You’d be hard-pressed to find an industry that wasn’t impacted by supply chain disruptions over the past few years. Manufacturing, construction, and retail have each experienced particularly radical shifts in available inventory and delays in typical operations since 2020. This turbulent environment has businesses rethinking their supply chain processes from the ground up, taking stock of what works while shoring up potential vulnerabilities.
With e-commerce’s continual growth and the need for supply chain solutions at an all-time high, it follows that logistics companies (3PLs) are experiencing an increased need for their unique services. The ability to efficiently warehouse and transport goods with maximum visibility throughout the process has more companies asking: how can a 3PL make supply chains more resilient?
Labor & Supply Chain Expertise
Supply chain management isn’t a new concept, but it is undergoing something of a revolution in how it’s discussed within the boardrooms of virtually every industry on the planet. Effective supply chain management (which includes a thorough knowledge of navigating constant changes within the supply chain environment) is a major leg up on the less-experienced competition.
Partnering with a 3PL grants access to a network of supply chain experts capable of solving the most adverse conditions. Logistics companies can also help address the strain of labor shortages currently impacting several industries, as a shortage in truck drivers and warehouse workers continues to hamper operations for many.
Efficiency is at the center of every logistics operation. It applies not only to the speed at which orders can be filled but also to minimize the associated costs. 3PLs are cost-savings experts, connected to networks of shippers and warehousing services that allow for the most efficient supply chain solutions available. A 3PL works daily to add value to its customers by identifying new solutions for improved efficiency and a healthier bottom line.
Streamlining transportation processes through a logistics company lowers overall shipping costs and grants access to a wealth of hands-on knowledge and experience in risk mitigation. Simple as it may seem, avoiding mid-transport disasters and keeping deliveries safe and on time is a critical element of long-term cost savings. 3PLs and their partners are strategically positioned to adapt in real time to accidents, mechanical breakdowns, natural disasters, and even global pandemics. The more experience a 3PL has with uniquely challenging circumstances, the better they’ll be at avoiding dangerous (or potentially catastrophic) scenarios in the future.
Relationships and Market Access
As some of First Call Logistics’ experts have emphasized, the logistics business is a business of relationships. Plugging customers into built-out networks of carriers allows for creative solutions to cargo transport when faced with unanticipated obstacles. This includes multi-modal carrier networks, or networks consisting of multiple modes of transportation pieced together into an efficient delivery chain.
It also includes access to an expansive warehouse footprint, or the network of available warehouses across the country to store goods in optimal conditions. More warehousing options mean improved inventory management, lower holding and distribution costs, and faster shipping and delivery to customers. In an era of next-day or 2-day shipping becoming commonplace, it pays to have access to a wide array of warehousing options through a 3PL.
There’s a lot of technology that goes into optimizing storage, productivity, shipping, and delivery. One of the most visible ways a logistics company strengthens supply chains is by outfitting customers with technology that provides transparency through every step of storing and delivering your products.
Typically this means both EDI and software enabling continual visibility for shipments in transit, as well as an inventory management system (IMS) to ensure warehouses across the country, are in close communication with one another. A 3PL’s extensive technological resources to track orders in real-time, manage order quantity and keep close tabs on the quality and state of your goods throughout the entire order fulfillment process is a major factor in organizations turning to logistics companies for supply chain help.
Why Supply Chain Resiliency Matters Now More Than Ever
Despite the challenges altering supply chain practices over the past few years, businesses are recognizing an increasing need for fast, efficient shipping. No matter the state of the world at large, companies have come to expect more cost savings, more technology, and more visibility throughout the entire transportation process. A great 3PL will use a healthy network of contacts and experience in the field to address each of these needs — to save on overhead, adapt to new conditions, explore multi-modal transportation options, enable faster shipping with a larger warehouse footprint, and handle unforeseen circumstances with ease.
Interested in learning more about how the right 3PL can help elevate your supply chain needs? Reach out to First Call Logistics for a quote today!