The Three Things You Can Teach Your Third-Party Logistics Provider
Just because your logistics provider is the subject-matter expert, it doesn't mean there isn't anything they can learn from you.
Subject-matter experts. It's a phrase that you'll often hear mentioned by third-party logistics providers, and rightfully so. A quality logistics provider should be able to guide you through industry best practices and help you operate your business.
However, just because your logistics provider is the subject-matter expert, it doesn't mean there isn't anything they can learn from you. That's one of the reasons Port Jersey Logistics sends out a Client Satisfaction Survey every year—to see what we're missing and to see how we can improve. Through this process, we consistently receive valuable feedback that helps us continue to be a preferred service provider to our customers.
Based on the results from our survey, here are the three things that you can teach your logistics provider:
1. What you truly enjoy about your logistics provider.
Sometimes the basics matter most. Companies get caught up in KPIs, statistics, and reporting, but what's truly important for successful business relationships is much simpler than that—enjoying who you work with.
While this may seem obvious, it's also easy to forget when you're focusing on the bigger picture. Your logistics provider may not know what sets them apart from the pack, and they won't be able to further develop those qualities unless you tell them.
For example, the most commonly indicated positive aspect of Port Jersey Logistics and our operating companies is that our customers enjoy working with their primary contacts on a daily basis, so we launched an internal survey to build upon our company culture and ensure that our employees are delighted, just like our customers.
2. How you expect your logistics provider to grow.
Logistics companies should always be looking to evolve, and one of the best ways to determine the direction they should take is by asking their customers. Their customers will likely have insight about trends in their specific industries that may require the logistics provider to enhance their service offerings.
Overall, one of the common goals across the logistics industry is to improve turnaround time. Many refer to it as the "Amazon Effect," where consumers, and now businesses, expect to receive products quicker, which will only increase over time.
3. What you need help understanding from your logistics provider.
Even though logistics providers are the subject-matter experts, certain processes that occur behind the scenes may not be well communicated to customers.
This is a fast-moving industry with many steps throughout the process that impact your business in various ways. If there's something that you don't understand, your logistics provider is the perfect resource for answers to your questions. We do our best to continually communicate industry information and dive deeper in logistics processes through regular conference calls, quarterly business reviews, and informative emails.
Do you already express these points to your logistics provider? Do they listen? If not, here are some suggestions that may encourage them to listen:
- Schedule quarterly business reviews
- Grade them with an annual scorecard
- Coordinate strategic planning sessions
- Research other providers for comparison
If your logistics provider is not receptive to your feedback, you may need to consider finding someone who's a better fit for your business and who will take your feedback and look to partner with you.