How to Choose a Logistics Partner for Your Small Business
Pros, cons, tips, and questions to ask — just what you need to know to choose the best logistics partner to grow your SME.
What Is a Logistics Partner?
There comes a time for every growing business to consider how to enhance your business operations. Enter logistics partners.
Logistics partners are third-party services that B2C ecommerce retailers like you contract with to navigate important business needs. Logistics partners may provide services like packaging, transportation, warehousing, distribution, shipping, and delivery. Some cover export and import, and regulations, licenses, truckers, and tax needs as well.
You have plenty to tend to you in your businesses. It may make sense to outsource to a service that will take some of these logistical elements off your plate so you can keep your attention on other areas of focus.
In this article, we’ll give you important information about choosing a logistics service that saves you time and money. We’ll offer specific tips, taking into consideration especially the limitations that smaller businesses face, and help you choose the best logistics partner for your business.
Selecting a Logistics Partner for Your B2C Ecommerce Business
Logistical services are as varied as the retailers these businesses serve. Start by doing your research. When you know what’s most essential for your business, you can select a service that matches your needs, your expectations, and your budget.
Benefits of Hiring a Logistics Partner
Bringing logistical experts into your operations can lead to greater efficiency at every level of your business. By outsourcing a portion of your logistical needs, you may open up opportunities for enhanced production and optimized operations overall.
Better Time Management
When you give logistical responsibilities over to third-party partners, you create opportunities to focus on the more subtle aspects of your business. With things running smoothly and problems being solved by someone else, you’re free to focus on the remaining roles and responsibilities that are most important to your business success.
Improved Customer Experience
Those last steps of a sale — packaging, transportation, and delivery — are huge factors for customer experience. When customers receive their products safely and on time, they’re more likely to return, refer others, and offer good online reviews for your business.
The right choice can influence your day-to-day and grow your capacity to do good business at every level of operations.
Drawbacks of Hiring a Logistics Partner
Loss of Control
Outsourcing any aspect of your business requires you to relinquish some control. In this case, you’re trusting your logistics partner to uphold the stability and integrity of your supply chain operations.
Logistics partners’ operations are still exposed to external factors including regulatory mechanisms like tariffs and unexpected impediments like inclement weather.
There are indeed reasons to hold back when thinking about outsourcing to a logistics partner. But there are also ways you can subvert these drawbacks when you’re searching for the right fit. Read on for our recommendations when you’re shopping for the perfect logistics partner.
Factors to Consider when Choosing Your Logistics Partner
You can discern the quality of a logistics partner by asking questions, scoping out reviews, and getting to know the business. Take a look at our list of questions to consider as you shop for the best partner.
You’re trusting another company with the responsibility of managing some part of your supply chain, so you need to be sure they’re reliable. How long have they been in operation? What’s their reputation in the industry? Do they have a long-term track record to support customer reviews?
This time, you’re the customer. How does the logistics provider manage communication with their clients? Are they quick to respond and eager to provide support as needed? Can they offer innovative solutions when problems arise?
Responsiveness to Business Needs
Does this logistics partner aptly consider your particular business needs? Are they swift to respond in a way that offers you the customized support you’re looking for?
Some logistics providers offer specialized services. If you need customized solutions, do they have the technology, the networks, and the agility to meet your expectations? Can they accommodate your particular needs?
Improve Business Operations with the Right Logistics Partner
Outsourcing to a logistics partner makes the most sense when you’ve found a great fit for your business. Consider where you are now in your business and where you’re going. Be clear about the impact you’re looking for. Get your questions answered upfront, so you can make an informed decision.
We hope our recommendations have set you up for success! If you’re looking to connect with a supportive service, you may not need to look any further than Trustana. As a B2B trade platform, Trustana facilitates shipping and logistics services with economies of scale to enable SMEs like yours to buy and sell food and beverage products in any volume without fear of high costs. We might just be the answer to your logistical needs. Reach out today to learn more.