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Every business, no matter the size, needs a logistics supplier. Businesses need transportation and delivery, whether it’s for raw materials or sending out a product to clients. We live in a time when the world is experiencing supply chain issues, an increase in fuel prices, and other logistics issues, so businesses need to be smart when choosing a transportation company to work with. We need to do our due diligence to ensure that we partner with the right people who know what they’re doing and have a level of grace during stressful situations.
If your business is looking for a transportation company or logistics supplier, here are some questions to ask to ensure that you get your money’s worth.
How long have you been operating?
It’s important to know how long a logistics supplier has been around because it will give you an idea about their experience. If they have been around long before apps and tech tools were common, ask them how they could transition from a more traditional approach to one that relies on these tools. You can ask them about this during your interviews, but you can also research through the internet to see how long the company has been around and registered. You also need to check if the company has ever been embroiled in a lawsuit so that you can give yourself an out as early as possible.
Why are you the safer option?
Because logistics and transportation are inherently hazardous processes, you want to ensure what safety precautions they have in place to protect not just your materials and inventory but also their own employees. Ask them if they have a reputable equipment supplier from whom they get their model Diesel engine rebuild kits. Knowing how they keep everything and everyone safe, no matter how technical, is key to understanding how protected your cargo will be. It will save you a lot of worry and anxiety in the future, too.
How is business going?
You also want to know how well their company is doing so that you have an idea about how they manage the business. Don’t be embarrassed to ask about their financial health. After all, if you sign a contract with them, your business will be at just as much risk as theirs. You are putting your stock in their hands, literally.
The third-party logistics industry grew exponentially thanks to the pandemic and shippers outsourcing more of their deliveries and transportation. So if the company’s outlook is not optimistic, that can be a red flag. This goes to show their management is incompetent if the conditions for their growth are conducive, but they still weren’t able to maximize them.
How important is customer service?
If your business chooses a particular logistics company, they will be like an extension of your brand. It doesn’t matter if they are a third-party supplier; customers will still see your brand in them whenever they receive their products. Your brand’s reputation is at stake, so you want to ensure that whichever transportation company you partner with has customer service that is above reproach.
Ask them about their ease and accessibility-can they be reached 24/7? What about the weekends and national holidays? You also want to ask them how they structure their customer support. If you only have a single point-of-contact when you have to track your freight and other deliveries, it will save you a lot of headaches in the future and allow you to make quick decisions.If you are looking for a transportation company or logistics supplier to help you run your business successfully, here are some questions to ask to ensure that you get your money’s worth.Click To Tweet
What technology do you use, and can you explain it to me?
A logistics supplier’s software is key to managing and gaining visibility to their freights. When talking to a potential partner, allow them the time to walk you through the technology they use. Ask them to explain it to you in a way that you will understand, especially if you have no background in transportation management software (TMS).
Tell me about your staff.
This is perhaps the most crucial question of all. Having the most state-of-the-art technology or equipment means nothing if the management does not support or empower its employees and if said employees’ technical and people skills are not up to scratch. Observe the person you’re talking to as well and see if the rapport is there because you would be communicating with them for a long time.
Before you commit to a logistics supplier, make sure to do your due diligence to ensure that you’re partnering with the right one. Your brand’s own reputation is on the line, after all.