Working with a 3PL provider can be an effective way to optimize your eCommerce business, but it's essential to have a strong relationship with your 3PL to ensure that you're getting the most out of the partnership. In this blog post, we will discuss how to get the most out of your 3PL relationships and how Capabl can help you optimize your eCommerce fulfillment operations.
The first step in getting the most out of your 3PL relationships is to define your goals and expectations outside of the main SLA objectives. You should have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve with your 3PL partnership and what you expect from your 3PL provider. This may include goals such as reducing fulfillment costs, improving order accuracy, or increasing customer satisfaction.
Effective communication is critical to maintaining a strong 3PL relationship. You should communicate regularly with your 3PL provider to ensure that they are meeting your expectations and to address any issues or concerns that may arise. This includes regular check-ins, performance reviews, and feedback sessions. It’s important to prioritize quality over quantity with these touchpoints. Many brands will have weekly meetings where they discuss metrics and issues that could be handled via email. A better way is to have a strong reporting infrastructure that both sides are reviewing on a regular basis and then having targeted conversations about these metrics.
Process improvement and collaboration with your 3PL provider is critical to achieving continuous improvement. You should work closely with your 3PL provider to identify areas where you can optimize your fulfillment operations, such as through process automation, inventory management, or shipping strategy. Oftentimes the focus of these discussions should focus first on improving specific metrics and then working on ways to remove costs for both sides.
Establishing clear performance metrics is essential to tracking progress and achieving your goals with your 3PL provider. You should have clear, specific, and measurable metrics that align with your business goals and expectations. At a very minimum you should be tracking on time fulfillment, order accuracy, and inventory accuracy.
Staying current with industry trends and best practices is critical to maintaining a competitive advantage in eCommerce. You should keep up to date with the latest developments in eCommerce fulfillment, including emerging technologies, shipping trends, and customer preferences. Your provider can actually be a great source of market intel if you’ve spent the effort building the relationship. The best provider relationships are ones where you share your domain expertise freely with one another and help each other improve outside of your direct commercial relationship.
Capabl offers automated scorecards and analytics for eCommerce fulfillment, providing insights into the performance of your 3PL provider and your overall fulfillment operations. With Capabl, you can track key metrics such as order accuracy and on time fulfillment and can identify areas where you can optimize your fulfillment operations and achieve continuous improvement.