Selecting A Spare Parts Logistics Partner: 6 Factors to Consider
A highly efficient, cost-effective, and un-disrupted supply chain represents the foundation of every successful company. It allows every other operation of the firm to move ahead without concern for a lack of materials, supplies, or parts. If you are considering the addition of a spare parts logistics service provider, adequately vetting that global third-party company will determine whether your supply chain adds value or becomes a cost drain. Flash Global suggests these 6 considerations be top of mind when selecting a spare parts logistics partner.
The most crucial ability to consider when selecting a spare parts logistics partner is their ability to scale their operations globally to your growing needs. Bi-directional scalability will have a direct influence on the efficiency of your supply chain. Every company strives to grow, perhaps going global; however, every company also has ups and downs. When demand contracts regardless of the reason, a 3PL must be immediately responsive and scale down operations to minimize costs while maintaining an efficient flow of goods.
Conversely, when demand skyrockets, you will need a logistics service provider that can manage the sudden spikes seamlessly and without effort. Businesses face growing pains at times, but with a competent partner that offers holistic, comprehensive services and has experience handling sudden growth, you will most likely encounter a supply chain that provides added value.
Thus, finding a partner that has customers of all sizes will help to ensure that they can scale to your needs through multiplying or aggregating shipments or making small adjustments as required as your business meets each day.
Innovative Technology Platform
Procurement and shipping may seem to be low-tech operations; however, when selecting a spare parts logistics partner, it is important to measure their performance by the efficiencies they provide. Thus, those partners that embrace cutting-edge technology offer your company the greatest potential for optimization.
Cloud-based platforms and Internet of Things (IoT) devices have come into prominence, and they are giving 3PLs radically enhanced capabilities and capacity for control. A leading 3PL will have the latest systems that enable them to provide your firm with real-time data and feedback on supply chain operations and freight.
Comprehensive Warehousing and Transportation Options
Whether you are vetting a non-asset-based spare parts logistics provider or an asset-based global 3PL, you should be offered a vast array of warehousing and shipping options suitable to your operations. Options and alternatives create opportunities within a supply network. When a third-party provider has extensive relationships with multiple suppliers, you benefit from their ability to choose the lowest cost option. This makes having the leading technology platforms even more important for managing those options, identifying the most efficient, and implementing it seamlessly.
Financial Stability and Payment History
The sudden demise or disappearance of your global spare parts logistics partner can have a devastating effect on your business and customers. Finding a partner with a history of financial stability and solid payment history will mitigate the potential that the logistics provider will fail, causing you damage from their own mismanagement.
As you evaluate the top 3PL candidates, ask for a listing of their partners and inquire about their payment history. Have they ever missed payments? How the 3PL handles business partners is a good indication of how they will treat your business, and touching base with those partners may give you a clearer view than a curated list of references.
Look for a Proven Track Record
Looking beyond the financial stability of potential partners, ask about their overall track record. Do they count multiple companies as long-term customers? Do they have a reputation as an innovative, cutting edge firm with the latest technology? Every service-oriented company lives by its reputation of reliability and efficiency.
High-Quality Industry References
The references for a third-party logistics provider should be beyond good or simply passable. They should be excellent recommendations that this 3PL will be worth the time, and clients should not hesitate to rave about the results they have experienced or about the security, flexibility and reliability of the 3PL.
In addition, references should speak to the culture and character of the global 3PL. Whether it is goods or service-oriented, the logistics provider should be delivering a much higher value proposition than just efficiency. The ability to identify and exploit opportunities along the supply chain is a good example.
Efficient 3PLs get the job done; however, the best logistics providers can deliver on cost savings, time-to-market improvements, and compliance. Seek out a provider that is known for its laser-focused culture on providing the highest quality service and value-added propositions.
The due diligence may be time-consuming, but evaluating a potential partner should a process that is stringent in its examination. They will control a critical element of your operations. You should be able to determine in advance whether they will contribute to the success of your operations or be a drag on them. Flash Global has the professional service, innovative and proprietary technology, and global footprint to deliver the results you need. Contact us today if you are interested in having a conversation with a seasoned partner who has the capabilities to take your supply chain global. Follow us on LinkedIn, too!