Insights & News

Three Things You Should Consider Before Selecting a 3PL or Supply Chain Partner

Stacked shipping containers

Posted On July 29, 2019

When shipping departments or logistics leaders are looking to strengthen their supply chain, they can choose from too many third-party logistics (3PL) solutions providers to count. Shipping managers can choose from local, regional, or national providers.

They can select from corporate name brands—or small boutique suppliers.

In other words, the choices are vast, but there are a few guidelines shipping managers and logistics executives can follow that will help ensure they choose the right partner.

1. Look for a supply chain partner with experience.

Shipping managers know running an effective, efficient supply chain means confronting and solving new challenges nearly every day. When selecting a 3PL, it’s important to select a partner with years of experience solving a wide variety of supply chain challenges. Creative problem-solving and a transportation and logistics knowledge bank should be part of what you are hiring when you make your 3PL selection.

In today’s market, you don’t have the luxury of learning with an inexperienced 3PL. You do not have time to teach your 3PL what they should know about the challenges facing modern supply chains.

When selecting your 3PL, choose experience, but…

2. Don’t ever settle for being just another anonymous client.

You need to select a 3PL team stocked with experience and expertise.

However, you should avoid selecting a supply chain partner so large you are treated like just another expendable client. The right 3PL will treat your supply chain emergency like their supply chain emergency.

Every account executive at any 3PL will treat you like their number one priority. That’s their job. Not every executive or owner at your 3PL will treat you like their number one priority.

The entire team at the right 3PL will treat you like their most important client.

(We are going to come right out and say it: Our leadership makes every client a priority. Our owners are Kirk and Jeff. Our CEO is Brian. Our Vice President of Sales is Nick. Our Vice President of Operations is also named Bryan…but his name is spelled differently than our other Brian. If you work with the Flat World family of companies, you will get to know them.)

3. Look for a partner with the right blend of humanity and technology.

An industry-best technology platform is the only way shippers get the visibility required to create an industry-best supply chain and logistics program. Your 3PL needs to be able to provide real-time data and insight on your shipment.

That said, there are occasions where humans need to intervene to solve problems and overcome challenges even the best technology has yet to master. Companies selling a technology platform as their only logistics solution do not understand the intricacies of modern transportation and logistics, and the important role actual human beings still play in managing complex supply chains.

At the Flat World family of companies, you do not have to choose between the best technology and the best human beings.

You get both.

Partnering with the Flat World family means working with an experienced team that will never treat you like an anonymous, expendable client. Partnering with us also means partnering with a 3PL that believes the only supply chain (or company) worth building is one built on excellence.

We know shipping departments have an almost infinite number of 3PL choices.

We may or may not be the right fit for your company.

But if you do select us, we promise to deliver industry-best expertise and industry-best technology, to never treat you like “just another client”—no matter how big or small you are—and, more than anything, to always deliver the excellence your shipping department deserves.