Third-party logistics (3PL) firms provide a critical service to businesses by allowing them to outsource some or all of their reverse logistics functions. The demand for these services has grown exponentially in the past few years, as companies discover the benefits of outsourcing these critical functions to an expert.

3PL firms face a myriad of their own challenges, however, just as the companies they serve do. Finding ways to overcome these hurdles frees up third-party logistics service providers to better serve their clients while improving their own performance outcomes.

Client-Facing Challenges for 3PL Firms

To provide exceptional service to their clients, 3PLs must maintain constant, bi-directional communication. This ensures the flow of accurate information and provides the client with status updates on-demand. Finding a way to facilitate communication can pose a challenge, however, without placing a drain on 3PL resources or disrupting the client’s own business flow.

Client reporting is another problem for many third-party logisticians, especially when different clients require different information. 3PLs must determine which key performance indicators (KPIs) each client needs to see and be responsive to those needs.

Finally, the pervasive challenge of cost tracking and control affects 3PLs both on the client-facing and business-facing sides. The reason that many businesses outsource their reverse logistics functions is that they struggled themselves to wrangle this critical aspect of their business.

3PLs Also Encounter Business-Facing Challenges

On the other side of the equation, 3PLs face equally daunting challenges.

Providing exceptional service and communication to the end-user (i.e., the client’s customers) requires leveraging data and carefully tracking every part of the process. Tracking, monitoring and controlling the 3PLs own KPIs are critical to growth and profitability.

The need for coordination and collaboration with third parties – shipping and transport partners, in particular — also poses a challenge. It is virtually impossible to minimize costs and maximize efficiency without an effective means of establishing relationship capital with shipping companies.

Solving Reverse Logistics Challenges for 3PLs

Fortunately, technology solutions provide a way for 3PLs to address each of their challenges, without the need for major process or procedure overhauls.

The ReverseLogix SaaS platform offers a simple and affordable solution that is both robust and scalable. Leveraging the ReverseLogix services and technology allows 3PLs to manage their services, track assets, provide real-time updates and blend seamlessly into their clients’ ecosystems.

At ReverseLogix, we are committed to helping our customers succeed, no matter what challenges they face. We provide solutions for companies both small and large, across virtually every industry and sector. If you are a third-party logistics provider, we are confident that our platform can help you tackle both your forward and reverse logistics challenges. Connect with our team today to learn more, or to request a demo of the ReverseLogix centralized, cloud-based technology platform.