Is it time for you to starting thinking about outsourcing your logistics to a professional partner? Here are some things you need to be thinking about, before you do.
And the same principles apply, if you are looking to move to a new provider of logistics, if your current supplier is not really delivering the level of service you need.
Many businesses grow to a point where they are organising much of the detail of their logistics in-house. As a company grows, it is only natural to start by managing everything yourself. But there comes a point at which it is time to call in a professional partner and maybe start thinking about outsourcing your logistics, in order to release management time. And often, a business will be unaware how much time it is wasting, and stress it is creating, by relying on a system that was cobbled together over the years, and is not fit for purpose.
So, what can you expect from a professional logistics partner? And what should you be asking for, and looking at, when considering who will help your business grow?
Start with your business, and the scale of activity you currently have. How much has your business grown over recent years? Is it set to plateau, or do you have plans to grow the company further. You will need to match your new logistics partner to where you want to be in two, three or five years from now – and find someone who has the scale to cope.
Take a look at your requirements. On a daily or weekly basis, how many consignments do you receive and from where? What volume of goods do you send out, and to what sort of destinations – are you a national or a global business?
Next, consider the level of service you require, and your customers demand. Is it for tracked deliveries with time-critical arrival, or are they simply content with goods travelling at a more economical pace. How heavy, robust or fragile are consignments, and will they require special handling or packaging. Some logistics companies have expertise in particular niche markets, such as handling chilled consignments, or a focus on shipping into and out of particular country markets.
When vetting potential partners, check who they currently work with, to give an indication of the scale and diversity of their client base. And check on membership of professional or trade bodies, and whether companies have passed quality assurance benchmarks, which give reassurance in terms of quality control. Most logistics experts have a network of third parties or subcontractors that they work closely with, to provide a bespoke service, so consider the longevity of those working relationships.
Finally, always speak to the people you will be working closely with at a potential partner. Are they people you feel you can do business with, you can trust, and who you reckon will help ensure your needs are really met?
So whether you are looking at the possibility of outsourcing your logistics, or just want to learn more about logistics or any of our courier and freight services, call Smart Directions and speak to one of our UK logistics service experts on 01442 507240 or contact us here.
You might even want to get an online quote for Same day delivery or Next day delivery too.