Your stocks are all out of sync, you have credits mounting up in the warehouse not processed, stock is written off at every stocktake and you were told using a 3PL would make your life easier. Now you feel you made the wrong decision!
This is a common theme I come across, companies (of all sizes) have out sourced the warehousing/distribution to 3PLs and it has all gone wrong. The obvious target: the 3PL (while the 3PL has another target for all their woes – you).
The usual chain of events: the outsourcing contract is signed, the 3PL takes over and everyone is happy. The information flows back and forwards, the stock goes out but over time things start getting a little lax or the information starts backing up and before you realise, you have customers complaining. As far as you knew there were no issues – until now, and it’s crashing.
Working with 3PL s is not a way of removing yourself from the task. 3PLs are really a part of your business but working at arm’s length. You need to build a rapport with them, have daily contact (not just sending them outbound orders) and weekly, if not daily, performance reports. If you stay on top of the situation eg: number of Returns not processed, Daily Orders still to be processed, P/O Receipts to be processed, etc, you will not get any surprises.
By working together they can add value to your business, and as you get to understand 3PLs, you can make it easier for them to do theirs. Your goal and theirs is to achieve a win-win relationship, the ONLY other option is a lose-lose. They work for you, so you still need to manage them (this may even require a standalone role!).
If you are in this situation give me a call, I can either guide you through or jump in and help you through the process.