Critical Keys to Succeed as a 3PL Provider

An icon representing third-party logistics (3PL).

The demand for third-party logistics (3PL) providers is increasing every year. As more small and medium-size businesses turn to online sales, this demand is likely to keep growing for years. For companies that are expanding to offer 3PL or just growing their existing business, there are a few things you should know about how to succeed. Here are three ways you can wow your clients and build long-term relationships.

Show How You Help Lower Returns Management Costs

The primary reason that many companies engage a 3PL provider is because they believe that a company with specialized knowledge and the right equipment and facilities to do forward and reverse logistics can do those things at a lower cost than bringing it in-house. In order to maintain that trust with clients, it’s critical that you show them exactly how you are keeping costs under control.

Before you engage with any new client, get a baseline of their entire forward and/or reverse logistics processes. Understanding what they were doing before can help you find areas of immediate improvement, and continue to build on that in the future with more cost savings and streamlined workflows. Be prepared to prove how you saved—and how much.

According to the ReverseLogix Reverse Logistics Technology Study, the vast majority of companies that use a 3PL for returns management are glad they are outsourcing returns. They cite flexibility, cost efficiency, and resource efficiency as the reasons for choosing 3PL return services.

Communicate Extensively with Clients

There are few instances when a client will tell you they are made about getting too much information or communication from their 3PL provider (although we’re certain there must be a line where they would feel this way—it’s just that most 3PL companies never even get close). Clients want to be updated on what’s happening with:

  • Products
  • Shipments
  • Fulfillment
  • Reverse logistics/returns

Teams should be focused on providing as much information as possible. But if you have to do it all manually that can get cumbersome. A returns management platform can help you stay in contact with clients at every step without wasting team members’ valuable time.

Provide Customized and Valuable Reporting

Reports are the best way for clients to see the value of your services and make critical business decisions in the future. If you aren’t providing regular reports to clients now because of the time and effort required to put them together, a logistics software platform can fill in the gaps. ReverseLogix for 3PLs offers automated, customizable reports that can be sent at specified intervals without anyone on your end ever getting involved. The system also has the capacity to create specialized reports based on your needs so you get exactly the information that is relevant to you and your clients.