In the 3PL world, bits of simple tribal knowledge can be a game-changer. Here’s what we live by at KCH when it comes to optimizing 3PL strategy:
Put the customer first
Yeah, okay. You’ll hear that everywhere you go, right? A customer experience will feel “white glove” when the 3PL representative follows two simple philosophies in your business operation:
- Don’t give it up
- Don’t give it back
An upfront loss can pay off in the long haul, and those willing to take that risk will earn the respect of the partner they’ve gone into business with.
Understand the load value
Look and book isn’t always the best policy, especially if you’re new to third-party logistics. Take the time to understand the value of each load. What is being hauled, the market for that product, and the lanes it will run.
While systems such as DAT, Parade, and Truckstop.com offer a competitive look at rates, your knowledge will provide confidence when negotiating or standing firm on a fair price, optimizing your 3PL strategy.
Stand your ground
Ever heard of FreightGuard? Most carriers have, too.
Quality can come at a cost, which can mean stepping outside of your comfort zone to ensure carriers uphold their end of the transaction.
As a broker, the integrity of your word is what will keep business, and loads, moving. While it’s not recommended to report every little hiccup, providing supply chain visibility and accountability by reporting those that are truly offering poor service can, and usually will, set realistic expectations for others.
Check your carriers
Speaking of FreightGuard … carriers with unfavorable reputations and spotty records may (or may not) be worth the risk. As part of optimizing 3PL strategy, it’s your responsibility to vet your carriers as best you can to ensure a more seamless experience for everyone involved.
Take the initiative and check Carrier411 to verify new clients and have proper expectations.
Bonus: Implement empathy
If you’re not seeing the desired customer return or have a hunch that your carriers are working with other 3PLs, take inventory of your empathy during conversations.
Believe it or not, care and concern translate over the phone. Loudly. Seeing their needs and the call as more than a simple transaction to put a dollar in your pocket could be the difference between a loyal customer and a single deal.
Care about the person, care about the business.