they are in. Visiting a Trucking & 3PL‘s warehouse, where your product can potentially be stored, is a big step. You can analyze the cleanliness, staff, production and IT capabilities.
- Talk to their friends. You can learn a lot about someone from what their friends have to say about them. In our case, talk to one of their customers or someone familiar with their work. Having another opinion can help validate the positive or negative feelings you have within you.
- Commit. Once you have found the supply chain partner that is right for you, say I do. Jumping into a contract relationship may be frightening, but you have to trust you have made the right decision. Communication and transparency between both parties is the key to having a successful long term relationship.
As in any contractual relationship there will always be conflict and challenges. Communicating and working with your provider will ultimately help you be competitive and cost effective! Therefore, we recommend you open up and take the time to find a partner that share similar interests, goals and can offer value beyond quick pricing to move your product. A partner that will work up a creative solution to manage your business for the long run is a strategic move.
If you are ready to break through the surface and look for a long term committed relationship, contact us to learn more about our approach. We will enhance your distribution network with a proven service that our customers have come to rely on.