Relationships are tough. It’s no science, that as people, we think and communicate differently, especially in business. Once you find that perfect balance, and yes it is possible, where communication is mirrored, relationships are formed, and all you see is unicorns and rainbows, you know you’ve found your 3PL Partnership.
You’ve probably heard it all before, but forget not, it is absolutely crucial to know exactly what you and your business are getting into. Firstly, stay away from any deep diving, it’s dangerous and can undeniably impair your vision for what’s on the surface (what really matters).
From the shippers to the carriers, across all channels, it is imperative to develop and maintain a robust and healthy relationship with whoever you are working with.
Holding attention to this will help:
- Streamline your supply chain operations
- Help you focus on other aspects of your business
Beginning to feel those initial butterflies..?
You know when you know..
Fundamentally, the most important question; is this 3PL the right ‘one’ for you? That question we all ask ourselves is this ‘the one’.
Investing all that time and resources into the relationship, by the power vested in me, you want it to be worth it!
Decipher your wants and needs and develop your relationships around those principles. By building a solid foundation on the values you deem most important, you can make sure that you are working with people who will help you reach your company’s objectives.
Need some ‘needs’?
- Services provided
- Technology and integrations.
- Accessible and convenient location.
- Understanding the fees and rates on the contract
- Experience, reputation and testimonials
Do nice guys always finish last?
Sure breaking the rules can lead to success, perhaps in finance…
Not advised when in the jurisdiction of a 3PL agreement.
Just like a teenager's diary; document everything down to the smallest details with what materialises with you and your 3PL Partner. These memoirs are the future of your relationship, your company’s improvements and future successes.
As for the 3PL agreement guidelines, follow them to help save you from headaches, unavoidable time wasting and potential fines. It’s like they say, read between the lines..
Quit the hints and teasing. Set clear expectations, to ensure sustainability from both sides. Basic sales training, ‘if you don't ask, you don’t get’. Would you believe that some of the best fulfilment partners aren’t mind readers. Madness, it’s blasphemous!
Reviewing your partnerships regularly is essential, it doesn’t cost you anything, plus it helps to reiterate the expectations of one another. Having no blurred lines and over communicating early on in the partnership will ensure both of you are on the same page. Common sense hey?
Hot tub time machine
It’s no secret that eCommerce is a fast-moving and a forever-changing industry. Naturally, it's tricky to stay ahead of the game. The supply chain is an integral cog, composed of so many moving parts that connects to absolutely everything.
Be that as it may, when the time suits, set your time machine forward. Give your partners a heads up and keep them in ‘the know’, especially during peak sales season.
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw
Enlighten them with your long term plans:
- Discussions about possible acquisitions
- New brands
- Changes with volume
- Merchandise assortment
- Analysis (IT upgrades).
Brief them of your every business move:
- Any product instructions
- Year- end activities
- Customization requests
- Updated order volumes
- Impending recall (ensuring they meet those needs in record time.)
“Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.” – Jim Rohn
Building a principled partnership with your 3PL is painless and straightforward. It’s a lot of give-and-take, but together as one, communication and transparency will unify your working cultures, help you score touchdowns and win the championships..