5 factors to consider when choosing a Logistics Service Provider
During the years, logistics and transport service providers have modified their function: from plain and simple transferrer of goods from one location to another, to a more and more integrate part of the productive process, with an added economical value not to be underestimated. Now that globalization and technological revolution have made the world integrated and interconnected and that companies tend to delocalize part of their production, the supply and transport of materials are increasingly fundamental and require an accurate and timely management.
In this complex landscape, selecting the right logistics service provider can be a tough experience. How to find a good logistics service provider? What to look for? Here are the five factors to use as reference.
1. Historicity and "presence" of the territory
A good logistics service provider is not a business based on improvisation. When choosing one must evaluate the company's background, overall stability, not only his/her presence on the territory in terms of physical locations, but also by his/her connections, his/her reputation and his/her ability to guarantee a full and complete service. A business present on the market for several years has already achieved many goals achieved, has overcome many obstacles, knows the world of logistics in depth and has established a good track record.
2. Level of Digitalisation
Growth of new technologies during the last few years have allowed a progressive digitalisation of processes, which also involve the logistics and transport service provider industry. An excellent way to assess a good logistics service provider, is to verify if they keep up with times and with new technologies (IoT, Big Data etc.). To remain competitive and enhance efficiency, keeping up with the latest technology is a must. The logistics industry is benefiting immensely from the latest technology and will continue to grow as more advances are made. The breakthroughs in technology will continue to push the boundaries for years to come.
3. Level of collaboration with one's customers
The logistics service provider must be customer driven and able to prioritize customer satisfaction, responsiveness, keeping fluid lines of communication and effective problem solving even when these are non- conventional. When looking for a good provider, you must ask: Is the service provider able to face difficult transport situations and simplify operations? Can the provider avail himself/herself of the collaboration of his/her partners for special shipments or take charge of projects without compromising the outcome of the same? If the answer to all these questions is yes, then you have found the right provider. A reliable logistics provider must know how to work closely with his/her customer becoming a facilitator of processes, something you cannot do without
4. The presence of a dedicated Key Account Manager
Do you need to make a shipment via Ocean or via Ground? Would you like to know more about international freight or do you need to have information on packaging? To get all this information you often have to be on the telephone for hours, speaking to number of different people within the same company, as you would when you have to call a call center (Know that feeling of frustration, being transferred from one person to the next) because each only knows one process of the production chain. But fortunately, there are Logistics Service Providers who have encompassed in their organization Key Account Managers: acting as the main point of contact for an organization's clients, the KAM represents the entire range of company solutions in every phase of the shipment, answers any doubts or information and ensures that the client’s needs and expectations are met. It is a collective goal for you to work with the same representative from start to finish, and not be passed onto someone else. One sole person within the business is dedicated to you, saving you time and money keeping the communication flowing.
5. The presence of certifications and a consolidated network
A logistics service at the forefront of best practices must have certifications that attest the quality and attention brought to the trade. Not only relative to environmental issues as complying with the new emission standards or to the norms imposed by the various markets, but also relative to ethical issues which protect workers and labour alike.
Furthermore a quality logistics service provider must be member of associations (national or international such as ICC =Italian International Chamber of Commerce), participate in framework for the enhancement of commercial relations amongst various countries and thus favor dedicated conventions and increasingly optimized integrated services.
There are the guidelines and tips to take into consideration when choosing a Logistic Service. A good Logistics and Transport Service Provider in an important resource to your economical growth, since constitutes a driving force among the most incisive: If the service is interconnected and efficient, the results will be outstanding for your business.
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