Choosing a facility that supports the exact demands of your supply chain can bring several benefits to your business.
It has the potential to:
- Reduce the amount of stock you need to carry.
- Increase storage efficiencies at point of manufacture.
- Allow your chosen 3PL partner to support all elements of your supply chain.
Our Head of Sales 3PL, Alistair Plant shares his thoughts on what you need to consider when choosing a supply chain facility.
Location and Logistics
It’s well worth considering location and logistics but moreover, understanding how this can integrate into your supply chain.
Depending on your product type and your requirements from the supply chain you need to ascertain how your goods will be stored, in what type of facility and how they would fulfil those requirements.
It is also worth enquiring how they transport your goods, especially important for those looking for an end-to-end supply chain solution. What type of fleet do they operate? What is their disaster recovery plans to mitigate breakdowns etc? How do they integrate into the pallet or ecommerce network?
Does your business have a clearly defined ESG or sustainability statement? As an increasing number of businesses seek to increase their credentials in this area, it’s perhaps worth ascertaining the status, but more important the vision for the future of the partner you choose, and how they will help to support your ambitions in your business operations.
Space and layout
The type of space on offer is also important. When visiting a potential supplier, it’s worth understanding how they operate their space and the types of efficiencies they achieve. As a customer, you need to know they will be able to achieve your OTIF figures and meet the agreement you have brokered with them.
Ensure your chosen supplier offers you the correct type of storage. Bulk and racked are both very different and depending on how your product is palletised, the weight thereon and accessibility requirements (either full pallet, part pallet or item volume) the correct layout and storage facilities can either complement or hinder slick 3PL processes.
Safe and secure
No matter what the value of your products you need to ensure they will be stored, picked, packed, transported, and delivered in a safe and secure manner.
Check out the facilities accreditation – we’re delighted to be BRC AA accredited and to have had this for many years at the warehouses we have had the longest.
Do you need specific types of warehousing? We have lower tier COMAH and BAMA accreditation; other facilities will have various certifications to store all manner of goods and to keep them stored at the right temperature, in the right conditions and to manage stock rotation and levels depending upon expiration dates.
It’s important to understand the legal requirements surrounding the storage of goods, and a reputable 3PL provider will be able to support you with this. And, even if they don’t have the required certification, they will work with you to achieve this.
Good supply chain sense
What type of warehouse facility do you require to support your supply chain?
- A Just in time process, where stock moves quickly
- A long lead time where products will remain in stock for extended periods of time
- A supply chain where goods have limited shelf life or are perishable
When choosing a facility for your specific needs, it’s important to understand they can fulfil these exact requirements and to understand this early in your discussions and negotiations. This way, you will be able to ascertain whether this provider will make good supply chain sense for your business.
All these elements can help to ensure you choose a facility that meets your expectations and supports business needs in an efficient and timely manner. A 3PL partner should make this element of your business simplistic and efficient and the chosen partner should integrate into your supply chain with ease.
By determining these factors, along with cost, a bespoke solution can be tailored that will fulfil customer demands and give a business the chance to consolidate and grow its operations.
Our team has decades of experience in developing bespoke solutions which are agile, flexible and customer focused.
To chat about working together, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out a contact form below and we will get in touch with you.