Top 7 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Logistics Provider
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Any business that sells products relies heavily on transport and logistics services. Having a great logistics provider is key if you want your business to thrive; the issue is that you’re faced with many logistics service options.
With so many options for logistics providers, how do you pick the right one for your business? Choosing a logistics provider can seem like a monumental task if you go into it blind.
Fortunately, there are ways to make the selection process simpler. By identifying important elements of a logistics provider, you can determine if they’re the right service for your needs.
Keep reading to learn seven factors to consider when choosing a logistics provider.
1. Consider Your Budget
Before you even begin to look at options for logistics providers, you need to establish how much money you’re willing to spend. This can be a tricky balancing act–it’s too important to skimp on, but you can’t overspend either.
Be realistic. Don’t budget too low–if you want a quality service, you’re going to need to spend some money. Consider your income and determine how many funds you can spend while still turning a decent profit.
Once you have a number in mind, look into service provider prices. With luck, you’ll find a provider who fits neatly into your budget and provides the services you need.
If you don’t, revisit your budget. See if there’s anything you can do to adjust your numbers so that you can afford the option you want.
2. Look For Good Reviews
Make sure that the logistics provider you choose has a sterling reputation. A good way to start is by reading online reviews. Online reviews offer you a glimpse at a huge range of former clients and their opinions.
Some providers may have reviews and testimonials on their websites. These can be helpful, but keep in mind that the company is only going to publicize positive reviews–look elsewhere for more balanced opinions.
Of course, online reviews are only one piece of the puzzle. If you know anyone who has worked with the provider in the past, you can get a lot more information from a face-to-face conversation.
You may even be able to get references from the company.
3. The Right Certifications
Kind words from current and former clients are great, but you should also look for more substantial evidence of good service. One of the easiest ways to do this is to ask about a company’s certifications.
Thanks to the large number of organizations and programs focused on logistics, there are a wide variety of certifications that logistics providers may have.
Certifications can tell you a lot about how a certified logistics provider does business. They show that the provider meets certain ethical, environmental, or economic benchmarks.
Do a bit of research on the certifications your company of choice has to determine if they meet your standards.
4. How Present Are They?
This is one of the more complicated questions you need to ask when considering your logistics service options: what is their level of presence, especially in the areas you’re looking to service?
How many facilities do they have? What kinds of carriers can they utilize? How large is their network?
It might not seem important, especially if the price of a smaller provider seems too good to pass up. The truth is that having more facilities and carriers means quicker, more efficient shipping–which you need.
The more facilities a provider has, the more routes are open to them. The larger their network, the easier it is to get your shipments exactly where they need to go.
5. What Services They Offer
This consideration goes hand in hand with the one above: what kinds of services can the company provide? Many providers are specialized; you need to make sure the people you choose can meet your needs.
The simplest option is to choose a provider that offers a comprehensive suite of services. For instance, Headlight Solutions offers solution design, training, integration, deployment, support, and analytics.
Transportation is, of course, a major service of logistics providers. Warehousing services are also common.
That’s where the size of your provider and their physical presence come into play: if they have several locations and carriers, they can likely offer better services on a more consistent basis.
6. Stability and Consistency
That ability–the ability to provide consistently great service–is vital. Lots of companies will promise you the moon: special services, fast shipping, and so on. They may even provide it… at first. Then, after a while, the service drops.
They may make excuses. “We’ve hit a rough patch,” or, “Things will go back to normal in a few months.” the truth is, if a company can’t promise to be consistent with their services, they shouldn’t offer them to begin with.
Company stability plays a large part here. A company that is often in flux won’t be able to deliver consistency. Make sure the certified logistics provider you choose has a solid, stable history in the industry.
7. Level of Technology
As technology advances, logistics companies continue to find new ways to streamline and improve their services. That’s why it’s important to stay on the leading edge of logistics technology.
Having better technology at your disposal helps keep your company competitive. Do you want to track your shipments and view analytics with the click of a button? Then you need the best tech.
This advanced technology doesn’t just benefit you, either. Options like tracking can improve your customer’s experience, too. Happy customers are more likely to buy from you again.
In other words, a high-tech logistics provider doesn’t just streamline your logistics processes–it can improve your sales, too!
Choosing a Logistics Provider Made Easy
There’s a lot to consider when choosing a logistics provider. By being thorough and considering your needs, your budget, and the location and reputation of the provider, you can find a logistics service that’s right for you.
Logistics may be a key piece of your company, but it shouldn’t be your only focus. Once your product is out there, you need to market it. Visit our digital marketing blog for tips on how to sell your product effectively!