3PL Consultant Overview
F. Curtis Barry & Company believes that 3PL fulfillment solutions can provide strategic advantages to companies in numerous ways. These advantages can help your company and supply chain grow, without the need for capital investment to manage and run your own distribution center operations.
As 3PL consultants, we assist clients with the following 3PL services:
- 3PL feasibility study to determine if 3PLs are right for your business.
- Development of 3PL requirements for evaluating 3PL fulfillment center options.
- Evaluating and selecting 3PL options to ship orders for an ecommerce business, or online store, as well as wholesale distribution channels.
- Selecting a 3PL to support reverse logistics and returns management.
- Evaluating an existing 3PL fulfillment provider and pricing to assist with determining future options.
- Evaluating existing 3PL pricing to assist with negotiating new contractual rates.
- Evaluating 3PL contracts and 3PL agreements (master service agreements, statements of work, and SLAs) for 3PL negotiations.
- Evaluating 3PL shipping rates and shipping costs.
- Development and implementation of transition plans both in, and out of, 3PL fulfillment options.
Ways to Work with a 3PL Consultant
Our experience in working with third party logistics providers allows us to service clients in an unparalleled manner, including:
Using a 3PL Consultant to Perform a 3PL Feasibility Study
As 3PL consultants, we have assisted companies in determining the feasibility of outsourcing compared to managing internal fulfillment options. 3PLs can play a vital role in your supply chain management processes - everything from ecommerce fulfillment and pick pack, to manufacturers and distributors shipping to retailers or end customers.
These logistic services can support all of your operations and fulfillment processes, or some portion of your overall needs. But, determining if shifting to a 3PL partner, or continuing with a 3PL relationship is the first step in the process.
Our feasibility analysis and study will help your organization with the following:
- Comparison of 3PL costs to internal fulfillment costs, including startup costs and capex requirements for either option.
- Objective review and analysis of whether a 3PL option could meet your expectations, service needs, skillsets, and business volumes.
- Objective review and analysis of whether your business can run and manage internal fulfillment options. This includes having the right skillsets, infrastructure including systems, etc., and expectations from a capex perspective.
- Objective review of the advantages and disadvantages for each option.
- An understanding of the timeframes to be up and running and efficient with either option.
Using a 3PL Consultant to Assess the Current 3PL Vendor
For those already utilizing 3PL partners, a major advantage to working with a 3PL consultant, is objectively reviewing and assessing the current 3PL. This 3PL analysis provides feedback as to the quality of service, pricing, support, and flexibility in supporting your business.
This analysis is critical for companies seeking to determine how to proceed with the current 3PL, our analysis will include:
- Whether the existing 3PL is suitable for handling the future business.
- An analysis of the current pricing, contracts and service level agreements against industry pricing and expectations.
- What should be negotiated in the 3PL pricing, contracts or service level agreements (SLAs) at the next contract renewal.
- What changes should be made to improve customer service levels and fulfilling orders to gain efficiency.
- What additional support or reporting should be implemented to support improved inventory management.
- An objective assessment as to whether the current 3PL is a good partner to your company; do they show a willingness to make improvements; and objective feedback on whether the 3PL wants to retain your business.
This analysis is the basis for making decisions on how to proceed with the current 3PL. For some companies, this means going to market to look for a new 3PL partner, and potentially moving to a new 3PL.
Using a 3PL Consultant to Evaluate and Select a New 3PL Vendor
FCBCO has worked with hundreds of clients and 3PL vendors to evaluate and select the right partner to support their fulfillment needs. As 3PL consultants, we understand the importance of a disciplined, methodical approach to selecting the right 3PL partner.
From the time a customer places an order, until the goods leave the 3PL warehouse, having confidence in your 3PL provider is critical. FCBCO can assist your company in the evaluation, selection and transition to a new 3PL provider, including:
- FCBCO will assist your company with developing a comprehensive Request for Proposal (RFP). As part of the process, FCBCO will identify the 3PL companies that should be included in the bid process. Once bids are received, we will guide you through the vendor due diligence process. This process will allow you to make a well-informed decision on the best 3PL for your company.
- 3PL vendor due diligence should involve everything from client reference checks to site visits at the 3PLs facilities. FCBCO will help your team to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each 3PL vendor bidding on your project.
- Negotiating the pricing, SLAs and the Statement of Work (SoW) is critical to ensuring that the business is protected against non-performance, or other problems that may arise. FCBCO can review the complete pricing in conjunction with the SLAs and SoW. This ensures the proposed terms and pricing meet the needs of your company and is balanced with the needs of the 3PL. In addition, FCBCO will guide your team to ensure the expectations are in line with the 3PL industry.
- Once a contract has been executed, FCBCO will assist your operational team with developing a comprehensive transition plan. This transition plan will coordinate the various internal fulfillment and operational tasks. This transition plan will dovetail with the 3PL vendors project plan for a smooth transition.
Utilizing a 3PL consultant is the best way to ensure that your company’s fulfillment and distribution needs are properly met.