How a 3PL Can Improve Your Supply Chain Operations

There are many moving parts in logistics which leads to plenty of opportunities to improve supply chain operations. Complex processes, procedures, and plans come together to turn some raw material into a finished good. In many cases, these processes were put into place years ago and with little thought. They are only in place now because it’s ‘the way it has always been done.’ Also, sometimes there’s just not enough data, expertise, or time to research and find a better solution. Any company that finds themselves in this situation can greatly benefit from partnering with a 3PL company. A 3PL that can come in and really improve the supply chain operations and processes.

There are several key ways that a 3PL can improve operations. One way is through their expertise and experience, another is the flexibility they provide, and lastly, by the data 3PL’s are able to gather data, process it, and report.

Expertise and Experience

The number one way that 3PL can help improve supply chain operations is through expertise and experience. These are companies dedicated solely to managing other company’s freight, it makes sense that they can do it well. These people have already faced every situation and resolved every problem. As a result, they have processes in place that greatly benefit you and your team.

By handing off your supply chain operations to a 3PL you are then able to focus on the things that YOU do best. Why spend the time and resources in managing and scheduling transportation when it can easily be handed off to an expert? Especially one that will be able to save you money in the long run.

Flexibility of Services

Another great reason to partner with a 3PL is because of the flexibility they are able to provide your shipping, on both the large scale and small. For the large scale, you are able to have access to shipping services that will always be able to match the level you need. So, if you have a great year and need to double your supply chain, your partnered 3PL will be right there with you.

As for small scale flexibility, a good 3PL will be able to come through and help their partners out of any jam. This can mean coming through last minute to help move an unexpected load, finding a carrier that fits the exact specification of a given load, or anything else. This improves your supply chain operations and more! Flexible service from your 3PL means that there’s less issues down the line with your suppliers and customers.

Better Data Driven Decisions

We are in a time where you can get data on just about anything. It’s mostly a matter of having the tech to track it and having the ability to process it into something useful. A 3PL is able to offer both of these capabilities. This means you can start making data driven decisions to improve your own supply chain operations.

Additionally, a 3PL will be able to recommend actionable ways to improve your supply chain operations. As mentioned in the first point, these people are experts, they know what it takes to improve a supply chain and make it easier for the shippers.

two people reviewing data analytics to improve supply chain operations

Finding the right 3PL to improve your supply chain operations

Unfortunately, not all 3PL’s are going to help you out the best of their abilities. No matter what the case is, the shipper is always going to have to put in some work to find a 3PL that will work best for them. If you need help finding the right 3PL, check out our previous blog on how to choose the best 3PL for your operations. You have to first, identify your needs, then research your options. Next, do some trial shipments until you can form a partnership and, finally, regularly reevaluate.

It’s important to go through this so that you can actually trust the 3PL you are partnering with and know that they will improve your shipping operations. Only then, can you start to get the benefits that were mentioned earlier.

If you are currently searching for a 3PL to partner with then look no farther! At HTL Freight we ensure that all of our partners benefit. We do this by operating on a base of responsibility, reliability, and responsiveness. To see if we are a match for you and your supply chain reach out and contact us. Or you can request a quote and get started today.