Logistics Partnerships: Are You Ready to Be a Partner?
According to the most recent GMA Study, manufacturers will expend nearly 7% of their sales on logistics costs. Many of those companies will look to the experts in the logistics marketplace to assist them in controlling and reducing said costs.
Many of these manufacturers and others will potentially compile comprehensive RFP's in the coming year to define a qualified list of suitors as potential logistics providers. The invited companies will be reviewed and required to meet numerous criteria including; stability, technology, and experience among many other considerations. As companies make the decision to embark on such initiatives unfortunately many will overlook some very basic components and not all of these companies are truly ready to be a partner.
Commonly overlooked key considerations are cultural compatibility and top to bottom buy in. Not just the executive suite but all the way down to the shipping dock and the people who are in trenches working everyday moving product. While you are in the process of establishing the critical criteria and expectations of a logistics provider, go to the ranks for input as well. What are their challenges, their needs, and their expectations? In addition, ask the big questions internally:
Is everyone in your organization ready to be a partner?
Understanding and communication at all levels is key to the success of your logistics program. At the end of the day, an uninformed and unsupportive shipping supervisor can halt the wheels of commerce. By communicating the goals and scope of a logistics program you can assist in putting all parties at ease if they understand and are a part of the decision making and planning process.
Are you willing to share?
A good partnership must be open book and all parties must be willing to embrace a sharing of data and internal corporate goals to achieve maximum efficiencies and savings.
Is your logistics provider a facilitator or a consumer of information?
Your logistics partner must be your window to internal and external logistics activities and costs. By supplying complete logistics systems visibility and sharing all information both teams can collectively establish joint initiatives which will have a far greater project impact and opportunity for success. In addition, your logistics partner must be in tune with the market in order to bring industry ideas and solutions to you.
Is it your goal to ensure your logistics partner achieves success?
If it isn't, it should be. The relationship needs to be a win win for all parties involved and all parties should reap the benefit of its success. Gain sharing and other incentives can be an excellent catalyst for continued savings. Make sure your logistics partner is onboard and a part of the process of establishing these initiatives and this should be a discussion fairly early in the set up processes.
Are you willing to support a united front?
The partnership must present a united front to customers, vendors and team members alike. A breakdown in focus and continuity can be a recipe for disaster. Regularly scheduled team meetings will ensure common focus as well as an arena to voice concerns and initiatives from both teams.
As we have learned through our years of experience our partnerships have been the key to our achievements and what has allowed us to realize the accomplishments that we have. Our promise of partnership and integrity is at the core of our values and success. Our clients work within a network of complete shared visibility in an open book environment. That coupled with our 24 / 7 access and live support team, enables our clients the piece of mind that their business is always at our fore front and industry leading.
We constantly strive to exceed our client's expectations through unprecedented levels of Technology, Execution and Empowerment.
Paradigm Logistics is the premier logistics management organization in the food products industry throughout North America.