For any business that makes and sells physical products, logistics is an inescapable part of the work. You need materials, which means establishing a supply chain. Your customers need your product, which must go somewhere and arrive on time.
During the early days, most business owners deal with all of the logistics themselves. They order supplies, track inventory, box products, and take them to the post office. That can work for a while, but the more orders you get, the harder that job becomes.
That’s why you’ll need a logistics service provider to take that kind of work off your plate. So, how do you pick one? Keep reading for some key tips on selecting a provider.
Where are your customers located? Do you provide products to a regional chain, direct to customers, or maybe both? The distribution of your customers will help define which logistics solutions providers will work for you. If you sell to people across the nation, a provider with warehouses exclusively in Nevada isn’t a good fit.
Your provider needs warehousing and distribution that covers the same area as your customer base. The only exception is if you occasionally sell internationally. If you sell internationally on a regular basis, though, you’ll need a company that already handles international distribution, such as www.broekmanlogistics.com.
Even if a full service logistics provider looks great on paper, you should still ask about their safety record. Ask about accidents and on-site fires. If a warehouse goes up in flames, you can lose a huge pile of money in inventory.
Is safety training a regular part of their employee training? What steps did the company take to remedy previous safety failures? While no company will prove immune to the occasional safety problem, you want one that makes an active effort to minimize them.
Nobody likes a surprise on their bill. When shopping around for someone to provide logistics services, look into their pricing. Do they offer transparent pricing on services? Is there a clear fee schedule?
You should know exactly what it will cost before you pick a provider.
You want a company that offers good customer service. The last thing you want in a crisis is an endless wait on hold. Since every company says they provide good customer service, you must find evidence elsewhere.
Look around online for reviews of the service provider. Do they get good marks for their customer service? If so, you’re one step closer to the right match.
Picking Your Logistics Service Provider
Picking your logistics service provider isn’t just a matter of finding a company that offers the right services. You want a company that invests in safety and customer service. You want a company that can handle warehousing and distribution for all of your customers.
You also want a company that can grow with you as your needs expand. Look for a company that offers services you don’t need now, but expect you’ll need in a few years.
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