August 2, 2016

Businesses, both old and new, are constantly hit with new learning curves caused by factors such as changing consumer demand, economic downturns and natural disasters. If you can't accommodate market fluctuation and respond to new customer input, you run the risk of falling behind your competition. You won't always have all the answers or resources to meet every demand, and that's why partnering with another supply chain management provider can be key to running successful logistics operations no matter what curveball gets thrown to you. A Third Party Logistics (TPL, also known as 3PL) partnership allows you to focus on your core strengths and acquire the core strength of another business partner.

Your third party logistics provider should have a ceaseless awareness of the market as well as multiple areas of expertise. Many companies have fluid warehousing needs, and your inventory management should correspond with that fluidity. For example, if your business has a peak season over the course of a few months that makes up the bulk of the entire year's sales, you may be searching for a logistics service provider who can help plan and execute during that peak -- someone who has warehouse space and efficient operations without a year-long capacity commitment. Locating, negotiating and managing logistics facilities and services are a very specialized function, so you might look for a provider with a supply chain network of TPLs to save you sourcing time, especially if you're testing out a short-term solution. Avoid turning over warehousing needs to warehouse brokers, who typically charge sky-high prices and can't guarantee any quality of operations.

3PLs aren’t just shippers, they are not just warehouse brokers or managers, and they do more than supervise supply chains. A key ingredient to logistics and warehouse management is the ability to follow real estate inventories nationwide and access opportunities and needs as soon as they develop. Empty warehouse space is an expense to one company, yet can be an asset to another. Managing that balance in real-time is what expert logistics companies and 3PL providers do adeptly. TPLs create partnerships and seamless supply chains, and expand distribution networks while balancing industry fluctuations across sectors. 3PLs consider peak seasons in the marketplace and allocate warehouse space to improve profitability, becoming true logistics partners by sharing the responsibility for seeing your business succeed. Customer needs are as much of a priority to a TPL provider as they are to your business, and they can help you adapt quickly to new business staples like ecommerce. 

Give your business a true competitive advantage by partnering with a TPL who doesn't just offer the core competencies of warehousing and transportation services, but who can also connect and make sense of the multiple information systems your business relies on through a supply chain integration. A partner with these capabilities brings all of your supply chain data into one place and evaluates important factors like how to improve lead-time or lower logistics costs by reengineering redundancies or inefficiencies. Once all of your logistics solutions are brought onto one platform, your team can double down on inventory management needs and strategies using data-driven problem solving. 

Consider a professional logistics partner and 3PL provider whose success depends on your success. Consider Stord.