In today’s fast-paced corporate culture, managers, owners, and employees are always looking for ways to add an edge. Edge is the competitive advantage or value proposition that makes one manager better than another, or one company faster than the competition. Whether motivated by politics or a healthy year-end bonus, it seems like in order to not only thrive, but also simply survive in the business world, you need to have an edge. Getting ahead often means taking risks and getting help.
For Traffic and Warehouse Managers specifically, it might mean partnering with a Third Party Logistics Company (3PL). It’s scary because it means giving up control of something that was probably very tightly controlled internally. Many Traffic Managers view 3PL companies as a threat to their job. Why send work that’s been handled internally over to a third party? Won’t they, in effect, be replacing the Traffic Manager’s position? Might as well just hire robots, right? Wrong. A good 3PL doesn’t replace a Traffic Manager. A good 3PL makes Traffic managers shine. Here’s how:
- A 3PL Will Add Hours to the Week
3PL companies offer freight quoting software to Traffic and Warehouse managers that help consolidate freight quoting and freight shipping. The 3PL software consolidates the freight quoting process. Managers enter the freight shipping information once and then have access to several dozen prices from hundreds of different carriers.
- It’s Like Buying in Bulk
If you’ve gone to Costco or BJ’s, you know that buying products in bulk saves money. Partnering with a 3PL is like buying in bulk. The 3PL has relationships with hundreds of freight carriers and can negotiate better rates on your behalf by leveraging those relationships. A 3PL puts your freight quote out to bid and the carriers compete for your business. Additionally, a 3PL can negotiate fuel rates and surcharges with the freight carriers to offer you more savings.
- Stellar Support
3PL companies employ a dedicated support staff that does nothing except take care of you, the customer. They process new orders, deal with the freight carriers when there are issues so you don’t have to, and handle freight claims processing if and when it becomes necessary. Freight carrier support can be daunting. 3PL’s have relationships and contacts within each carrier so they can get your issue resolved in many cases faster than you calling the freight carrier directly.
- Risk Management
3PL companies shoulder the risk of the freight shipping link in your supply chain. By offloading your freight shipping through a 3PL, the responsibility is on them to make sure your freight shipment leaves its origination point and arrives at its destination in tact and on time. Additionally, 3PL’s know which transportation carrier paperwork is needed for freight claims and customs.
3PL software makes obtaining freight quotes fast and easy. They shoulder risk and leverage freight carrier relationships to get you the best pricing possible. All of these things equal greater efficiency. Then, add to it that the freight software provides top-notch reporting and analytics, and there you have your edge. 3PL software will show you how your freight shipments are performing and will often integrate into your existing supply chain software systems, thereby adding value rather than stealing a job.
For more information on 3PL’s, download the whitepaper: “Never Miss a Happy Hour Again – How Using a 3PL Partner Can Mean More Beer for You!”