Why You Should Visit Your 3PL Company
When searching for a 3PL company to handle your goods, it’s important to consider what they can offer you.
Visiting a potential warehouse and 3pl company is crucial in making the right decision for your business.
Sadly, not all businesses will evaluate prospective fulfilment providers before signing on the dotted lines. To keep a smooth running process, companies need to understand that the partnership and communication between them and the warehouse must remain strong and open.
Some believe warehouses should work independently, after all, you are handing over the responsibility of your products so you can focus on the business. However, they require your say regularly to run the best possible operation. Selecting the right partnership begins with making sure you are familiar with the environment.
Considerations when sourcing a 3pl company
The obvious – Organisation and cleanliness of the facility
You will not know the overall cleanliness and organisation of a warehouse just from looking at a picture on their website. Never go by what you see through rose-tinted glasses, visiting the facility will help you get a better idea of how they run their process.
Seeing the property in person will ensure that you know the ins and outs, and possibly things they want to keep hidden. As a client, it is essential that you have trust in your 3PL company. Peace of mind is vital and you deserve to know that your products are looked after and well-organised.
Look out for the way they store items, the condition of their storage units and how secure they are. The risk of damage or missing items is unacceptable; you must ensure that the 3PL company has a process in place to keep products as safe as possible.
Warehouse aisles should always remain clear (no inventory lying around) and clean, so products are kept in their best state. Any sign of hazardous inventory stacking, even slightly, will never end well. Do not let it slide!
Technology and Handling
The packaging and handling your inventory is going to establish the quality of the warehouse overall. Technology plays a huge factor here, is the company in question using advanced technology to manage packaging and handling efficiently?
Even the smallest set back in machinery could slow down the overall handling process, which will ultimately cause delays in delivery. Make sure to discuss what methods and technology they have in place to help reduce/eliminate possible shipping delays. Focus on the warehouse employees to see if they follow the processes mentioned. You should even consider asking about past order fulfilment along with statistics to support their claims. The more information you receive, the better.
Keep an eye on staff behaviour
On the subject of employees, how 3PL staff present themselves and act on the job is key to deciding whether they will fit in with the culture of your business. Meeting the employees on a facilities tour will determine whether they will represent your brand to the best standards. By touring the facility and meeting the employees, you’re able to decide whether or not they’re truly happy and are going to represent your brand to the best of their ability. Positive employees usually means a positive work attitude, resulting in efficient productivity. In turn, you can trust them to create a high-quality customer service.
Pictures on the website aren’t always accurate to real life. The warehouse in question might not have as much space as it seems. Taking a look at the property will help you get a grasp of how much capacity they have to offer. Think of the future, if your business expands, will this warehouse have the ability to grow with you? You’ll want a 3PL that can adapt when you bring more products in.
Can they handle seasonal fluctuations? Even if you are a small business, an increase in sales will always happen over the holidays. It is essential to consider these thoughts when choosing a partner, so you are fully aware whether their building is capable of handling all of your needs.
It’s important to remember that the 3PL company you partner up with will represent a massive part of your business. Make sure you are making the right choice.