The decision to outsource the logistics of your company allows you to benefit from efficient management on the condition of find a reliable and efficient partner. To choose your logistics provider, a certain number of criteria must be studied, but not only. The precise needs of your structure and your activity must be defined upstream.
How to estimate the logistics needs of your company?
The logistics provider must be able to meet the requirements of your field of activity. Thus, the following approach allows you to carry out a detailed analysis of your company’s needs.
Determine the specifics of your business
Regardless of the sector of activity and the size of the company, an efficient logistics organization is crucial. In addition to optimizing the quality of products and services, such management guarantees better control of costs and workloads. To do this, the choice of a logistics partner must depend mainly on the constraints of your activity. These are particularly linked to the different stages of the supply chain, namely:
- The production and packaging of products;
- Supply and distribution management;
- Goods transport flows;
- The management of any returns;
The logistics service provider must ensure the fluidity of all operations, from the manufacturing phase to delivery to customers, and even the rerouting of returned products. Also, he must be able to comply with regulations and standards related to your activity.
Design a specification
In order to clearly and precisely formulate your expectations in terms of logistics services, drafting specifications is an essential step. This tool allows to define and communicate your goals as well as your qualitative needs to your future logistics partner. The latter must refer to it not only to offer adequate services with the expected performance, but also to issue a personalized estimate.
In general, a specification must include the following points:
- The presentation of your company’s activities : your products and services, their specificity, their possible seasonality, your management tools, your information system, etc. ;
- THE logistics needs : elements related to storage, order preparation, transport and delivery;
- The execution schedule : the due dates, the different fluctuation periods such as cyclical activity peaks;
- The mode d’organisation : the roles of each, monitoring methods, etc.
Once this document has been established, you can begin the search for the logistics service provider suited to your company.
Finding a logistics service provider: what are the selection criteria?
To select an operating partner in logistics, you must take into account the technological aspects as well as the expertise of the service provider. If the price is also one of the determining criteria, it should be analyzed in relation to the services offered.
The logistics provider must have a compatible information system with that of your company. This allows real-time access at any time to data concerning the various operations. A global view of this information allows proactive management of operations in order to optimize your offer to customers. You can thus guarantee the smooth running of deliveries and advance solutions instantly in the event of incidents.
In addition, the logistics service provider must be able to offer you a means of transport responding to the following three key points:
- The type and volume of products to be transported;
- The geographical scope;
- The frequency of deliveries.
Mechanization and automation are also important aspects in logistics services. Indeed, thanks to such technologies, your service provider will help you to gain both in productivity and in customer satisfaction.
The expertise and reliability of the logistics company
The mastery of standards and processes related to your activity is one of the elements to consider when choosing a logistics provider. You must then make sure that his field of expertise is in line with your sector of activity.
A local food producer, for example, has different logistical needs of an e-commerce company specializing in household appliances:
- In the first case, handling the products requires, among other things, the rigorous respect of the cold chain.
- In the second case, on the other hand, particular attention must be paid to theshipping of fragile products.
Regarding its reliability, you can refer to the reputation of the service provider. To do this, remember to find out about the outcome of his former missions. Verified customer reviews and recommendations can also shed some light on its professionalism.
Personalization of services
More and more service providers include additional services in the logistics contract, such as:
- Value-added services: real-time tracking of parcel shipments;
- Mail tracking: an essential option for improving customer relations;
- Support for customer service and after-sales service;
In addition, your logistics partner must be able to adapt its services according to the evolution of your activity. This may concern the growing your business nationally or internationally, or the changing needs of your customers. He will then show anticipation in order to adopt efficient and innovative logistics processes.
The price of the logistics provider
Several factors inherent to the organization of the company, but also to that of the service provider, cause the cost of logistics services to vary. He will be in charge of the planning, the fluidity and the follow-up of all your logistics operations. Thus, for make a fair price comparison in relation to your needs, consider asking for quotes based on your specifications.
A good logistics service provider will carry out a precise study of your activity in order to offer an adjusted price thanks to:
- The evaluation of the material and human resources to be committed;
- Reducing the costs generated by waste;
- The suggestion of economic logistic solutions.