Out-going IWLA Chief Shares Advice for 3PL Customers at CSCMP

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
October 30, 2013 - SCMR Editorial

The International Warehouse Logistics Association President & CEO Joel D. Anderson spoke on “pesky regulations” at the recently-concluded Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Annual Conference in Denver. Now that he’s announced his pending retirement, Anderson wishes to share this “check list” for shippers wising to vet 3PLs promising “optimization.”

Here are some of his observations.

*First, the shipper/customer needs to clearly define its market and service expectations.  For example, if the shipper does not have any trading patterns outside of a defined area, look for someone with a proven track record of services and promises kept within that service area.

*Second, data transparency.  The shipper should always be able to get answers to the questions of inventory in storage, in transit, expected delivery dates, immediate notification of any delays and expected resolution of the delays.

*Third, did the 3PL when presenting responses to an RFP also ask deep questions about the shipper’s supply chain and the shipper’s customer requirements?  3PLs provide substituted services for the shipper and to provide at the same level or better, the 3PL must know all the “ins and outs” of the shipper’s supply chain, including what the shipper’s customers expect.

*Fourth, does the 3PL bring innovation to the shipper’s supply chain.  After examining the deep questions in #3, does the 3PL mull it over and then respond with an alternative approach that can reduce the time and cost, and improve the reliability and efficiency of the supply chain.

*Fifth, does the shipper have the commitment of the senior management of the 3PL.  I have found that the most successful 3PL that secure new business contracts are ones where senior management participates in the service offering.  Nothing says “I care” better than senior management participating in making the proposal a reality.

When asked what other optimized services a shipper expect and/or demand? Anderson provided two more boxes to check: 

*Innovation – because the 3PL is the subject matter expert in logistics, the shipper should create an expectation that the 3PL will bring a new idea to the table.

*Thorough knowledge of any and all regulatory barriers or obstacles that may adversely impact the shipper’s trading patterns.



About the Author

image
Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

The index ISM uses to measure non-manufacturing growth—known as the NMI—was 56.0 in June, which edged out May by 0.3 percent.

Regardless of the date or year, one thing is beyond consistent when it comes to key themes in freight transportation logistics: the state of United States highways and related transportation infrastructure is in an eternal state of chaos and disrepair.

The high-volume warehouse or distribution center that supports B2B, Omni-channel activities, direct-to-consumer shipments, and the Internet of Things all require a flexible and scalable supply chain in order to function at optimal capacity. The problem is that most of today's supply chains are made up of fragmented silos of information that compromise their ability to compete, be responsive to customer demands or seize new business opportunities.

As customers' demands constantly evolve, transportation and logistics (T&L) operations are being put under growing pressure to offer more efficient delivery services, while not compromising on customer service. Using findings from a research survey conducted among transport and logistics managers around the world, this report explores how a combination of mobile technology implementations for mobile workers, and process re-engineering efforts can elevate operations to the next level.

It's a fact - most best-of-breed WMS providers force you to pay every time you require a system change. Uncover five more dirty secrets many warehouse management systems providers don't want you to know. Download the white paper 5 Dirty Secrets of Warehouse Management Systems to discover these hidden truths and gain valuable information on considerations for evaluating WMS vendors.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review. Patrick covers international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. Contact Patrick Burnson

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.