At some point in its growth chart, your product-based business will grow up and you will need a good transportation of goods. This is when you need the support of a logistics provider. This means a good balance between the requirements and the budget. If you do not get this right, you will lose business.
So before, you go ahead ask yourself some basic questions.
- Is the proposed logistics carrier local or national? A far off call centre is not a very good idea to operate in a local industry.
- Do they have in place an internet based IT booking/tracking system? This allows transparency.
- How many centres cover your market?
- Will the logistics provider offer more than one in-house services? Great money saver.
- Has your company made a check of their set-up on site?
- Will the provider monitor and print its real time performance?
- Is the proposed provider offering money back guarantee upon service failure?
- Are there any reference testimonials of your proposed logistics provider?
- Distance of the provider’s pickup depot from your point of exit.
- Kindly go for transparency in the pricing system. Look for any hidden surcharges and minimum usage amounts?
- Are the providers well versed with proper IT systems and do they have the capacity to integrate?
Besides the service provider, take into consideration a variety of questions that arise from your own business needs and coverage.For instance, you must identify your customer base in terms of requirement. Find out how quick they want the delivery to be. There is a variety of options that you can ask your provider for.Such as parcel, haulage, fright etc.
You should also ensure that a cheap logistics provision does not mean bad delivery. Nothing hurts your product-based business like a delivery of broken or damaged items. In addition, execs at Hyderabad based Gati Logistics tell us “the operations people of your logistics partners should be helpful and highly responsive. A slow response rate will affect your complete operations chain and bog it down”
The most important factor to consider is the flow of information. Your distribution system will work only if there is in time exchange of information inside the distribution channel. This means that your warehouses, and supply chain should be on real time update at all times. This is particularly important for e-commerce logistics.
Always remember that logistics and supply chain are not precise as science. Therefore, if anything goes wrong, your logistics provider should be able to get on top of it and communicate thoroughly with all parties involved. As long as these factors remain sound, your logistics partner will remain solid and good to go with.