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16 Questions to Ask a 3PL Provider before Hiring Them

Your ecommerce company is expanding fast, and you’re struggling with the “growing pains.” More sales also mean more orders that need fulfilling and shipments that need to get to your customers. For many companies, adjusting to expansion and meeting the higher demand for their products can be the very thing that breaks them. If you’ve done everything in-house up to this point, it may be time to enlist the help of specialized third-party logistics (3PL) services.

Now, it can be a bit challenging to find the right logistics provider to work with. Many logistics companies offer similar services and rates—how do you know which one is right for you? You can do this by asking the right questions. You need to know what the pain points of your business are so you can see if a 3PL provider can help you resolve them.

All About the Company

Before you begin with anything, you need to make sure the 3PL provider you’re thinking of partnering with is a reputable one. They need to have a proven track record of good work with the social proof to back it up. Remember that when you are thinking about hiring specialized 3PL services, your needs must be met. Some important questions to ask include the following:

  • Do they have a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) that they can enforce?
  • Can they prove their financial stability and share their statements with you?
  • What are their business hours and cut-off times?
  • What costs are included in their quote for services?

Remember that you are potentially outsourcing your shipping needs to this company. You can’t just let any 3PL provider handle that for you.

Operations

Admit it, doing everything by yourself is getting too expensive and time-consuming. When you have more orders to fulfill, you need to allocate more time and money into fulfilling them. You could be spending a whole day just packing orders. Moreover, you often have to pay separate rates for shipping and inventory management and storage.

When you outsource all the work, you pay a one-time fee for everything. But with that, you need to know if the 3PL provider can grow with your business as well:

  • How many warehouses do they operate?
  • Do they deliver to your customers in high-volume areas?
  • Have they worked with companies in the same industry as yours?
  • Do they provide next-day delivery?
  • How do they make up for delays? What about sudden spikes in volume?
  • Can you customize your packages with gift cards, inserts, and more?

These questions are important to ask because you are trying to gauge if this 3PL provider can accommodate your growing shipments. This means being able to keep up with your expansion as well and helping you expand your reach.

Technology

When your business is expanding, you can often find yourself struggling to stay up-to-date. There is a demand for more sophisticated technology and resources, some that you might not be able to get on your own. Moreover, you need to comply with certain industry standards as your business begins to grow. When things become too much to handle, hiring specialized 3PL services is your best bet.

A reliable logistics service provider should have the latest technology as well as maintain industry compliance as well. Being partnered with them means you have access to these without having to spend on the facilities and software yourself. You might want to ask these questions:

  • Do they integrate with your Shopify store through an application approved interface or another app?
  • How easy is their platform to use?
  • Have they passed all previous inspections and have the certifications to prove it?
  • Can you integrate into their platform in a way that is accessible to you?
  • What communication types are available for different aspects of the inventory processing and tracking stages?

Partnering with the right 3PL provider can help simplify your business operations and give you a competitive advantage. The important thing to do is to screen and hire a 3PL provider who you can trust will work with you to improve and grow your ecommerce business.

The post 16 Questions to Ask a 3PL Provider before Hiring Them appeared first on Market News Bizz.

About the author

Sharan Stone

Sharan Stone

Sharan comes to Market Research Tab with more than 7 years of experience as an editor. Sharan has his fingers firmly placed on the pulse of the business world and he covers retail, construction, and other industries as an editor for Market Research Tab. Email: [email protected]

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