How to Select a Logistics Provider: The Complete Guide for Businesses
It’s hard to understate how important the supply chain is for businesses. You can’t create a trusted brand known for excellent service without a reliable way to get products to your customers quickly.
It’s no wonder that 57% of businesses consider their supply chain a competitive advantage.
Are you getting ready to select a logistics provider to upgrade your supply chain? Read the guide below to look through your options for logistics providers and find the best one.
Check for Industry Experience
Finding a logistics company with experience in your company’s industry is critical. If you’re only shipping simple products that don’t require as much care, this isn’t as much of a big deal. However, things change when you ship specialty products like medical equipment.
If your logistics provider doesn’t know how to handle your product category, they may not treat your products with the care they deserve. You’ll end up with damaged merchandise and losing money.
Check your logistics options to see if they have successfully worked with similar companies to avoid this problem.
Examine the Logistical Services
You’ll find logistics providers that offer a variety of services. If all you need is shipping services, you can get a truck sent to your warehouse to pick up inventory. If you want a partner to help you store unsold inventory, you have that option too.
That’s why it’s critical to learn about all the services a logistics provider offers. You may not need much help or want to pay much to a large company, so working with a company that provides limited services may be a better choice.
On the other hand, you may want to outsource your company’s logistics network completely. In this case, working with a large company that offers everything you can imagine will be a wiser choice.
This is especially true if you want to ship internationally. You need to follow many rules in other countries, so an international shipper is critical for doing this right.
Learn About Security Measures
You’re taking a risk when you trust someone else with your logistics. You’re trusting that they have precautions to protect their warehouses and drivers when on the road. This is even more important when you transport sensitive equipment and data.
You’ll need to understand what security measures a logistics company takes when handling your products. Ask your options directly about how they’ll keep your business safe.
Of course, some businesses may try to avoid this question. In cases like this, move on to your next logistics company option.
Ask About Support Options
In the ideal world, you won’t need to contact your logistics provider often. Everything will run smoothly, so the only contact you’ll need to make is for logistical purposes.
Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned in the business world. You may not get shipments on time, products can go missing, and much more. The question is, will you be able to contact someone to get help when this happens?
Be sure you understand your provider’s response policy. Ideally, you want to get a response in under 24 hours.
It also pays to understand what contact options you have. Some companies may prefer working with digital communication methods like email. Others will be okay with picking up the phone whenever you call.
Whatever the method, be sure you’re fine with the response options offered if you want a great logistics management experience.
Look for Sustainable Options
In a world where customers are focused on environmental issues, they’re starting to look at the companies they buy from. People can only do so much on their own. As a result, they want to give their money to companies that share the same values.
Even if you try to be sustainable in your in-house operation, that doesn’t mean your logistics provider will do the same. People also look at this when determining how sustainable a company is.
Because of this, it makes sense to look for sustainable logistics companies. You may pay more in some cases, but you can also use this as a branding experiment to see if it attracts more customers to your business.
Examine the Credentials
It’s not easy to operate a logistics operation. There are many things you need to get right to store items and transport them without damage properly.
In some cases, those products may be hazardous and require special care. You don’t want to work with a provider that exaggerates their abilities and doesn’t have the right expertise.
But there are credentials a company can acquire that help them prove their experience. Check the accreditation in the logistics industry to see what the common ones are and if there are any specific to your industry. Try to stick with companies with these credentials.
Get References for Companies
It’s hard to pick a logistics company when you handle the search on your own. You’re relying on companies to tell the trust about their abilities. In some cases, those companies won’t be completely honest.
Getting references is critical if you want to streamline your search and avoid bad actors. Start with your current contacts in the business world. Ask them if they currently use logistics companies and what companies they use.
You can learn the good and the bad about logistics companies when doing this. This process will help you learn about any red flags that make a company not worth partnering with.
Take Care When You Select a Logistics Provider
The logistics provider you choose can make or break the success of your business. You’ll rely on your logistics partner to get your products to customers on time. If you make the wrong choice, you’ll end up with unhappy customers that won’t return to buy more products from your company.
That’s why you must take care when you select a logistics provider. Remember the points above during your search to find a company that can help you improve your supply chain.
Head back to the blog to find more helpful tips that will help you grow your business.