5 Ways a 3PL Reduces Common Supply Chain Operational Inefficiencies
This is a guest post by Darren Hann.
Every supply chain is unique in its own way and ideally includes a series of well-defined and tightly managed operations. Factors such as a lack of operations planning, unplanned processes, an inadequate network and infrastructure, unskilled resources, lack of technology use, and inexperienced managers lead to operational inefficiencies, which directly impact supply chain performance.
Managing these factors along with your core business can be challenging, costly, risky, and may cripple growth. A well-conceived and closely managed supply chain is likely to include professional assistance for planning, management, and continuous improvement. Proactive businesses are ideally aware of these factors and the potential impact on operational efficiencies, and engage professional and experienced 3PL providers to avoid and manage their operational inefficiencies.
Read on to to learn 5 benefits 3PL providers can deliver to reduce operational inefficiencies.
1. Gain Professional Experience
Professionalism is the key to achieving your desired supply chain performance. Each supply chain can be affected by various extraneous factors that may cause the performance to dip if these factors are not clearly identified and built into the planning. A professional understanding of their impact and experience in handling these factors is a significant differentiator when comparing successful supply chains to non-successful ones. By working with a 3PL, you can have confidence that you will have access to professional assistance with years of experience to assist your planning for such uncertainties and navigate these events smoothly for you.
2. Access a Large Resource Network and Resources
Running a seamless supply chain requires businesses to have access to a large network and resources that deliver control, visibility and information flow throughout the supply chain. These elements are the main identified reasons for operational inefficiencies and any supply chain needs substantial resources to have these elements work for you. Well established 3PL providers are likely to have the right network and resources to assist you with the latest technology, infrastructure, value added services, and professional personnel to bring all these elements together and prevent operational inefficiencies.
3. Experience Well-Defined Processes
Well defined processes lead to efficient operations. Most operational inefficiencies in a supply chain occur because of unstructured processes which are likely to result in high processing times, lower outputs, repetition of tasks, and unnecessary costs. A 3PL has resources and experience to defining warehousing processes and manage them efficiently. Expert 3PL providers study and create Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) according to your requirements and deploy skilled resources to operate as per the SOPs to achieve efficiencies and ensure your supply chain operations run like a well-oiled machine.
4. Obtain the Latest Technology
Technology plays a vital role in managing operations and processes efficiently to save time, reduce human errors, and provide better monitoring. Barcoding, Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), and Web-tracking are some of the commonly deployed technology solutions within supply chain functions. These tools assist in providing transparency and operational efficiency. A 3PL is ideally using all three of these technology tools and can deploy them for your operations.
5. Receive Flexibility and Scalability
All supply chains require flexibility and scalability to ride through peaks and troughs, seasonality of demand, human resource challenges, and other unforeseen factors. Businesses often find it challenging to manage through these tough times on their own and may experience a dip in operational efficiencies and increased costs, directly impacting their own supply chain. A 3PL is likely to bring relief with flexibility and scalability expertise plus provisions they may have created within their internal operations to manage multiple customers at once and ensure there is minimal impact for any one single customer.
Reducing operational inefficiencies in a supply chain is commonly on top of a business’s agenda and can be easily managed with the assistance of a professional 3PL. Expert 3PL providers use their expertise and experience to identify your inefficiencies, find a solution, make them efficient and continue monitoring them to maintain efficiency and enable your business to achieve an improved supply chain performance.
This was a guest post by Darren Hann.
Darren Hann is a Commercial Manager at BCR Australia, one of Australia’s largest freight forwarding and third party logistics companies. BCR services all major cities in Australia, including Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.