When deciding upon which 3PL to partner with to meet distribution needs, you aren’t just trying to find a service. Your reputation is at stake, and your choice in a 3PL will affect how investors and shareholders foresee the future of your company. Shareholders watch the choices you make to evaluate the longevity and value of your company. So when you choose a 3PL, you need to be able to show shareholders that this is a wise investment.
When evaluating a 3PL, ask the same kinds of questions in your RFP you’d imagine your shareholders might ask. Primarily, research and request data that showcases how the 3PL in question has proven its worth for previous clients. At some point, you’ll have to demonstrate the same things to your shareholders when explaining why you chose a certain 3PL over another.
How does the 3PL meet the specifics of the distribution projects you’ll face? Each company has different distribution needs—differing in scope and types of product—and the 3PL you choose will need to be able to handle every project or problem you face. If a 3PL is really able to achieve this, they’ll detail exactly how they can meet expectations that differ from traditional distribution.
Whether you’re dealing with international trade or simply local distribution needs, how capable is the 3PL of handling the scope and scale of your distribution needs? When shareholders review your choice in a 3PL, you need to be able to assure them that the distributor can meet both your micro and macro needs, so that product is available wherever customers want it.
Shareholders care about the money you’ll save when choosing a 3PL as much as they care about the services that 3PL can offer. What are the cost-incentives for choosing one 3PL over another, and how can your 3PL showcase their methods of cost savings? You need tangible data to show, specifically, how that 3PL can save you on distribution costs.
When you partner with a 3PL, they now play an important role in guaranteeing the quality of product when it arrives at a store. They play a part in the reputation of your product, and shareholders will consider how satisfied customers are with the quality of product that they see on the shelves or in the store. So to gauge how well a 3PL can assure quality product on the shelves, they need good staff—staff that cares about each individual piece of product. Your shareholders will value a 3PL that has great employee retention and great employee satisfaction.