Seek out a third-party logistics provider (3PL)The trend is towards companies focusing on their core competencies rather than being "jack of all trades". Consider outsourcing to a logistics company (a “third-party logistics provider” or “3PL” as they’re commonly known) so that you can focus on growing your business, not minute details of product delivery.
Make your logistics provider industry specificThere are logistics companies and carriers that specialize in every industry from clothing to wine. Search for logistical solutions within your industry to make sure that your product gets to your customers in the same condition that it left your facility.
Team with partners on logistics and transportationTalk to vendors and customers to find out what type of logistics technology and services they currently use. Logistics companies base prices on volume, and you may want to team up with your partners to maximize economies of scale.
Improve logistics efficiency with electronic data interchange (EDI)You can do anything from gathering customer requirements to providing tracking information with Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) software.
Use small business logistics services from UPS, FedEx or DSLIf you aren't in a position to purchase expensive hardware and software to manage your company's logistics quite yet, start with the Web. FedEx, UPS and DHL all have small business centers that can help.
Network for minority- and women-owned businessesIf you are a minority or women-owned business (MWBE) search for logistics companies and freight carriers that are also MWBE certified.
Take a page from big businessGiant retailers use a system called Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) to manage multiple vendors and/or logistics companies. So can you.
Stay current on the logistics industryCompanies need to stay apprised of the latest and greatest industry news including rules and regulations and technology like Radio Frequency Identification tags (RFID) and Global Logistics.
It's reversibleMaking returns painless for customers is a good way to build loyalty.
reverse logistics companies on Business.com.
- Don't promise anything through Marketing and Sales that you can't deliver. A successful logistics strategy is just as much about getting the customer the right product as it is about getting it there on time and in one piece. Be sure to monitor the service level of the logistics company you choose.
- If you will be sending your customer an order from multiple vendors, decide whether you will send everything from one point at one time or through multiple shipments and locations. Whoever is shipping the complementary product might skimp on his logistics costs, and you don't want to have to pay to replace lost or damaged items due to his penny-pinching ways.
- As fuel costs rise, so do shipping costs. Use the fluctuating price at the gas pumps to decide when its time to reevaluate the costs of your company's logistics provider and/or strategy.
- It is important to incorporate your customers' feedback and industry trends for successful logistics management. Soliciting feedback from your customers on your website or through check-up calls is a good way to find out what needs to be tweaked. Following up with customers also allows you to further evaluate the quality of the service provided by your logistics company.
- If you're just starting out, try to at least to correspond and confirm with your logistics company all transactions, via email, to keep a record of deliveries and issues.