The Edler Blog

5 Tips on Choosing a 3rd Party Logistics Provider

Monday, March 17th, 2014 | Posted by admin

Choosing a 3rd party logistics provider is a great way to get a foot up on the competition. When you invest in a company to take care of the delivery of your goods, you can truly focus on merchandising and sales. Overall, your company benefits by being able to offer the best in quality and customer service. There are many different logistics providers and all handle billing and services differently. Here we’ve outlined some basic tips on how to choose what 3rd party logistic provider is best for you. Don’t hold back when researching and be prepared with these suggestions.

1. Look At The Partnership As Long Term

All logistics providers will agree that it’s vital to think long term when looking for a company to work with. According to LeanCor, a “relationship with a third party logistics provider needs to move from transactional to one of a long term partnership and commitment.” There isn’t a lot of room for hiring a provider for a short timeframe. Getting to know one another and the services offered takes time. Simply setting up communication can take time too. The longer you stay with a logistics company, the better the results. As your company grows, the provider will grow with you and will meet you at all different levels of maturity. PGL.com makes the point that if you need major capital investments on behalf of your third party provider, you’ll need more time for them to see a return on their investments. This all being said, keep in mind that a partnership of this sort isn’t a quick fix or an in-and-out project. Working alongside a logistics provider enables your company to do more and helps you along the entire process, just not parts of it.

2. Educate Yourself On the Process

You can’t choose a great 3rd party logistics provider if you don’t know what one is. Simple things such as knowing the basic five main metrics of a provider can aid you in your decision. The Business Journal points out that each provider is measured by experience, technology, transportation modes, safety, and partnerships. If you find yourself confused about the process, educate yourself through reading. It’s also a good idea to take a class at a local college or find a mentor in a similar business field. If you know the main functions of a third party logistics provider and what it will offer your company, you’re more likely to make wiser decisions.

3. Ask About Their Partnerships (Current and Future)

The partnerships your 3rd party logistics provider has is a huge asset or disadvantage to your partnership with them. A logistics provider should have many options to offer and lots of different companies they work with to suit your different transportation needs. If they have built good rapport within the transportation business, they will be able to get you insider pricing and work out better deals. This is also vital if your company plans on expanding or if you are anticipating using other ways of transportation than you have currently. The more partnerships a logistics company has, the more options you have as someone using their services. Within this business, it’s all about who you know and your reputation. A company that has been in the logistics arena for awhile may charge more but will have the ability to introduce you to others who can help in the long run to eliminate unnecessary costs. It’s also a good idea to ask about future partnerships the third party logistics provider is considering. If you have an idea of their expansions, you can better choose a company that aligns with your specific needs.

4. Interview Current Companies Utilizing Their Services

A little detective work is the answer to finding out which provider will take your company further. Don’t hesitate to contact other businesses using their services. The Business Journals suggests calling around and asking what the companies think of the logistic provider. Are they performing as promised? Do they have good communication? Are they responsible? This may also be a great time to check up on their safety record. Usually there isn’t any benefit for another company to lie about their opinions of a provider. You can call numerous places and determine the companies’ performance and feel from them.

5. Make Sure You’re On The Same Page

Last but not least, you’re going to want make sure you’re on the same page with a potential third party logistics provider. It’s important that the company you work with has performance standards and goals similar to your own. Logistics Diakon suggests asking questions about accountability and what they will look like between the two of you. You can expect a great company to embrace customer care like you but it’s a good idea to ask what their customer care looks like on a day to day basis.

Contact Edler Warehousing LLC today to request a free quote.

Tips For Choosing A Warehouse Location

Monday, March 3rd, 2014 | Posted by admin

There are many things to consider when you’re looking for an ideal warehouse. When it comes down to it, the location is the most vital. Where you place your goods will have a huge impact on price. According to Warehouse Tips, 20% of costs are tied up in transportation. This makes finding the best place for your goods a factor in your company’s financial success. Here we’ve outlined some tips for choosing a warehouse location.

Warehouse Accessibility For Transportation Of Goods

Before choosing a specific warehouse, you should pick a location. The location of your warehouse can make or break your distribution costs. Look for a location that is close to the type of transportation you will use to distribute your goods. It’s important to know what will be the most cost-effective way to transport your items before choosing a warehouse location. Your pre-decided transportation method will inform your warehouse location. Once you’ve decided how you will transport your product, you then can look for a location that is closest to a freeway, an airport, a railway, an ocean port, or a combination of them. Patrick O’Healy from Inbound Logistics explains that “perceptions about where to locate (your warehouse) are often incorrect.” It may be in your best interest to hire a consultant who knows your market and can advise you where to store your product.

Thinking of Your Customer Base and Suppliers

Tapping into your consumers logistics is also important when choosing a warehouse location. Where are your customers primarily located? You will want to be located where your product is sold. It doesn’t make sense to pick a location based on a low storage price but then have to pay double to transport your items across the country. Think of the stores that sell your product and stay as close as possible. If you are supplying to the entire nation, which location would be best for your company? If you’re supplying overseas, then you’ll need closer access to ports. It’s also important to think through your anticipated inbound items. Which companies will be delivering to your warehouse? Is there a location that would be a good location for them to deliver to?

Warehouse Employees Welfare

Often overlooked is the welfare of your employees who will be working predominantly in the warehouse facility. It’s important to ask questions regarding the location’s schools and overall community health. Is the warehouse facility safe for workers? Also, can workers get good cell phone service inside the building? If your employees won’t be using cellphones, are you able to use a radio system? Many companies forget that a lot of workers have to go on lunch breaks and some warehouse locations are far away from fast food options. All of these things make for happy employees and an overall good business.

Questions To Think of When Choosing A Warehouse Location

When picking a warehouse location you should ask yourself if you would like it to be near your main offices. You should also check to see if the location of the warehouse is situated on high ground and that there is no chance of flooding. Warehouse Tips suggests looking into the cost of labor in the area if you decide to hire workers locally. Keeping growth in mind, you should also consider the cost of moving goods overseas if you plan on expanding your supply.

Overall, when you pick an ideal warehouse location your business will strive. Focusing on your transportation costs, thinking of your client base and suppliers, looking out for your employees and asking additional questions will lead you to the perfect place to store your goods. Once you’ve picked an ideal location, then you can begin deciding which specific warehouse meets your needs.

Contact Edler Warehousing LLC today to request a free quote.