The need to outsource warehousing and fulfillment services to a 3rd Party Logistics provider is almost a necessity these days, but with over 20,000 3PL’s in the US alone choosing the provider that is right for you can be difficult.  That is where a 3PL consultant can be extremely beneficial.  A consultant can help to understand your business and has a network of 3PL’s that have already been vetted.  They can also help negotiate contracts, manage relationships and standardize pricing.

In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of working with a 3PL consultant and how they can help your business find the best partner to deliver on your needs at a competitive cost.

How a Consultant Can Improve Your 3PL Shopping Experience

  • Unbiased Approach: Consultants can provide an objective perspective on your business. They are not emotionally invested in your business, so they can give you honest feedback and help you make the best decisions for your business.
  • Digestible RFP: After understanding your business the consultant should take all of this information and put it into an RFP that is custom for your business. An experienced consultant will understand what information the 3PL needs to develop pricing and outline the solution that best suits your brand needs.
  • Standardization: When RFP response come back from 3PL providers the pricing and responses all need to be standardized and simplified to help make an apples to apples comparison. A consultant will work to understand the 3PL pricing and begin to format in a way that your company can compare.
  • Negotiate pricing and contracts: It is not every day that companies look for a 3PL provider nor should it be. Having a consultant that understand market pricing and can negotiate a contract will help you get the best possible pricing.

Other Benefits of Working With a Consultant:

  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that you have a trusted advisor on your side that has your best interest in mind can give you peace of mind. You can be confident in your decision and that the new 3PL partner is the one for your long term business needs.
  • Time Saving: Companies generally don’t have the resources needed to finding and relocating to a new 3PL. Having a consultant help with this can allow you to continue to focus on growing your business and not slow down during the 3PL search process.
  • Support: After you have selected your 3PL provider a good consultant can stay on even after the transition to help support other operational areas. Having them on after the selection process can help ensure that the 3PL delivers on the promises made during the RFP process.

When vetting a 3PL consultant be sure to ask about fee structure, experience and methodology. Working with the right consultant who understands your business and has experience is key.

Working with a 3PL consultant can be a great investment for business of all sizes.  If you are considering making a change within your 3PL network or to a 3PL having a consultant on your team can ensure you are making the best business decision for your company’s long term success.