With experts predicting the global logistics market to be worth nearly $13 billion by 2027, the industry has managed to thrive in recent years despite numerous challenges and unprecedented global supply chain disruptions.
So what’s the secret to 3PL success in 2023? One guiding strategy known as the seven “rights” or the seven R’s of logistics may hold the answers. Here’s a closer look at each of these seven principles, and how 3PLs are helping businesses utilize each one to up their logistics game.
1. Selling the Right Product
Companies invest millions each year in market research to identify the perfect target market for their product, but how much time and money do they invest in the logistics of storing, packaging and moving that product in a way that facilitates efficient delivery?
Producing the right product also means putting smart processes in place to manage its storage and transport. A 3PL provider can be an invaluable resource in helping businesses cut costs, with extensive experience in the most efficient and reliable ways to store and transport a variety of products so they arrive at a customer’s door in perfect condition.
2. Identifying the Right Customer
A business is nothing without its customers. Identifying the “right” customer includes not just the type of person who generally makes up your business’s target market, but also the various situations that create a need for your product.
3PL providers can identify common trends among customers purchasing products through advanced reporting and data analytics gathered during the fulfillment process. The inventory management software 3PLs use every day can also give insight into which products are usually purchased together, what time of year a product is purchased the most, and if the majority of orders are being delivered to a certain region.
3. Finding the Right Time
When it comes to building relationships with customers, timing is everything. Orders arriving quickly and undamaged encourage customer loyalty. Alternatively, packages that take too long (or never arrive at all) quickly damage a business’ reputation.
3PL providers accelerate delivery schedules (and keep customers happy) by tracking and timing orders from warehouse fulfillment to the customer’s doorstep. They also utilize an established network of trusted carriers with a proven ability to deliver on time, saving businesses the headache of hiring reliable carriers on their own.
4. Getting to the Right Place
This one probably seems like a no-brainer, but delivering the right products in a timely manner to invested customers can only happen if they arrive in the right location. Logistically, this means delivering products to the right address as well as storing products in the right warehouses to help minimize the time it takes to prepare and ship orders.
A good 3PL provides full tracking visibility to ensure the right place for product storage or delivery is never in question.
5. Storing the Right Quantity
One of the key benefits an asset-based 3PL like First Call offers its partners is the ability to store optimal quantities of various products in a variety of warehouse locations around the country. This flexibility helps partners quickly meet seasonal fluctuations in customer demand.
Additionally, 3PLs can help advise their partners on the number of products that should be stored in each warehouse location. Advanced inventory management and tracking software illustrates where the majority of orders are coming from – and where the nearest warehouse is. These insights help partners determine how much product to maintain in their stored inventory at each location.
6. Keeping Product in the Right Condition
Businesses need to consider how best to maintain the condition of their products throughout the fulfillment and shipping process. While not every 3PL makes storage their business, First Call’s in-house warehousing facilities serve to fill this need without adding extra steps or unknowns to the logistical formula.
3PLs know their partners count on them to get products to a customer’s door safely and undamaged, which means maintaining connections with only the most reliable carriers. Many 3PLs are also investing in their own trucks so they can deliver products themselves.
7. Determining the Right Cost
Finding the right price point for a product can be tricky, especially when manufacturing, shipping and other associated costs are in flux. 3PLs help partners determine the right cost by implementing programs that track orders and the costs associated with fulfilling them. Keeping a thorough record of your expenses over time, alongside the number of sales, can identify the “sweet spot” for maximizing the number of orders placed while keeping costs low.