When you partner with a 3PL warehousing company, you start building a professional relationship with that company. This relationship is a lot like any other relationship. There must be open communication, transparency, and set boundaries within both professional and personal relationships. Without these things, the relationship may experience some complications.
The warehousing services company you choose should be honest from the beginning about their pricing, their process, and what their services include. This way, you won’t be paying hidden fees. If you decide you need more warehousing space later, you can always talk with the warehousing companies to discuss extra storage fees.
It’s important that you are also honest about your goals with the warehousing companies you speak to. You need to be certain that the company will be able to meet your needs now and in the future. If they can accommodate you now but not in the future, you may need to find another company that offers more services.
What Services Do Warehousing Companies Offer?
Warehousing companies primarily offer warehousing storage services. These storage services typically include storing, organizing, and transporting your product within the warehouse. Many warehousing companies offer other warehousing services, such as distribution services, custom packaging services, and package fulfillment services.
Warehousing and distribution companies can provide you with distribution services. Distribution services include packaging and transporting your products from the warehouse to the customer. Warehousing companies also keep track of inventory and sales and will give you reports as you desire.
Custom Packaging Services
Custom commercial packaging is a great way to sell your brand. Some 3PL warehousing companies will offer custom packaging services in addition to their warehousing distribution services. You can customize your commercial packaging any way you like. You can also work with a team of experts to create the right packaging for your product.
Custom commercial packaging can also be shaped to your product. This will keep your product safe during transportation and in storage.
Package Fulfillment Services
Warehousing and fulfillment services usually go hand in hand. Warehousing services allow you to store your product, and fulfillment services allow the warehousing company to fulfill orders on your behalf. They will pick your product from the warehouse, package it, and prepare it for shipment.
Once you’ve determined what type of services you need, you can then focus on how to build relationships with the right 3PL company.
How to Build Professional Relationships
Building a professional relationship is similar to building a personal relationship. However, it is a lot less personal. No, the warehousing companies don’t need to know what you do for hobbies or what your kids’ names are, but they do at least need to know who you are and what your product is.
The similarities of professional and personal relationships lie at the core of the relationship. Without communication, trust, honesty, and collaboration, the relationship could crumble. Thus, it is important to:
- Stay Connected
- Be Flexible
- Make Improvements
With these three things in mind, you can keep your professional relationship going.
Staying connected with your 3PL company doesn’t mean you have to constantly reach out to them. It just means that, if any major business changes come up, you tell them as soon as possible. This allows you to work together to make adjustments to your warehousing service plan. If you need to store more inventory, for example, you need to let the warehousing company know so they can make accommodations quickly.
You can also do performance checks for your warehousing company. Performance checks allow you to praise the company for the great things they have done and suggest ways they can improve other areas. Staying connected with your warehousing company will improve your relationship.
Flexibility is important in any relationship. Sometimes, problems happen that are out of anyone’s control, like natural disasters or accidental fires. Sometimes 3PL businesses close unexpectedly, which can directly affect the businesses they work with. Remaining flexible to any changes is key to maintaining relationships with 3PL companies.
Recognize Issues and Make Improvements
If certain processes aren’t working in your warehousing services plan, you should speak with the warehousing company and work on making improvements. Some things you may notice need improving include:
- Shared cost savings
- Best practice initiation and implementation
- Route optimization
- Trailer utilization
- Lean practices
You can ask the warehousing company to create plans to implement changes. This is part of having open communication in a professional relationship.
One way to work on issues is by holding monthly or quarterly meetings. These meetings can help you and the warehousing company discuss performance reviews in more detail. Some of the topics you can discuss in these meetings are:
- Past performance, like sales and on-time pickup and delivery.
- Strategic direction, like new locations and products.
- Risk and loss, like ways to eliminate both.
By following the advice in this article, you will improve your 3PL company relationships.
Which 3PL Company Should You Choose?
If you are looking for a warehousing company that can store, package, fulfill, and distribute your products, visit the OctoChem, Inc., website today. We offer warehousing solutions for many different businesses. Relationships built on trust, respect, and effective communication are the cornerstone of our success.
Our clients trust us to do what is best for their business. Our ethics guide us in everything we do. For warehousing and distribution services, contact OctoChem, Inc., for more information!