The success of an organization is greatly dependent on how efficient its Supply Chain Management is. Supply Chain Management involves purchasing, operations, distribution and integration. As Supply chains become more complex, it means dealing with multiple vendors to coordinate, allowing redundancy and inefficiency to creep in easily.
This is where Third party Logistic (3PL) providers come into the picture, to provide a one stop solution. 3PLs provide in depth logistics knowledge and experience that importers need to become leaner and more efficient to focus on core competencies.
Logistics involves delivering the right product in right condition at the right time. Logistics is that part of Supply Chain management that enables effective and efficient storage and flow of good from point of origin of raw materials through the manufacturing cycle, to point of consumption.3PL helps to guide the shipment from one port to destination point by navigating customs and regulatory requirements seamlessly. Selection of a good logistic provider is hence critical for Supply Chain competitiveness.
Logistic providers offer critical value enhancing functions for all stages of Supply Chain management. They cater to the needs of exporters and importers by managing all transport requirements â€“ right from the point of origin to delivery to the final consumer. Third party logistics agents are highly trained, licensed and qualified professionals having extensive knowledge of tariffs schedules and customs regulations, and know how to ensure the fastest, safest, and most efficient route for delivery.
The role of Third party logistic service providers today is not restricted to storing and distribution but rather to serve as a partner by identifying problems and implementing solutions that add value to supply chain. Real-time data sharing and ongoing timely responsiveness is crucial to for a seamless supply chain.
Logistic providers help big and small organizations to overcome various challenges in Supply Chain management like:
ï¿½ Minimizing cost
ï¿½ Ensuring efficient inventory management
ï¿½ Assure speed to market
ï¿½ Minimize wastage
ï¿½ Minimize touch points
ï¿½ Removal of unnecessary trade barriers
ï¿½ Identifying essential transportation
ï¿½ Ensuring proper documentation & insurance
A good Logistics service provider will work as a partner and not as just a vendor to help build efficiency into your Supply Chain management through:
1. Warehouse Designing â€“ Assist with warehouse design to ensure optimum space utilization, dust free safe storage environment and minimize wastage of materials
2. Warehouse Management â€“ Streamlining your warehouse requirements right from planning to integrating and implementing of technology
3. Order fulfilment â€“ Work collaboratively to ensure real time tracking and management of order distribution and assure inventory management while giving you control over your goods
4. Transportation â€“ Optimize international transportation cycle and ensure Just in time delivery, with effective freight management solutions
5. Customs Brokerage â€“ Navigate customs requirements and documentation with professional expertise and ease
Logistics management helps provide higher levels of service to consumers at a lower cost. It helps your business by:
1) Ensuring smoother operations
2) Freeing up your resources
3) Ensuring more satisfaction to customers
4) Penetrating new markets
5) Providing Turnkey solutions at reduced cost
6) Enabling flexibility through customised services
7) Scaling your supply chain and distribution to a global level
So what should you look for in a good Logistics service provider?
ï¿½ A good track record of meeting complex requirements and compliances of retail distribution
Retail distribution has stringent compliance requirements like labelling etc. Your Logistic partner should be well equipped to help you meet these requirements.
ï¿½ Strategically located warehouse facilities to minimize inbound transit time
To ensure timely delivery of goods and products it is imperative to choose logistic partners who have good warehouse and distribution facilities in close proximity to seaport/airport.
ï¿½ Experience and expertise in domestic and international transportation
Experienced logistic players know exactly what are the challenges and ways to handle it smoothly, be in domestic or international markets. And this is critical for ensuring an uninterrupted Supply Chain management.
ï¿½ Offering end-to-end, complete logistic solutions
your logistic partner should have the ability and resource to offer integrated services to simplify your business need.
ï¿½ Support Value added services like labelling, packaging, palletizing
Itâ€™s an added advantage when your Logistics partner provides valuable Value added services that can directly or indirectly enhance your business efficiency.
ï¿½ Choose a logistic service provider who offers global services like overseas transport and customs brokerage
This ensures you work with a single point of contact that is reliable and has hands on experience.
ï¿½ Visibility and control of critical information on real time basis, like inventory details, shipment status
Choose a technology savvy Logistics partner who offers you the convenience and facility to monitor inventory flow on real time basis through reports online. Use of such automated inventory management software will ensure smoother functioning of other related aspects of your Supply Chain management.