We recently participated in an online forum about logistics systems. After reading through responses from other users, it got us thinking – what do you need to think about when selecting a logistics partner?
We took the time to compile a list with explanations below.
- Knowledge of industry
- Innovation and improvements
- A vast array of partners
- Attention to detail
- Leadership and direction
Knowledge of Industry
It is essential that your partner fully understands your industry and not only logistics. Knowing how an industry works and genuinely understanding the pain points, trends, and regulatory requirements are crucial when developing solutions.
Innovation and Improvements
Technology is continuously changing. If your partner isn’t continually making improvements and adding new features, you’re already behind. If your partner is committed to genuinely building a long-lasting relationship, they should be creating new features or adapting existing technology to address any issues that may arise within your industry. You should be able to implement and execute these improvements quickly.
A Vast Array of Partners
One singular solution may not be able to solve all of your problems or pain points. Being able to network your solutions with multiple partners allows you to leverage the data you are collecting to make more informed decisions. A company should know the strengths of their partners and be able to recommend them based on what they do best, creating a best-in-class solution.
Attention to Detail
We all have those acquaintances that respond to messages without actually addressing the questions asked. Your partners should not be making that mistake; every response should be specific to your needs, no canned or stock responses. How many times have you received an RFP response that does not fully answer the question? A partner should take the time to read the materials and ask questions to provide the best solution to their customers.
Being able to support a product is crucial. As a consumer, I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have purchased a new phone, had it set up in the store, and then when I got home, I was unable to access certain apps or access my photos. Then, I spend hours on the phone with a tech support team located in a different country trying to troubleshoot my phone. All too often, the tech support that comes with the products we use is subpar; calling for help should not be frustrating, but easy and quick. If you don’t have a relationship with a preferred support member who keeps you up to date on the newest features, changes, and optimizations, is the vendor really a partner?
Leadership and Direction
Nowadays, the culture and direction of a company derive from those in charge. It’s essential to choose a partner that has a similar culture, vision, and values – such as a strong commitment and loyalty to employees. This culture helps a company attract top talent as well as retain them, creating a quality team that delivers quality service to its customers.
Rarely does an out-of-the-box application fit your process. Your chosen partner should configure their solution to accommodate your processes and strategies to support you to the best of their ability while making suggestions of optimizations along the way. An unwillingness to adapt does not promote a long-lasting relationship between customers and partners.
At the end of the day, we all know our partners need to earn a profit to retain the top talents that support us every day, as well as continue to innovate their solutions to be more valuable. A great partner prices their products and services reasonably and can clearly and fairly justify any cost increases.
These are not the only things to look for when selecting a logistics partner, but these are all things that we take pride in at SCLogic. As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to drop us a line below or on the website.