Whether you manage your own logistics operation or outsource it to a third party is immaterial to your highly valued customers. You are responsible for their experience and whoever does it must represent your company professionally and efficiently.
Operating a fluid logistics operation takes considerable know-how. It is easy to incur cost and heartache through inefficiencies or mistakes. Reviewing your operation regularly and knowing when it is time to switch provider can save you more than just money.
When to Switch Logistics Provider
1.Increasing complexity and scale
Logistics is by definition complicated. Your requirements may evolve and you find that you need a more extensive range of services or scale of operation than your current provider can offer. If you are no longer playing to your provider’s strengths – or if you’re exposing their weaknesses – then you can expect problems and dissatisfied customers.
2. Service failures
If service levels dip, alarm bells should ring and you should take action. A few negative Trust Pilot (and others) reviews and your business will suffer. You may feel it’s a case of ‘better the devil you know’ but it’s your company’s reputation that’s at risk and you can’t afford to let things slide. Change has its risks. So does doing nothing!
3. Laborious IT
From order processing through to your service reports – logistics needs to be slick and efficient – and automated as far as possible. Tech advancement has driven many positive changes within the industry from import notifications to bespoke stock control. If your current provider is not automating your processes they will simply not be optimised.
As with most things in life, you get what you pay for and it’s important to pay a fair price for the service you require. But if you’re not happy with the costs then maybe it’s time to look at alternatives.
An experienced provider will also know that assessing costs isn’t just about the rate card. There may be opportunities to save money through automation, consolidation, getting rid of redundant stock etc., but if your provider is unwillinging to engage in discussions about managing costs then it’s time to look around.
5. Communication issues
Your logistics partner should act as an extension of your business and it’s crucial that you work together efficiently and effectively. Part of that partnership is having a proactive account manager who can keep you up to date with developments – both on day-to-day activity and more strategically on service enhancements, technological developments etc. Your account manager should be readily available when required and fully aligned with your objectives. A constructive and open dialogue will build trust and confidence, both of which are essential for the relationship to work well.
The bottom line is, if you’re experiencing communication issues, you need to take steps asap.
EC Group provides agile fulfilment, handling and delivery solutions – ensuring you keep your promises and meet your deadlines. Our expertise encompasses a wide variety of industries and sectors, from banking and finance to healthcare and advertising. Scale your business to meet evolving demands with confidence and enjoy the benefits of a tailored, personal service delivered by industry specialists.
For advice on how we can support your operation, please get in touch with one of our experienced account managers.