Five Characteristics to Look for in a Logistics Supplier

a warehouse

The logistics supplier or company you partner with can make or break the success of your business. Even if you’re not the same entity, customers and clients will always see your suppliers as an extension of your business, and that is why who you trust is crucial to your business reaching its goals. Especially in a time when we’re battling a pandemic and a war in Europe—we want to partner with a transportation or logistics company that knows its way around global supply chain disruptions to provide its clients with the best service possible.

If you are looking for a logistics supplier to partner with for your business, here are the key characteristics you need to watch out for:

Has a good track record for safety

Because health and safety regulations change as the world changes, the carrier you choose must have a proven track record for safety. Do your due diligence and make sure the supplier you’re eyeing has never been involved in a lawsuit or anything untoward that caused the injury or death of a person.

Makes use of available technology

The last thing you want is to partner with a company that resists technology. After all, you want to ensure that your third-party logistics supplier makes use of technology that works to streamline your processes and automates the most tedious tasks. Here are some questions you can ask your potential supplier about the kind of tech they work with:

  • How do you maximize your software to provide the best services for your clients?
  • How does your current technology connect with your existing software systems, and how can it connect to my online store?
  • Can you walk me through how the technology works so that I know how you keep track of shipments and other day-to-day processes?

A logistics supplier that’s proud of its technology will not hesitate to show it to its potential clients, so don’t hesitate to ask them about this incredibly crucial aspect of your partnership.

Has a fleet of reliable vehicles

You want to ensure that whoever you partner with has a fleet of reliable and sturdy vehicles that can carry your inventory to its destination. Feel free to ask your potential suppliers if they are partnered with companies that can help them fix their vehicles, or if they have access to something like a CAT C15 overhaul or rebuild kit in case they’re in the middle of delivery and the vehicle breaks down.

Able to adapt to unexpected disruptions and changes

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No one but epidemiological experts saw the COVID-19 crisis coming. Businesses should have seen it coming, but we must have been too naive or too focused on the now to foresee something like this happening. Now that we know another pandemic could hit at any point and humanity is incredibly vulnerable, we need to find business partners that know how to adapt to unexpected changes and disruptions.

For third-party logistics providers, this means having the ability to adapt according to regulations, and to create custom plans for your specific needs. As your business grows, its needs and priorities will change as well, and that is why your logistics supplier needs to be able to accommodate your business as it expands and grows.

Good reputation in the industry

As we have established, your suppliers will always be an extension of your brand, whether you like it or not. This is why whoever you partner with needs to be above reproach. While no company is perfect, there are certainly red flags that you need to look out for and avoid. Here are some examples of behaviors, attitudes, and histories that can ruin a company’s reputation:

  • They have a history of not treating their employees and clients properly. For example, not paying their employees on time and with the right amount.
  • They are known for not having an active presence in their community—meaning they don’t do much, or anything at all, to uplift the lives of the disenfranchised or underserved.
  • Many of the reviews they get online are not positive.
  • People connected to the company have some problematic views, and they have spoken publicly and proudly about them.

You don’t want to ruin your business’s chances before it can even launch, so avoid suppliers who don’t have a good reputation among the public.

Your brand deserves to partner with only the best because your customers deserve the best. Do not skimp on your logistics suppliers, do your due diligence and research, and give your business the best possible head start.

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